As we enter this season of Thanksgiving and reflect on the past year, we offer thanks to those who dedicate themselves to caring for others or advancing positive change in the world. This work can be depleting and often benefits from the opportunity to regroup, restore, and plan for future service. With state-of-the-art facilities located on 290 sweeping acres in the western Catskills, The nonprofit Uplands Center provides space and support for team building, strategic planning, wellness, and self-care. We are deeply grateful to all of you valued friends of The Uplands: it is your support that makes this vision a reality.
The Uplands had an active retreat season following our launch in May! We were thrilled to host several retreats, including:
- Renewal and self-care for residents and attending physicians from Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Putnam Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital who worked on the frontlines of health care during the pandemic
- Program development for Newark Community Street Team (NCST) for their work in trauma-informed violence reduction in Newark’s South and West Wards
- Leadership development and skills-building for young women from She Wins, Inc.
- Strategic planning for the staff of New Jersey Children’s Foundation improving equitable access to public education, and
- Teambuilding and goals-setting for the coordinators for Clinton Hill Community Action
The Uplands is committed to Delaware County, the town of Walton and the larger community in which it is located. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with regional service organizations and offer a convenient venue for other community-building and engagement activities.
In 2021 we hosted several local organizations for day retreats, strategy meetings, and beyond:
- A local school’s 6th and 7th grade team building days, as well as two social-emotional learning summer programs
- Two free programs for those in recovery from Substance Use Disorder: an expressive arts workshop and a Moms in Recovery Retreat
- A teacher’s retreat for educators to process the last year and prepare for 2022
- Day retreats focused on wellness, team building, and strategy meetings for Alcohol Drug Abuse Council, Delaware Opportunities, and the ARC of Delaware County
- A Grief Retreat hosted by Helios Care for their clients at The Uplands
- A “Wild Plants Walk” led by local naturalist Laura Silverman
As the season of giving approaches, we are reflecting on what nature teaches us about gifts and reciprocity. Within The Uplands’ abundant landscape, gifts and services are exchanged between the plants and animals residing within. Berries in our fields provide critical nutrition to birds, bears, deer, and more, who in turn spread seeds and fertilizer through their droppings. Similarly, hundreds of bee species forage nectar from goldenrod and other wildflowers while providing pollination services. Through examples such as these all around us, it is clear that gifts in nature are seldom accepted without an offering in return.
Our kitchen staff is sharing one of their favorite autumn side dishes. Try it this Thanksgiving!
Sue’s Autumn Brussels Salad
1-1.5 lbs of brussel sprouts, shredded
1-2 tart apples, peeled and diced
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
3 tbs of sugar (brown sugar works great here)
3 tbs butter or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of praline walnuts (recipe follows) Optional
Saute half of the diced apples in melted butter or oil. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, stir until slightly thickened. Pour hot dressing over shredded brussel sprouts at least 10 minutes before serving to assure some wilting. If you’d like to add the walnuts, saute ½ cup of walnuts in 2 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of sugar until slightly brown. Add to salad and toss.
Please consider donating or sponsoring a retreat. Your tax-deductible contribution will enable The Uplands to remain accessible to groups with limited financial means.