Riverkeeper announced its new president on Sept. 29. Tracy Brown of Sleepy Hollow will become the first woman to lead that nonprofit, starting Nov. 1. She will succeed Paul Gallay, who departed on June 30, after 11 years as president.

Brown worked at Riverkeeper from 2007 to 2014. During that time, she helped develop the organization’s water quality monitoring programs and lead a campaign that resulted in New York State’s Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law in 2013.

Since 2014, Brown has been at Save the Sound, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting Long Island Sound, just as Riverkeeper protects the Hudson and its tributaries. She will depart as the regional director of water protection for Save the Sound. 

In Sleepy Hollow, Brown co-founded the Peabody Preserve Outdoor Classroom, a 39-acre nature preserve owned by the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns, and used by educators, students, and families. The preserve is on Route 9, across from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

In addition, Brown is the co-chair of the Water Committee on the Westchester County Climate Crisis Task Force.

Monarchs on the wing

Dozens of spectators gathered in the courtyard at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve as morning transitioned into afternoon on Sunday, Sept. 26. 

The spectacle was the release of monarch butterflies raised in an enclosure at the park. The butterflies had been reared from either eggs or caterpillars found on milkweed among the park’s 1,700-plus acres.

Milkweed is the only plant on which monarchs will lay their eggs, and which monarch caterpillars will eat. There is an abundance of milkweed at the Rockwood Hall section of Rockefeller, north of Phelps Hospital.

In total, about 250 monarchs were released at the park this year. The butterflies let go in September had stickers adhered to their wings. The stickers were supplied by Monarch Watch, a nonprofit based at the University of Kansas.

Each sticker included a unique number that can be used to track the location of the butterfly through the Monarch Watch website (monarchwatch.org). In the fall, monarchs migrate to Mexico, where they spend the winter.

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