2019: A Year in Review

Green rolling hills with blue sky in background

2019: A Year in Review

Happy New Year, all!

This annual occasion gives us all an opportunity to look back on the previous year’s progress, achievements, and significant moments. As we look to the year ahead, we are grateful for all that has arisen in 2019 to bring us to this point. The Uplands Center hosted a variety of retreats for organizations of caregivers and social change makers, and we established fruitful connections with groups in our Delaware County community. Welcome to our 2019 Year in Review!


Overnight Retreats

The Uplands were honored to host weekend retreats for groups from several organizations in 2019. These groups embodied our mission-targeted audience of caregivers and social change makers. While each group came with their own specific goals in mind, a commonality of the experiences centered around team-building, self-care, rejuvenation and immersion in The Uplands’ beautiful natural setting. Learn more about these fabulous organizations below!

Iris Kaplan

Group enjoying sunset on patio

The Iris-Kaplan Center is home to a practice of psychotherapists committed to offering client-centered, compassionate, and caring services to individuals, couples, groups, families, and children. The center provides support for mind and body practitioners. They aspire to create a working community of practitioners who value integrative approaches to mental health and wellness. Their motto is to “facilitate the facilitator” by supporting those who guide others. Iris-Kaplan Center believes that taking care of practitioners is necessary to improving patient outcomes and creating a healthy community in which all thrive.



Imagine, a center for coping with loss, provides free, year-round grief support for countless families, children and communities throughout New Jersey.  Imagine also leads grief and loss workshops for thousands of parents, teachers, social workers, coaches, school nurses, and youth. Recently Imagine expanded its reach and its mission by forging a national partnership with Family Promise: Living with Loss, Healing from Homelessness. Imagine’s outstanding grief support service to thousands of children and families merited its being honored with being named a Top Ten CNN Hero in 2018 and 2019.


NCST Hospital Team

The Newark Community Street Team (NCST) draws upon evidence-based, trauma-informed strategies to reduce violence in Newark City. NCST staff engage in high-risk intervention, in both mediating on-going disputes that may result in violence and preventing retaliation. They offer safe corridors of passage for students at contracted schools, and provide support to crime survivors who are overlooked by traditional victim services agencies. NCST’s hospital team engages in violence intervention, in which outreach workers go to the hospital bedside of victims of violence.



NJ LEEP (New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project) is a college access and success program serving students and families in the greater Newark area. NJ LEEP’s College Bound Program empowers middle and high school students with both the academic and social-emotional skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.


She Wins!

    Group of young women posed

She Wins! offers free leadership and social action program for middle school and high school girls in Newark, NJ. While inclusive of all girls, She Wins! primarily aims to serve girls affected by inner city violence. A trauma-informed program, their model combines social and emotional learning with rigorous college and career readiness training.


Local Day Retreats

The Uplands Center is dedicated to our Delaware County community. In 2019, we began our outreach effort, seeking ways to offer our venue as a resource to local organizations.


Rehab Support Services

Rehabilitation Support Services (RSS)’s mission is to enrich and empower the lives of rehabilitating individuals by providing services and opportunities for meaningful emotional, social, vocational and educational growth. This organization addresses the needs of individuals with psychiatric and substance abuse disorders through services in housing, employment, treatment, care coordination, socialization, and wellness programs.

The Uplands Center offered two separate day-retreats for care managers at RSS who work with children and youth. These two groups were selected by RSS’s Program Director for rejuvenation retreats due to recent incidents with patients that have been emotionally draining for the staff. According to the director, these groups had a great need for team-building, relaxation, and recreation due to the arduous nature of their work.


Helios Care (formerly Catskills Area Hospice and Palliative Care)

Helios Care’s mission is to make life easier for patients and families facing serious illness or end of life by providing choices, dignity, and compassionate care. They offer caregiver support, palliative care, grief support, and more to Delaware County. The Upland’s conference room offered the ideal venue for Helios Care to hold an off-site executive strategy meeting.


West Branch Artists: Walton Art Walk Planning Committee

The Walton Art Walk was an event put on by West Branch Artists in July of 2019. West Branch Artists is a growing group of artists based in and around Walton, NY with the mission of building community and economic resilience through creating, making and sharing art. The Art Walk was a free self-guided walking tour in the village of Walton, featuring the work of local visual artists and artisans. This event was a valuable community-building opportunity for the town of Walton. The West Branch Artists sought a venue to gather after the Art Walk in order to evaluate the successes and issues surrounding the event. Their goals for a day-retreat at TUC were to strategize for next year’s Art Walk and to rejuvenate themselves after a year’s worth of hard work planning and implementing the event.


Community Offerings

Mandala Workshop

The Uplands Center offered a free art workshop, led by a local artist and high-school art teacher, Lara Fassler. Attendees enjoyed a free community lunch, followed by a short presentation of mandala artwork. The participants learned about the stress-relieving qualities of creating mandalas, and then enjoyed creating their own masterpieces.


Advisor Day

The Uplands Center hosted Walton Middle School’s “Advisor Day” for the sixth and seventh grade classes. Advisor Day is a twenty-five year tradition for Walton public schools. The purpose is to encourage bonding among students, improve connection between students and staff, and strengthen teamwork skills. Groups of students rotated through team-building exercises designed to promote collaboration, cooperativeness, creativity, and unity.


West Kortright Barn Tour

West Kortright Centre offers an annual Barn Tour that highlights the structures that characterize the region’s architectural heritage and bucolic farmland. In September of 2019, West Kortright Center focused their Barn Tour in the Walton area, and The Uplands Center was thrilled to showcase two uniquely designed barns as stops along the way.


New Additions

In May of 2019, we welcomed two new members to our Uplands Center team! Renee and Sean Hardenkamp joined as on-site Directors. Renee – the Director of Naturalist Operations and Educational Programs – is developing environmental and community programs.  Sean – the Director of Agricultural Operations and Facilities – has launched the center’s organic garden and chicken flock.

Our flock of seven hens are a happy addition to The Uplands Center! These ladies have been helping us prepare land for future planting by improving soil and removing pests. We’re grateful for the presence, and for their delicious eggs!

Look out for future posts about a major renovation that is underway at The Uplands Center’s main facility. We look forwarding to offering visitors and community members an enhanced experience in our updated setting. Stay tuned!



More like this

The Kairos Center for Rights, Religions and Social Justice came on retreat in April, as it is celebrating its 10th…


The Uplands was delighted to welcome back the emergency medicine residency program from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical…


Working toward the vision of “Healthy People Living in Healthy and Thriving Communities,” Delaware County Public Health serves citizens of…



Website designed and developed by BCS Interactive