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Vassar College (Vassar Farm & ecological preserve)

Poughkeepsie, New York


Organization description: 

Situated on a 527.5-acre plot of land, the Vassar Farm is located on the southern side of the Vassar College campus, across Hooker Avenue.  Historically, the land was a working farm providing milk, pork, and vegetables to the college dining halls until 1957. In the proceeding years, the farm was established as an ecological preserve for study and research. The farm currently provides wooded trails, open meadows, sports fields, and space for several organizations. The land hosts a wide variety of activities by members of Vassar and the surrounding communities, and remains one of few open spaces in the City of Poughkeepsie.


Organization Mission and Goals:

The mission of the Vassar Ecological Preserve is to protect and preserve the ecological diversity of the land to ensure that its educational value will be maintained in perpetuity. The Vassar Ecological Preserve promotes increased understanding and appreciation of the natural systems on the preserve through field-based education and research.


Phenology Project Description:

The Vassar Farm Phenology Trail launched in Spring 2014. The program is led by Keri VanCamp, the Ecological Preserve Field Manager. The phenology trail is part of a large loop trail dedicated to monitoring activities. A new butterfly garden was built in the summer of 2014 and a frog listening station is being installed. Trainings are offered for Citizen Science observers. Inquiries from those who would like to volunteer are encouraged. 


To learn more about Vassar phenology or to get involved:

Which species are being studied?



Trees and Shrubs







  • Anaxyrus americanus – American toad

  • Lithobates sylvaticus – wood frog

  • Pseudacris crucifer – spring peeper



  • Sialia sialis – eastern bluebird

  • Tachycineta bicolor – tree swallow


Resources for this site

(for registered observers):

  • Coming soon!

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