Friends of the Great Swamp is a community group that has been actively advocating for protecting and preserving the Great Swamp since 1990. The group comprises concerned citizens, public agencies, and local businesses and organizations that work together to ensure the functions, values, and integrity of the Great Swamp are maintained.

The Great Swamp is one of the most extensive freshwater wetlands in New York State, spanning over 6,000 acres. It is located in New York’s eastern Putnam and Dutchess Counties, stretching 20 miles through the towns of Southeast, Patterson, Pawling, and Dover. The swamp’s 63,000-acre watershed is an essential resource for many communities, providing clean water, flood control, and wildlife habitat.

To achieve its mission, Friends of the Great Swamp is organized into three committees — scenic and research, education and tourism, and steering — that work collaboratively to collect and share information, promote education programs, encourage wise land-use decisions, and assist in watershed protection planning. The scenic and research committee focuses on research to understand the swamp’s ecology and scenic beauty. The education and tourism committee promotes educational programs and tourism in the area. In contrast, the steering committee oversees the activities of the other two committees and coordinates with local governments and agencies to ensure the protection and preservation of the swamp.