Zelený Les Land Features

blue spruce

Blue spruce planted in memory of Sr. Mary Owen, a close family friend – Photo: Sarah Butler Peck

Antonín Tutter will forever be remembered as a planter of trees. A native of the Czech Republic, he spent many hours during his youth in the forests of his hometown in southern Bohemia, Nova Cerekev. His affinity for evergreen trees, planted in his homeland for logging, gave form to his personal vision of Zelený Les through the practice of tree planting. Resident artists at Zelený Les will witness cycles of growth and decay, most evidenced by extant plantations giving way to new deciduous growth. Memorial trees are located at multiple sites on the property.

Kidd Brook is a protected stream under the aegis of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The segment of the brook flowing between the northern and southern boundaries of Zelený Les is midway between its headwaters in Meredith township and its confluence with the west branch of the Delaware River in Delhi.

Kidd Brook, photo: Margaret Bellafiore

Kidd Brook, photo: Margaret Bellafiore

Generations offamilies living in the original farmhouse were lulled to sleep by the endless song of Kidd Brook. Epic flooding of the brook occurs every 10-15 years. The flood of June 2006 took out the bridge; it was rebuilt in 2009, reconnecting the two halves of the property. Experienced fly fishers can pull surprisingly good-sized brook trout out of this tiny stream.


Photo: Margaret Bellafiore

In 1982 a newly-configured road was created between the main road and the original homestead in the valley. The presence of a bulldozer on the property inspired Adele Tutter to create a spring-fed pond as a new addition to the landscape. In the summer of 1984, a ¾ acre, 17-foot depression was excavated on a leveled portion of open field, partially bounded by forest, resulting in a pristine water body. Swarms of tadpoles blacken the shore waters in late spring and early summer, maturing into diminutive frogs that live in the nearby grass. Dragonflies patrol its shores, and at certain times of the day and after rainfall, a chorus of peepers may be heard. The pond is stocked with wide mouth bass, which may be fished. A cluster of massive field stones by the water’s edge provides a place to read, reflect, and enjoy the beauty and seclusion of this spot.

Wooded trail at Zeleny Les

Photo: Anton Tutter

In 1983, an extensive network of wooded trails similar to the logging roads of Southern Bohemia were created and joined to the old cow-paths on Zelený Les. Mature tree canopies meet overhead, sheltering the trails from the sun, while a thick blanket of pine needles provides cushioning underfoot. Old moss-covered stone walls that marked former pastures intersect the paths. Antonín Tutter created whimsical names for many of the trails, including “Tree Top”, “Willy’s Way”, “Deer Crossing” and others. For his 65th birthday, his wife Adele and son Anton made wooden signs to mark the trails with those names, some of which are still in place. Click here for image gallery and map.

Zeleny Les Trail Map

Click to enlarge trail map

Setting | Catskill Scenic Trail | NYC Watershed