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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Green Chimneys Challenges Runners to “Conquer the Forest”: November 18

Green Chimneys Executive Director Ed Placke with students Riley and Greg tackle an early morning practice run.

Green Chimneys, a nonprofit that provides nature-focused education and human services, will throw open its doors—or rather, its trails—for the first-ever Conquer the Forest Trail Run, a daylong event for all ages. The organization’s Clearpool Campus in Carmel recently opened its hiking trails for public access. Now it’s inviting runners to join the challenge, which will cover more than 5 of the property’s 350 miles of natural woodlands, wetlands and scenic landscapes.

Set for November 18, the event will include the five-mile run; a one-mile fun rain for kids and families; and music, food and activities for all ages. All proceeds from the event will go to Green Chimneys’ education and animal-assisted therapy programs for children with special needs, and the care of the animals that support these services.

Originally founded in 1901 as a summer camp for disadvantaged inner-city children, the Green Chimneys Clearpool Campus remains as pristine as it was more than a century ago. Its protected woodlands include a natural lake, marsh and wetlands and an extensive stream system, providing habitats for a diverse population of plants, birds and animals. Its five miles of mapped trails are open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The campus offers an array of educational and recreational programs, such as environmental study, adventure learning, seasonal activities, overnight excursions and summer camp. It also serves as part of Green Chimneys School, offering therapeutic education for 40 middle school students with special needs.

Green Chimneys helps young people maximize their full potential by providing residential, educational, clinical and recreational services in a safe and supportive environment that nurtures connections with their families, the community, animals and nature.

Founded in 1947 and headquartered on a farm and wildlife center in Brewster, the nonprofit is recognized as a leader in animal-assisted therapy and educational activities for children with special needs. Among its services are an accredited special education school, a residential treatment center, animal-assisted and nature-based therapeutic programs, public education and recreation programs, and community-based support for underserved youth and families.

For more info about Green Chimneys or the trail run, visit