Thanks in large part to the Columbia Land Conservancy, there are several attractive public areas for outdoor activities: Bordon’s Pond Conservation Area comprises a mile of trails through meadows, wetlands and forest. In East Chatham, Schor Conservation Area was established through the generosity of Jonathan Schor to address what was at one time thought to be a critical shortage of public land in Columbia County. Under the auspices of the town Parks and Recreation Department, Crellin Park has soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pond (the “town beach”), skate park, baseball field, fishing, community garden and walking trails.
Natural local swimming areas include the Stony Kill River, Kinderhook Lake and Smith Pond. A significant community resource for over a century is the Morris Memorial Community Center. They host balls for Columbia Memorial Hospital and annual Halloween parties, provide the high school with sports equipment and offer free after-school programs like floor hockey, arts and crafts, computer classes and homework help; foreign language instruction; classes in puppetry, forensics and writing; youth soccer, basketball and track and field.
Chatham NY hosts a highly respected film festival, FilmColumbia. Their mission: “to promote and develop an appreciation of film and filmmaking that enriches the social, cultural, and educational experience of the community, family life, and individuals; and operate and maintain the historic movie house on Main Street, Chatham, the oldest, largest, single-screen movie theatre in Columbia County, added to the National and State Registers of Historic Places in 2017.” The movie house they’re talking about is the Crandell Theater, annually attracting 35,000 people to curated film screenings, after-school filmmaking projects and more. PS21 (Performance Spaces for the 21st Century) is a not-for-profit presenting dance, music and theater. Of course, Chatham NY has been home to the Columbia County Fair since 1840. Other annual events are the Chatham village festival, the Farmers & Makers Market on the village green, OctoberFeast, the SummerFest, WinterFest and Small Business Saturday.