Greystone is an Experiential Environmental Education Teaching facility and so much more. Established by Diane Clark and Bill Moran. The beautiful 75 acre property is located right outside of Fredonia, only a few minutes from Bear Lake.
Greystone offers a wide variety of experiences with many trails, fields, overlook spots that can view of Lake Erie and Canada, ponds, woods and so many more natural wonders. We love to educate the public and just give people the much needed time in nature they lack. We explore and learn with all people of all age and ability levels.
Origin Story of Greystone
In the beginning there was only a tractor path leading into the acreage that would become Greystone Nature Preserve. In this path part of a grey stone about the size of a football was visible. On the many trips in and out while securing the land, this stone seemed to beckon me with a wish, “Take me out”. The land, which is on the crest of the Lake Erie escarpment, has one area which offers a spectacular view. It would be a fantastic space for a home, with hills rolling down to the lake plane and the shores of Canada within view. From the very first day we viewed the property, we affirmed that we would not build our home on this spot. It seemed arrogant to claim it for ourselves. We would place our home, as much earth sheltered as possible, in a lateral moraine and allow the special spot to be accessible to all who might be inspired by the view. The grey stone’s insistent calls firmed our wills about honoring nature. I dug her out, using only a common gardening hand held trowel and never touching the stone with metal. This was following a Japanese tradition of honoring guardian stones. It was a long and laborious task and as the stone emerged from the soil, I realized this was a worthy stone indeed. Grey marbled and intricate in her design, she was about half the size of a VW. Once all but a fourth of her structure was excavated, a neighbor farmer, using a strap and tractor, dragged the stone to the viewing area. She rests there today, a beautiful visitor from the far north now in light of day. The stone symbolizes that on this preserved land, nature will take precedence over human egos and wants.
Bill and I decided to have a celebration of our marriage in 2000. On the invitation we asked that our friends bring a stone if they wished to honor our marriage in a physical way. Our “war on stuff” was well underway by then and we wanted no commercial gifts of extraction to honor our union. Our guests caught on in fine style. Stones came from all over the planet; from beaches and childhood camps, from backyards and mountain journeys, each with a story and a very personal connection. Each stone beautifully connects human lives without the need for money, or wrappings. They were each placed around the Grey Stone as a living testimony that we were part of a larger community.
And so it is today, The Grey Stone predominates with her message of Nature First and echoes individuality and community over Greystone’s lands and visitors.
When it came down to naming the organization that was to follow, nothing else seemed to fit! There could be no better representative then the Grey Stone.
Diane Clark is the founder and director of Greystone Nature Preserve. Her 33 years of teaching have included all levels from Penn State University to the Chautauqua Institution’s Nursery School. Recently she has been an Outdoor Adventure Educator at the Cassadaga Job Corps. She has been a speaker and an adamant environmental awareness organizer throughout the US, Europe and Asia. In 1986 Diane joined the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament and walked across the US from LA to DC. She is an active member of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge of the Seneca Nation. She currently is a special studies instructor at the Chautauqua Institution.
Bill Moran is the operational manager and music director of Greystone Nature Preserve. His love of the outdoors was nurtured over two decades, through family camping and the Boy Scout Program. He was an Outdoor Adventure Educator at the Cassadaga Job Corps for eight years. Bill worked as a processing technician and safety committee member for Welch’s for 35 years. He has been a leader in environmental efforts including the Great Lakes Beach Sweep and Adopt-a-Highway programs. He is a US Army veteran, studied Earth Sciences at SUNY Fredonia, and is certified in CPR, Wilderness and Standard First Aid
Sandra Emke is the assistant director of Greystone Nature Preserve. Sandra's education includes an associates in environmental studies form JCC and a Bachelors' degree from SUNY Fredonia in Environmental science with a minor in Biology.
Through her education she has had the opportunity to work with organic farms in this area, The Buffalo Zoo, The Audubon Community Nature Center, and other main organizations. Her work has ranged from three years of invasive species work to over 4-5 years of experiences with domestic and exotic species. Greystone has allowed Sandra to teach many nature related classes to people from 3 years of age to 100 years of age and with every ability range.
Beannie is the living epitome of Greystone’s mission. She is a vital connector between visitors and Nature. Developing this connection is easily done with her joyful acceptance of community members whatever their age or ability level. She is more than a greeter, she is a lively example of loving life and enjoying Nature. Beannie is there to greet all visitors with enthusiasm. Born on Nov. 3, 2017, she came to live at Greystone on Jan. 15, 2018 and has been a cherished family member ever since. She is a full blooded Australian Shepherd with both AKC and Stock Dog registered parents. Beannie was born and lovingly cared for in a home in the Arkwright Hills of Chautauqua County. From her very beginning she had an affinity for two leggeds and an acute awareness of her surrounds. We are proud to have her on our staff.
Katie is Greystone's public relations intern. She is a junior public relations major with an English minor. At Greystone, Katie will be working on grant writing, media relations, and event planning. She will also be assisting with updating and maintaining the website. More specifically, Katie will be helping to plan the annual Earth Day event, she will help write articles about forest bathing, and will also make a television appearance on Doc Hamels show. Outside of her internship, Katie is the public relations chair for Fredonia's PRSSA, and is also a contributing writer for Fredonia's student run newspaper, The Leader.
Alexandria is a senior journalism major with an English minor. Her hobbies consist of photography, singing, reading every book known, and writing all types of poetry. For this internship, Alexandria is doing the social media aspects for Greystone. She is focusing on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and redoing the website. Outside of her internship, Alexandria is also involved in Fredonia Radio System, which she has her own show called J&A. She also assists The Leader writers on their stories by helping them with their research and help them by giving them photos.
Rachel is an environmental science major with a minor in applied music. She plays the clarinet and loves finding out about new scientific discoveries! Rachel will be an intern during this spring and over the summer as well. She will be researching the pond into depth and checking out the microorganisms that live there. She will also be assisting other programs such as the movements of monarchs into and out of the preserve and a new wild flower garden addition. There will be a day Rachel will orchestrate the educational of the preserve to younger students. As well as organizing the documents and creating a calendar for everyone in the advancement of Greystone. Rachel is so excited to continue researching and helping maintain the vitality of the preserve!
Alex Richard is a senior environmental science major at SUNY Fredonia minoring in geographic information systems (GIS). GIS is a tool that can be used within environmental science, and for my internship I will be using it to learn more about various invasive plant species that over time have spread around Greystones Nature Preserve. For his internship, Alex will be mapping the spread of these invasive species and removing what I can, as well as researching what native species could benefit the local environment as a replacement.
Adam is a senior marketing major at SUNY Fredonia. He has taken on the title of Content Marketing Manager where he will be directing a newsletter and maintaining the output of content for Greystone. He is currently part of ENACTUS Fredonia (Life Division) where he seeks to be involved in the communities of Fredonia and Dunkirk. Adam plans to eventually move out West where he will have the opportunity to be involved in the environmental marketing campaigns of national parks. His passion for environmental preservation will bring awareness to communities and keep people informed on Greystone's missions and opportunities.
Environmental Education & Trail and Tree Maintenance