Ben Amsler | Tanglewood Board Member | New York
I have been a fan of Tanglewood Nature Center for a long time now. Finding way to be involved there over there years has been something I have enjoyed. Some of my first ever on display artwork was hung at Tanglewood. I have photographed running there. There is photography available for purchase on my website that when sold I make a contribution to Tanglewood. I have been talking with the staff at Tanglewood about different projects we can collaborate on obviously 2020 has put the brakes on that for now. But most of the time if I am at Tanglewood with someone it is likely to be someone I met through running.
It was nice to connect with someone through their work at and support of Tanglewood Nature Center. It is just an added bonus that they are also a runner.
Why Get Involved
I wanted to know, what inspires someone to get involved with an organization like Tanglewood. After spending 2 years getting settled into the Corning area Ben wanted to find ways to get more involved in the community outside of work. Ben had spent time on the trails at Tanglewood but he didn’t know anything about Tanglewood as an organization. At the time Ben worked with the president of the board at Tanglewood. The president of the board asked if Ben or his wife would be interested in being on the board. After researching and learning more about Tanglewood as an organization ben attended a board meeting. He then decided to join the board.
As a runner, avid hunter, hiker and someone who just loves to be outside Ben truly believes in Tanglewood’s conservation and education mission. Protecting nature while educating future generations is extremely important. He feels that if we are not careful, then our grandkids will not have access to the wonders of nature that we grew up enjoying.
Questions and Answers
Q: How long have you been involved with Tanglewood?
A: I have been on the Tanglewood board for just under two years.
Q: Who is your favorite resident animal at Tanglewood?
A: Sophie the Great Horned Owl
Q: What is your favorite type of wildlife to see at Tanglewood?
A: My favorite animal to see at Tanglewood is the white-tailed deer. I love seeing them in the fields as the sun is rising over the hill.
Q: What is your favorite Trail at Tanglewood?
A: The Red trail! It is the longest trail and a great spot to train! You just have to be careful not to fall while looking up at the great views.
Q: What projects and programs are you most proud of at Tanglewood?
A: I have not been with TW for any of the large capital projects but am very proud of the education programs that the TW staff runs. Whether it be the summer camps that expose kids to nature or the traveling programs that the team provides to schools. Covid has obviously impacted our ability to provide some of these programs but the Tanglewood staff have stepped up. They are now providing content online as much as possible. The staff is also providing a safe place for kids to come and attend school virtually. Tanglewood is committed to supporting the community as much as possible.
Q: What is your vision for the future of Tanglewood?
A: My hope is that Tanglewood continues to execute against their mission. Our mission is to lead and support education and preservation efforts in our region to achieve a heightened awareness, understanding, enjoyment, and caring for our natural environment.
Tanglewood is a non-profit that must work to get grants and community support to continue to execute against their mission. I think many people believe that Tanglewood receives government funding and/or has a large sum of money that provides for operating expenses. The reality is that we rely on memberships and community support to stay open. I want to continue to showcase the awesome work the team is doing so the community continues to support us.
Q: How do you see Tanglewood impacting our local community?
A: Tanglewood impacts the local community in many ways, but I will highlight 3 that I see as most impactful.
- Education: As highlighted above, the staff works very hard to reach as many children as possible each year. They also provide a lot of education for adults.
- Preservation/Conservation: Tanglewood is committed to tackling the pressing issues of our time. Global issues like climate change, deforestation, pollution, etc. are negatively impacting our world. We need to work together to ensure we leave natural resources for our kids to enjoy.
- Access to nature: You and I ran together at Tanglewood this past weekend. (I followed been around the trails as he ran to capture the photographs you see here.) It was so fulfilling to see the amount of people out and about on the trails. Old, young and in-between were smiling, laughing, and enjoying nature. Tanglewood provides a space for people to go and connect to nature. Being in nature is good for your health, mental state, and warms your soul.
Q: What ways do Tanglewoods programs benefit our larger world
A: Changing the world starts with changing 1 community at a time. The three things I highlighted above are changing our community but will spread into the larger world. Everyone that Tanglewood touches can change the world. Not to be too corny, but journeys of all distances start with a single step. Changing the world starts by changing 1 person, then 2, and it spreads
Ben is trying to help support Tanglewood mission though the Ben’s Long Run project. For Ben’s Long Run, Ben will be running 1 lap of the Red Trail for every $500 donated.
Currently the donation total is at $3,300 which would send Ben out to run 6 laps of the Red Trail and 18 miles. This is great, but lets see if we can’t get been out there to run more miles by donating more to support all the hard work that the staff at Tanglewood puts in for our community. It would be great to see him running 100 miles on the Red Trail.
Support everything Tanglewood has to offer through Run For The Hills! or Ben’s Long Run.
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