In 2008, the Brandwein Institute created a series of nature trails on a section of the Rutgers Creek Wildlife Conservancy to honor the wishes of Paul and Mary Brandwein to engage the local community. That section became the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve, located about 25 minutes from downtown Milford, PA; 15 minutes from Port Jervis; and 25 minutes from Middletown, NY.

Interpretive hiking trails traverse the 30-acre parcel of the 72-acre Rutgers Creek Wildlife Conservancy. The trails wind through natural communities including an arrested succession area, early succession forest, meadow and woods ecotone, mowed meadow, northern riverine forest, northern swamp forest, stream, and upland mixed deciduous forest. The Preserve contains a pavilion, information kiosks, boardwalks, benches, and parking area. The ecological diversity supports a wide array of natural flora and fauna. Click here for a map of the trails. Brandwein Institute Summer Science Camp Programs for students, grades 1-6 are held each summer at the Preserve. Two week-long day programs feature NatureObservation and Appreciation and Field Science Investigations. The programs are held in July from 9am to 3pm. Activities are split by age group, Grades 1-3 and Grades 4-6, and are led by nationally-recognized science teachers from the Port Jervis, New York School District as well as invited special nature scientist guests daily. The 2020 camp programs have been cancelled.  Registration for the 2021 programs will begin in February.

Inside a hidden geocache

Inside a hidden geocache

Sundays at the Preserve are special sessions featuring naturalist-led outdoor activities for families. Sundays take place spring through fall and feature such topics as Search for Eagles, Beginning and Intermediate Geocaching, Become a Bottle Rocketeer, I Spy Nature, and Mushroom Mania.Since the Preserve opened, local clubs, Scout groups, teachers, and students have used the site to perform water quality studies and field investigations. To find out more about the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve, click here to see the brochure. If your group is interested in visiting the site, please call 845-672-9297, to find out about available dates. Then complete the hold-harmless agreement at Virtual investigations are encouraged so that students around the country can participate in the Preserve activities in their communities and share data with their counterparts. Click here to see lesson plans written by award-winning science educators. The 2020 spring and summer Sundays at the Preserve have been postponed.  Check the website and social media sites for information on fall programs.

A new online offering from the Brandwein Institute called In a Brandwein Minute, a series of minute-long explorations into the natural world, led by Sara Mayes, are now available. These are designed to spur additional investigations and provide comfort in times of stress. Go to for an opportunity to explore nature with Naturalist Sara Mayes.

To our Brandwein Institute family,

The Brandwein Institute Board of Directors has postponed all of the 2020 activities at the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and conditions in Orange County, NY. We look forward to welcoming student science campers and resuming  in weekend activities in 2021. Watch our website and Facebook page for updates. 

Again, to all our Brandwein Institute Community please stay safe, practicing social distancing, and wash your hands.

Thanks for your patience,

Keith Wheeler
President, Brandwein Institute