by Lauren Miller and Jessica Andreone
If you have ever visited Olana, there is a good chance that you’ve seen his face–helping guide visitors throughout Olana’s landscape and assisting The Olana Partnership staff with projects.
Garry Nack has a deep relationship with Olana. He has been coming to the site long before his hair turned grey and a handlebar mustache graced his upper lip. In fact, Nack remembers as a young child when Olana became a New York State Historic Site in 1967.
“We used to be able to sleigh ride and ice skate on the pond,” said Nack.
For Nack, Olana is home to multitudes of memories that have taken place across the landscape and even stretch outside the boundaries of the park. In the 1990s, he and his father pulled all the fish out of Olana’s man-made lake and stocked them in a nearby pond while the lake was drained for maintenance.
Though Nack has had strong ties to Olana throughout his life, he didn’t begin volunteering until 2020.
“I started volunteering in 2020 as covid was hitting–we were amid it all,” said Nack, “I started as a House Guide, but I had been hiking here my whole life. I was on the verge of retirement and thought it was a good way to give back.”
Nack’s volunteer work gave him the opportunity to dive deep into the history of the Hudson Valley and Olana.
“Growing up in the area I thought I knew everything about Olana. I have learned so much more as a volunteer,” said Nack, “Olana is my sanctuary. I love the changes from season to season, the views are spectacular, and the people are great–both staff and visitors.”
To learn more about volunteering at Olana, visit Olana.org/volunteer.