Free Reservoir Access Permit!

wac row your boat

Photo by Watershed Post (

Get your free five-year access permit ( to paddle and hike our NYC reservoir system!

If you want to volunteer for HarborLAB’s Watershed Wonder Tours (aka ReservoirLAB), or even just participate, you’ll need this permit. Our watershed programs at the Neversink Reservoir begin Memorial Day, but we’d like volunteers to square this paperwork away early.

It’s quick and easy!

Please go to this link:

And here’s our Facebook “event” promoting sign permit applications:

After completing the form, please email with the subject line “Watershed,” telling us that you’ve applied for your permit and how you’d like to help. We’ll have both educational partnerships fostered by the NYC DEP and community “walk-up” days with educational and activity booths promoting other water ecology causes.


Photo by Google Maps/Google Earth.

Watershed Wonder Tours in the News


Neversink Reservoir. Catskill Watershed Corp.

A great write up on HarborLAB’s coming “Watershed Wonder Tours,” published
by DNAinfo:


The NYC DEP recommends that educators, paddling and ecological
organizations, and community groups focus programs on learning about how
forests clean and protect our water when applying for this grant. Keep in
mind that you can also use this grant to visit other reservoirs, though
Neversink is the only one with a free public fleet. We’re dipping a paddle
in the water in 2013 and really splashing down in 2014. One LIC has written
to that they’ve already applied, and another is interested, but this is for
all of NYC (and our country cousins)!  🙂

Neversink Reservoir. Catskill Watershed Corporation.



Watershed Wonder Tours!

Neversink Reservoir. Photo by Catskill Watershed Corporation.

Neversink Reservoir. Photo by Catskill Watershed Corporation.

HarborLAB will launch a second fleet of ten tandem kayaks and five canoes on the Neversink Reservoir at the start of the new school year! Students on our free Watershed Wonder Tours will enjoy unforgettably beautiful experiential and curricular learning about the water that flows out of their faucets. While at the reservoir they’ll also have opportunities to participate in educational hikes through the forests that maintain the purity of our drinking water, and to visit local farms and historic sites.

Few New York City residents realize that their drinking water is delivered largely by gravity from gorgeous, blue mountain lakes via a network of hundreds of miles of tunnels. Watershed Wonder Tours will happily awaken them to this reality and, we hope, a commitment to stewardship. We also look forward to building urban and rural bonds through partnerships with watershed educators that bring kids from both regions onto the water together.

We’re immensely grateful to the Catskill Watershed Corporation for making Watershed Wonder Tours possible through its recently announced education grant. The CWC stated in a press release that its goal is to “heighten awareness and understanding of the New York City water system and its vast Watershed West of the Hudson River.”

The CWC highlighted HarborLAB’s pioneering public program.  “Another grant will support an exciting new venture by the NYC-based HarborLAB to maintain a fleet of kayaks and canoes on the Neversink Reservoir for use by city students and their Watershed peers in conjunction with lessons about water quality and environmental protection.”

Educators and community organizations wishing to schedule Neversink Reservoir Watershed Wonder Tours with us can reduce transportation costs through a Watershed Agricultural Council Bus Tour Grant. Applications are due July 15. 

We’re also deeply grateful to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for its support of our CWC grant application, its creative engagement with such a novel program, and especially for its environmental education expertise. In 2012 the NYC DEP first allowed kayaking on some of its reservoirs. ReservoirLAB is the first public fleet to be stationed at a reservoir. The concept of introducing the free public paddling model (shaped in NYC primarily by the Downtown Boathouse) to the reservoir system was born in 2011, when HarborLAB Founder Erik Baard toured Catskill Mountain villages as the state’s “Greenest New Yorker.”

Neversink from the air. Photo by

The CWC is a non-profit, local development corporation responsible for several environmental protection, economic development and education programs in the New York City Watershed West of the Hudson River. For more information, go to, or call toll-free 877-928-7433.

Teachers, parents and school administrators will find information on Watershed and environmental education resources and programs at