Jim Bonesteel

Executive Director

Look for Jim:
Running the roads and trails of the Plateau. Visiting with landowners and supporters. Hiking, skiing, biking, swimming, and exploring with his family and friends.

A favorite place on the Plateau:

The hemlock swamp on Lt. Col. Gundrum land / Teal Pond Tract

Contact Jim:

  • If you are interested in conserving your land or know of land that should be conserved

  • With comments, questions or concerns that other staff are unable to address

  • With questions about Planned Giving or Donations of Stock

"Conservation is the application of common sense to the common problems for the common good."

- Gifford Pinchot

Molly Freiberg

Community Engagement Manager

Look for Molly:

Cross-country skiing, walking, reading on the porch, being as close as possible to the ocean, enjoying the present moment in the forest, learning from all kinds of experts out in the field, getting-lost-but-not-too-lost

A favorite place on the Plateau:

I want people to know about the wetland on the Homestead Trail in Albert Family Community Forest.

You can stand at the edge of it in the cold, early spring and hear the first spring peepers of the season proclaiming the end of winter. 

Contact Molly:

  • If you want to figure out how you fit in with RPA and about our current community offerings

  • If you would like to talk about possibilities for partnership on a project 

  • If you have an idea about how to solve a community problem through conservation or need help
    with a community project 

  • If you are curious about Mindful Nature Walks or other nature-based health and self-care activities

"Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when

you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into

a sacred bond."

- Robin Wall Kimmerer

Bay Habshey

Membership Coordinator

Look for Bay:

Slow-hiking in the woods of New York and Vermont, hunting waterfalls, identifying spider species, or attempting to build the perfect campfire

A favorite place on the Plateau:

Coming soon!

Contact Bay if you:

  • Need help finding information

  • Would like to learn more about membership or upcoming events

  • Have questions about donations

Annie Jacobs

Communications Director

Look for Annie:

Walking slowly through the forest, walking swiftly through the forest, riding her bike, swimming, climbing trees, farming and gardening

A favorite place on the Plateau:

It would have to be tied between Grafton Forest and the Poestenkill Community Forest's Big Beaver Bog! 

Contact Annie if you:

  • Have conservation stories to share

  • Want to help with social media

  • Would like to contribute photographs or articles to RPA's newsletters

"The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us,

the less taste we shall have for destruction."

- Rachel Carson

Celia Kutz

Rensselaer Youth Outdoors Coordinator

Look for Celia:

Kayaking at dusk, writing a song (they often come to me while hiking), cross-country skiing, making tea from plants in my garden, loving her friends and family, listening intently, letting time pass, starting out late and getting back after dark 


A favorite place on the Plateau:

That big rock on the Ridge Trail at Barberville Falls, as the Poestenkill Creek meets up with the trail, right before the bridge. I love being able to see the creek flow in both directions. I can feel the pace of time change, knowing that those waters came from Dyken Pond and will travel through the Poestenkill Community Forest, Poesten Kill Bends and then South Troy and finally into the Hudson River. 

Contact Celia if you: 

  • are a young person, parent, teacher or are affiliated in any way with a school district or organization that serves young people

  • know that young people are amazing and you want to share what you know about the natural world

  • believe that everyone has something to teach and that learning is giving and receiving

  • live in an urban environment and want to figure out how to increase youth access to nature right there or further away

  • live in a rural environment and want to support young people struggling with mental or physical health

  • want to support an organization that respects and entrusts youth - RYO receives financial donations directly!

"Each one of us has some power that can be used, somewhere, somehow, to help save our Earth."
         - Audre Lorde

Dan Morse

Volunteer, Program, and Outreach Manager​

Look for Dan:

Spending time in the woods, snowshoeing, and kayaking

A favorite place on the Plateau:

The hemlock swamp at Poestenkill Community Forest

Contact Dan to learn more about:

  • Volunteering with RPA

  • RPA programs and outings

  • Building connections between RPA and your organization or business

"When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

- Aldo Leopold

Alana Weiss

Spring 2021 Intern

Look for Alana:

In one of her design studio classes at RPI, backstage putting together sets for theatrical productions, or gardening

A favorite place on the Plateau:

The Albert Family Community Forest by the newly restored cabin

Contact Alana:

  • If you have questions about the intern experience at RPA

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead


Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, Inc.

Conservation Through Community

(518) 712-9211 |

Postal: PO Box 790, Averill Park, NY 12018

Office: 17 Old Route 66, Averill Park, NY 12018

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Background photo: Nate Simms