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The Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain (“the Friends”) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the preservation of the local history and natural resources of Rockland Lake, Hook Mountain, Nyack Beach State Park, and Haverstraw Beach State Park. The Friends works in collaboration with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (“PIPC”) and other stakeholders to educate the general public about these parks and protect these public lands for generations to come.

Our Mission
Board of Directors

Board of Directors

David Neil Headshot_2019.jpg

David Neil
Board Chairman

David Neil is a principal at The Durst Organization, one of the largest real estate companies in New York City. He is the former Co-President and Chief Operating Officer of New York Water Taxi / Circle Line Downtown, where he negotiated the successful sale of the company after growing the business and consolidating operations.

David co-founded an independent book publishing company to inspire the next generation of environmentalists, and a nonprofit volunteer organization to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in local communities. He received a Juris Doctor of Law from the University of Chicago Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Vassar College. 

David cherishes his time in nature, especially in the Hudson Valley.  


Elizabeth Co
Board President

Liz’s background includes physical and social sciences, both of which support her passion for nature and its beneficial effects on people.


A clinical social worker and therapist by profession, she joined with other like-minded parents to form the Outdoor Science Alliance, which aims to reconnect children with nature through hands-on, outdoor learning programs that support school curricula. The organization’s work is informed by values of social and environmental justice, conservation, stewardship, and the sheer joy of being in wild spaces.


Diana Cutt

Diana Cutt is a geologist who works in the environmental field helping to clean up contaminated sites. As part of her work she plans and conducts applied research to find solutions for more effective remediation technologies.


Diana is passionate about connecting children with science and nature. Through the Outdoor Science Alliance she works with other scientists and parents to develop and administer programs in the community that take science education outside into our rich local learning environments, including the Hudson River Estuary and Hook Mountain. 


Diana is an avid hiker and can be found, along with her dogs Archie and Ebi, searching for interesting rocks and swimming spots on the local trails.


Everard Findlay

Everard Findlay develops strategies and branding to challenge and empower CEOs, heads of state, and thought leaders from a variety of fields to invest in and believe in a future that benefits stakeholders, citizens, the environment, and society as a whole while building profitability and growth.


Findlay has served on the board of GrowNYC, the Council for the Environment of New York City since 2009 and is now Communications Chair. He is a founding trustee of NeueHouse, tenured board member of Soho House, UNDP Turning Tables, Dartmouth College’s Institute for Cross-engagement, The New York Times’ Friends of TimesTalks Committee and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health National Center for Children in Poverty.


Robert Maher

Robert Maher founded The Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain in 2004. His family (Stevens family) had been residents of Rockland Lake for over 177 years. Robert authored the Rockland Lake, Hook Mountain and Nyack Beach, published in 2014 by Arcadia Publishing.


Bob Mayer

Busy hiking the trails......Bio coming soon.


Bob Stien

Bob Stien is the President and owner of Acme Exterminating. Acme has been providing pest control services to many of the largest institutions and facilities in the New York Metropolitan area for over 60 years.  


Bob is the co-founder of the New York Fathering Conference . The First conference was held in 2015 with 21 workshops and had 350 attendees from 7 states. 


Bob is passionate about the great outdoors. As an environmental educator he is committed to inspiring others to respect and appreciate all that is found in natural settings. He has run programs for the 92nd St.Y, New Settlement Apartments, and for many other organizations. 

He runs a program where he demonstrates how to  Maple syrup at the Marydell Faith and Life Center in Upper Nyack every year in March. This event is co-sponsored by our Friends organization. 


He has served, and continues to serve , on the boards of several non-profits.


Ben Weiland

Ben Weiland is a commercial real estate attorney. He first learned about Hook Mountain’s majesty while working with the Marydell Sisters to conserve property that they owned adjacent to the mountain.


Since then, he’s hiked the shores of the Hudson River and Rockland Lake enough to understand why countless New Yorkers have worked to ensure that these resources benefit all community members.

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