If you’ve visited our Macricostas Preserve recently, you probably noticed all the activity on the red colonial at the entrance to the preserve. Steep Rock has launched the restoration of the Camp House (ca. 1755), the second oldest home in Washington. We are turning this former residence into a seasonal natural history center/museum and program space. The Camp House project is Phase 2 of our plans to create the “Steep Rock Campus at Macricostas Preserve” as the epicenter of conservation activity in Washington and the Litchfield Hills. Phase I included renovation of the Camp-Lemmon House for our administrative headquarters, boardroom, conservation lab, and meeting space. Now known as Steep Rock House, we moved into this space in October 2021. Stop by next time you’re in the area, we’re open Monday through Friday 8-4pm. If you're hiking—stay cool and hydrated. See you on our trails…

Brian Hagenbuch, Ph.D.
Executive Director


Featured Highlights

Michelle & John Sikorski

Volunteer Spotlight 

Meet Michelle & John Sikorski, Danbury residents who have been hiking Steep Rock's trails for 30 years but only recently discovered Macricostas and Hidden Valley Preserves through their volunteer adventures on our Odonata Survey, which identifies what dragonflies inhabit Washington and what their presence or absence means for local and regional conservation. >Meet Michelle & John 

2022 Interns

SRA's ten-week paid internship program immerses college and high school students in all aspects of our operations. Our interns make a difference in our community, gain real-world skills in land conservation, sustainable agriculture and nonprofit management - and have fun in the process. Many thanks to the Washington Scholarship Fund, Northwest Community Bank, Washington Garden Club, and our donors for supporting the internship program. >Meet our 2022 Interns


Hot off the press!

Our Summer/Fall newsletter is out! This is your guide to what's happening in the Preserves and at Steep Rock. >Check it out! 

Make A Will

Protect What Matters Most

Wills are important, regardless of your wealth.  Make conservation part of your legacy by protecting what matters most during Make-A-Will Month August 1-31.  There’s no better time than now to plan for the future through a will, trust, retirement plan or life insurance policy. >Learn more about Planned Giving

Join Team Steep Rock

We invite you to join Team Steep Rock in the “Climb Everest Challenge” --a national, virtual hiking/running/cycling adventure where participants commit to climbing 29,030 FT – the height of Mt. Everest --in 50 days starting August 13. Complete the Challenge on your own by hiking/running/cycling at your own pace in your own space AND we'll also set up in person Team Steep Rock activities in Washington throughout the Challenge. There are only 10 slots available. To join Team Steep Rock, click here and use the discount code STEEPROCK22

Judea Garden Vegetable Distribution
Judea Garden distribution of fresh produce takes place every Monday at the Steep Rock Association office at 116 Christian St. from 12pm -5pm. With the help of many volunteers, Judea Garden annually produces and distributes over 3500 pounds of organically grown food for the Washington community and local food pantries. For more info or to help this wonderful project, please email us here.


Let River Rocks Be
Many of us share a favorite “dog days” activity of swimming in the river, but it is important to recognize that the Shepaug and other watercourses are sensitive ecosystems increasingly stressed by low flow and warm water during the months of summer. Please do not create swimming environments by building rock dams. They inhibit a river’s natural function and reduce habitat quality for the vast amount of wildlife that depend on them. Thank you for practicing “Leave No Trace” both on the land and in the water >more


Report Large Mammal Sightings
Contributing to this research project is as easy as 1-2-3. Our Van Sinderen Conservation Interns created a simple, smartphone-compatible survey that has complex implications on how we steward protected properties and assess the preservation of others. Prepare yourself for submitting observations of black bear, coyote, bobcat, fisher, and river otter during your next hike in the preserves. >more



Upcoming Events

Planting a Pollinator Meadow
August 6, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Pollinators are all the buzz these days and for good reason! Populations are declining due to a variety of factors, with one significant cause being the loss of habitat. Join us on a 1.5-mile hike in Hidden Valley Preserve to visit our recently established Bronson Fields Pollinator Meadow - our largest habitat creation project specifically targeting pollinating insect conservation. >more


Judea Garden Open Garden
August 20, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Join Steep Rock Association's Judea Garden for it's annual Open Garden at Macricostas Preserve. Visitors, volunteers, and friends are welcome to explore the beautiful garden, enjoy refreshments and learn from our interns. Come by and visit us any time during the event! All ages. >more


Recurring Events

Click here for more information about Steep Rock events and volunteer opportunities!




If you're 70 1/2 or older, you can join Steep Rock supporters who make tax-free gifts from their IRA each year.  Learn how you can save money while protecting nature through a Qualified Charitable Distribution

Steep Rock Association
PO Box 279, Washington Depot, Connecticut 06794
860-868-9131  •   info@steeprockassoc.org

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