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Mission Statement

"Our mission is to nurture hearts and minds for the challenges of tomorrow, through shared experiences in nature, history and the arts."


The Ashokan Center is a magical place, where nature inspires. We seek to practice green, sustainable living and positive land stewardship in all programs and activities.

Ashokan serves schools, organizations, families and individuals. In 1967 the first environmental and outdoor education programs in New York State were launched here. Since then numerous cultural and environmental organizations have come to call Ashokan their home.

Over the decades, schools have valued Ashokan’s distinctive style of hands-on learning, which recognizes important connections between nature, history and the arts. Over the years, the Ashokan Center’s curriculum has grown beyond traditional outdoor education to include community-building, place-based living history and natural science.

Ashokan is also home to a growing group of organizations, including Ashokan Music & Dance Camps, led by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason since 1981, the Northeast Blacksmith’s Association,SummerSongs and many more.We also host family-friendly community events, such as the Summer and Winter Hoot, Maple Fest, and Fall Family Fun Festival, along with concerts, dances and lectures throughout the year.

In 2008, an historic and forward-looking partnership was established between the Open Space Institute, New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the Ashokan Foundation that transferred the 374-acre Ashokan Field Campus, its programs and its facilities from SUNY New Paltz to the Ashokan Foundation, a New York State 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit. As part of this extraordinary transaction, the Ashokan Foundation launched a bold and ambitious effort to replace its creekside campus buildings with new sustainably-designed facilities. This $7.25 million endeavor concluded in late 2012 with the opening of a 200-seat performance hall, classroom spaces, dining rooms for 200 people and semi-private and shared residential lodges for 150 guests.



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