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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Reinstein Woods Scout Programs

Badges

We are usually able to accommodate groups of scouts who are looking to work on a specific badge requirement, for example: tree identification, wildflower identification, birdwatching, etc. If you have scouts who are looking to work on a badge, please inform the staff when you call to schedule a program. You may be asked to provide a copy of the requirements to Reinstein Woods staff prior to the program.

Eagle Scouts

We have Eagle Scout project opportunities available. Past Eagle Scout projects have included coordinating stream cleanup, constructing deer exclosures, building a composting bin, and rehabilitating trails. Call 716-683-5959 to learn more and to schedule a meeting with the service project coordinator.

Service Projects

We can accommodate groups looking to complete service hours with trail maintenance work and other small projects; call to arrange a work day at Reinstein Woods. Scouts can also participate in the Annual Spring Cleanup held on the first Saturday in May.

Off-site Programs

A DEC environmental educator will bring nature to your scouts in these exciting educational programs, which last about 45 minutes. Maximum of 25 scouts per session.

Forecast: Frogs
Through hands-on and whole-body activities, scouts take an in-depth look at the adaptations of New York's frogs.

Animal Tracks
Scouts learn about tracks and traces of local wildlife through interactive activities.

Skull Science
Using skulls from New York State wildlife, scouts will explore how the physical features of different species help them to survive in their environment.

CSI: Critter Sign Investigation
Examine evidence left by insects, birds and mammals and interpret these "clues" to learn about local wildlife.

Trash Talk: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Scouts will learn about the three "R's", explore the impact of garbage on the environment, and find out ways to reduce, reuse and recycle at home.

Guided Outdoor Programs

DEC environmental educators or trained volunteers will lead your scouts on an outdoor exploration of nature. These programs are conducted outdoors, last about 1 ½ hours, and are offered year-round (unless otherwise noted). Please plan on about a two-hour time frame for your visit to Reinstein Woods, to allow time for arrival, dividing into groups (if needed), and using the restrooms.

Exploring the Outdoors
A close-up look at nature, emphasizing the development of exploration skills and wonder at the mysteries in the outdoors. Scouts are encouraged to discover and share the excitement of finding a caterpillar or a chipmunk hole. Hands-on activities help younger children to feel comfortable in the outdoors and to appreciate the beauty and fragility of our environment.

Animal Signs
An introduction to some New York State wildlife and their habitats. Scouts will search for "clues"-footprints, gnawed trees, and holes-that animals have left and will use these clues to learn about animals' needs, life processes and interrelationships. Hands-on, inquiry-based activities and natural objects such as pelts and feathers will illustrate wildlife adaptations.

Evening Adventure
Scouts will use their senses while experiencing a walk in the woods in the evening. Learn about animals that are active at night, and the adaptations they use to survive. Hands-on activities help scouts to explore and feel comfortable in the outdoors as the sun goes down. For all ages.

Winter Challenges
Scouts will discover how wildlife survive the cold challenges of the winter season by taking a guided walk on snowshoes to search for animal homes, tracks, and other signs. Minimum of 6" of snow is required to use snowshoes; if there is not enough snow we will walk. Snowshoe rental fee is an additional $5.00 per person. Offered December-February only.

Alien Invasion

Reinstein Woods is pleased to offer new programs that focus on alien (non-native) species. Whether scouts participate in a guided walk, off-site program, or service project at Reinstein Woods, they will be empowered to help stop the spread of harmful invasive species.

Guided "Alien Invasion" Walk
On a visit to Reinstein Woods, scouts will search for "alien" plants and animals, explore the role of humans in spreading non-native species & assess the impact of invasive aliens on the environment. These walks can also include a service project where scouts help remove invasive species.

Off-Site Program
An educator will come to your scout meeting to present an interactive, hands-on program that includes identifying non-native plants, learning how they spread and harm ecosystems, and what scouts can do to help.

Invasive Species Service Projects

  • Bring out your troop to help remove invasive species! Use tools and team-building skills to work together and improve habitats.
  • Eagle Scout projects related to non-native species are also available.

Reservations

Call 716-683-5959 for a program reservation. Please be sure that the date is acceptable to your group before making the reservation, as we are often unable to reschedule groups. Programs may be scheduled on weekdays and weekends, for morning, afternoon or evening times, based on staff and volunteer availability. A minimum of 10 participants (scouts and adults) is required to schedule a program.

Please contact us a minimum of three weeks before your desired date. Off-site programs may be scheduled at any time. For guided outdoor programs, February, May, June, and October are our busiest months; call early to reserve your preferred dates. After making a program reservation, you will receive a confirmation letter by e-mail or by postal mail.

Donations

There is a requested donation of $2.00 per person for guided outdoor programs and $25.00 per off-site program session (payable to "Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve"). Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization which supports education programs at Reinstein Woods. Groups with financial limitations may request a fee waiver.

A $20.00 deposit is requested for guided outdoor programs. The deposit must be received a week before the scheduled program date.

Group Size

To provide the most effective outdoor program experience, large groups are divided into smaller groups. The maximum size allowed is 10-15 (depending on the activity) scouts for each Reinstein Woods tour guide, and a total of 25 people (scouts and adults) per guide.

Chaperones

There must be a minimum of two adult chaperones for each group of scouts. Chaperones must be prepared to participate fully in all activities and may be asked to assist the instructor with some tasks. Chaperones are also responsible for the discipline of the group.

Weather

Scouts and chaperones must be prepared to encounter weather! Watch the weather forecasts before your tour date and encourage parents and scouts to do the same. Please make every effort to see that scouts are prepared for any possible weather conditions. We reserve the right to refuse to take any scout outdoors who is not appropriately dressed for the weather.

Cancellations

If you must cancel your scheduled tour for any reason, please contact us at 716-683-5959 at least one hour before the designated time. We reserve the right to cancel a tour in unsafe conditions (e.g. thunderstorms, high winds, extreme cold). If the weather is questionable, please call us to check the weather conditions at Reinstein Woods and to discuss alternate arrangements (i.e. indoor programs) before departing.

Facilities

Full service bathrooms are available on site. Small groups (maximum 30 people) may use the pavilion or classroom for lunch upon request. Picnic pavilions and restrooms for large groups are available at neighboring Stiglmeier Park (Town of Cheektowaga) on Losson Road. Contact the Cheektowaga Parks Department at 716-656-2280 for more information.