ARKVILLE — The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development announced the appointment of Margaret (Peg) DiBenedetto to Chair, at its most recent meeting of the Board of Directors. DiBenedetto has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2014.
Peg DiBenedetto was raised on her father’s dairy farm in Halcott Center. As a teenager, DiBenedetto stuffed envelopes for membership mailings on the kitchen table, and even staffed the registration desk at annual meetings. Her mother, Ruth Reynolds, was the first employee of the Catskill Center.
“The Catskill Center is in my blood. I’ve been involved from its inception, and I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the Center and the Catskills in such an important capacity.”
She graduated from Margaretville Central School, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Ecological Sciences from the State University College at Oneonta.
For more than 20 years, DiBenedetto worked in land management for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and hiked much of the Delaware and Greene County Catskills while performing boundary maintenance as well as monitoring Conservation Easements. For several years she monitored bald eagle nests at the Schoharie Reservoir for the DEP, and continues to do so as a volunteer for the New York State Department of Conservation.
She and her husband Michael have been active with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, working to capture and track wintering resident golden eagles of the Catskills.
DiBenedetto has worked on various disaster relief and food aid projects throughout Africa and the Caribbean. Most recently, Guatemala has been top of her travel list, with ShoesForKids, the non-profit she co-founded.
Since her retirement from DEP, DiBenedetto assists at the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center, where she enjoys working with raptors, bears, and other local species. She is also a Trustee for the Michael Kudish Natural History Preserve in Stamford, is a board member of Catskill Neighbors, and a past board chair of The MARK Project.
She and her husband enjoy time in the outdoors with their three grown children and six grandchildren.
Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center, said “we are very grateful to our Board of Directors, former Chair Markley Boyer especially, for providing our organization steadfast guidance and support. As we continue the work of the Center, we are guided by our mission and the legacy championed by our founders and our current and former board members. We warmly welcome our new Chair, Mrs. DiBenedetto, and look forward to continuing our work at the Catskill Center to preserve and protect the Catskills in so many different ways.”