Hoffman Center is a not-for-profit corporation and private operating
foundation established in 1996 to purchase a 155-acre parcel and operate
it as a nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary.
The foundation’s motivation
for acquiring the site was to preserve one of the area’s largest pieces
of open space, as well as its many historically significant buildings,
and to establish a lasting tribute to Marion O. and Maximilian E.
At the time of the site’s purchase, plans
were already underway for subdivision development.
The goal from the onset was for the site to
serve as a Center for environmental education for visitors of all ages
and to foster native flora and fauna.
Since 1996, the Directors of Hoffman Center have
devoted themselves to painstakingly restoring every detail of the site’s
seriously deteriorated 48-room “Gold Coast” era mansion.
The site boasts open meadows,
secondary oak-brush, tall mixed deciduous forest, restored indigenous
grasslands, vernal and man-made ponds, and is a haven to at least 49
species of butterflies, 149 resident and migrating birds, and more than
150 native plant species.
The Center is particularly proud of its
reintroduction of native animal and plant species once thought lost to
the area, including bluebirds, fledged from bluebird boxes, and Pink
Lady Slipper Orchids, a rare and protected species of flower.
After acquiring the site, the
Center immediately established a partnership with the Theodore Roosevelt
Sanctuary & Audubon Center for their capable staff of naturalists to
conduct a Wildlife Inventory and Management Plan, an Avian Survey,
Mammal and Vegetation Surveys, Habitat Mapping, and habitat management.
The Center hosts free Nature Tours twice
monthly, and a lecture series in conjunction with the New York State
Planting Fields Arboretum.
Restoration also continues on the site’s Alfred E.
Hopkins-designed Carriage House and Farm Estate Group that includes a
cow barn, dairy production barn and two cottages.
Future plans also call for restoration of the greenhouse.