The Ashokan Reservoir, the oldest of New York City's reservoirs in the Catskills, was mostly built by hand, with picks and shovels. That's one of the tidbits you'll learn at the Ashokan Watershed Conference, held this weekend at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge.
History is the theme of this year's conference, which is called "Back to the Future." (The organizers riff on the movie of the same name in their promo materials. Who says that watershed managers don't have senses of humor?)
The keynote speaker is Bob Steuding, a historian who wrote about the mammoth project of building the dam in his book, "The Last of the Handmade Dams." George Fowler, an engineer, will talk about the history of stream management.
Other sessions will focus on the invasive species that are destroying the hemlock and ash trees around the Catskills and the perennially urgent topic of flooding.
Ashokan Watershed Conference. Saturday, April 11, 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge. ashokanstreams.org. The Ashokan Watershed Conference is a Watershed Post advertiser.