Catskill Waters is an evolving project produced in partnerships between a NYC government agency, local stream management programs, business owners, artists community, landowners, residents, and visitors in the Catskill area.
It is a celebration of the spirit of the Catskills, a community of people with deep connection to the land and independent yet cooperative mind. We believe that building strong local economy and communities would play a vital role in stabilizing our society and protecting food and water security.
We begin by listening to the people who tend the land where water for 9 million people in the NYC metropolitan area comes from. Their stories are archived and some are incorporated in our podcast.
We also work with artists to create community-based art projects, including a town-wide mural project in Woodstock,
When we started out Catskill Waters, our principal format of documentation was video. As we developed our project and conducted many interviews, audio recording surpassed the rank in usefulness and the idea of podcast emerged as the most promising platform for sharing.
More than that, however, our conversations with residents revealed ongoing concerns and real needs to be addressed if we were to maintain or improve the well-being of the community and preserve the quality of our natural environment.
They also made clear that our region is full of creative talents with great ideas and desire to contribute. Numerous organizations are making efforts on various fronts.
We wondered if we could provide a space for meaningful dialogs, powerful networking, and practical information through podcast. This is about 10 months ago. Since then, our vision grew from a simple format of a one-on-one interview to multiple threads of varied production styles and topics.
This development is a reflection of the storm that has been sweeping over the world. As we watch the news of our divided country, climate change, and increasing wealth gap, we in the greater Catskills maintain our independent spirit by pursuing happiness that is grounded in our relationship to the land and community, not in wealth and success.
There are several topics we are interested in. They may seem completely unrelated to each other, but after a few episodes, a common theme would emerge, one that would be felt rather than understood.
In framing these topics, we are exploring a few different formats: a conversation, not just one-on-one interview, but in a group of two to four, often pairing different opinions or positions; elaborately edited radio lab style episodes; in-depth conversation with an expert; and something light, artistic, and playful.
The topics we are following include local economy, ecology, land-use (private and public), and innovative and experimental ideas/social projects. Right now we’re seeing outbursts of community-focused projects and groups in the greater Catskills area. There is also an increasing inflow of investor money and recreational interests, both showing signs for altering our social and natural landscape. We hope to use our podcast to bring ideas and projects that would inspire our listeners to get involved or be proactive, from the people who are making them happen, right here in our community.
Although our focus is on our local community, the power of podcast is in its accessibility. We are building an international network of similarly innovative and committed communities by inviting them to be our guests.
This podcast is produced in partnership with Silver Hollow Audio.
This is an open, evolving project. Contact us if you would like to get involved.
We also welcome tax-deductible contribution!