The Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College is located on St. David’s Lane in Niskayuna, N.Y., a short 10-minute drive from campus. It is surrounded by the 111-acre H. G. Reist Wildlife Sanctuary, which is stewarded by the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club. The complex includes a 2,400-square-foot Dutch replica home built by conservationist Paul Schaefer in 1935 and a 3,900-square-foot addition completed in 2005. Energy for the facility is supported by geothermal wells. The property also includes award-winning perennial gardens and a bluestone amphitheater that can be used for public lectures and musical events. It provides Union with a remarkable opportunity for hosting meetings, teaching classes and holding departmental retreats.
The modern, fully-accessible facility provides offices and conference rooms and houses the Adirondack Research Library. The library boars a unique collection of material on the Adirondack Park and the New York State Forest Preserve and contains more than 15,000 items as well as extensive collections of rare books, maps, photographs, documents and the personal papers of some of the region’s foremost conservationists. Operated as a branch of Schaffer Library at Union College, it is considered one of the largest collection related to the Adirondacks outside of the Adirondack Park and significantly enhances Union’s own library collections.
The facility and the library provide opportunities for Union to establish collaborative partnerships with other colleges and universities working on the Adirondacks, with museums related to the social and natural histories of the Adirondacks and with organizations dedicated to their conservation and preservation. As such, the Kelly Adirondack Center represents a new chapter in Union College’s own distinguished educational history and in the long relationship between Union and the Adirondacks.