Spring 2011 The Greenest New Yorker
What does it mean to be green? How green are you? How did you become green? These are great questions to pose when talking with your students about Earth Day (annually on April 22) and Arbor Day (annually in New York State on the last Friday in April). Being green may include recycling, composting, cutting down on consumption, making non-motorized transportation choices, carpooling, or choosing public transportation. It can also include visiting parks and natural areas when deciding how and where to spend our leisure hours. Being green means being mindful of the effects our choices have on the environment every day, whether locally, regionally, nationally or globally.
For many, the path to being green involved someone showing the way-a mentor. Mentors help us to make wise choices, first guiding us and then sending us to discover new truths for ourselves. Consider with your students who their mentors and role models have been as they make green choices. Who is the greenest person they know? Is this person someone they look up to and learn from about how to make green choices for themselves?
In 2010, I LOVE NY initiated the Green Heart NY program to showcase green tourism in New York State. As part of that effort, they began an annual contest to name the Greenest NYer. From submissions and nominations reviewed by a panel of contest judges, a New York State resident is selected to serve for one year. The recipient is named on or around Earth Day each year. Through this issue of Conservationist for Kids, we introduce the first Greenest NYer (2010), Kaity Tsui, and the Green Heart NY program. The contest rules stipulate that nominees must be at least 21 years old, so fourth grade students are ineligible to win. To participate, they are encouraged nominate someone who has motivated them to "go green." Contest rules can be found on I LOVE NY's website. Nominations will be accepted in March and early April. Check the website each year for the exact dates and make it a new tradition to nominate the greenest person you know!
Across New York State are numerous places to view and enjoy wildlife. Visit DEC's Watchable Wildlife web pages or click on the owl eyes and binocular logo on the right-hand side of DEC's home page for information about where to view wildlife and what kinds of wildlife may be found at different sites, statewide. You can search by location or by species. Tips on watching and photographing wildlife can also be found. With so many Watchable Wildlife locations and species to choose from, whether close to home and an easy day trip, or farther afield, there's something for everyone.
For teachers who have participated in a Project Learning Tree workshop, the activities listed below complement the spring 2011 issue of Conservationist for Kids. Visit DEC's teacher workshop page for information about workshops and about how to obtain curriculum and activity guides.
- Adopt a Tree
- I'd like to Visit a Place Where…
- Improve Your Place
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Trees for Many Reasons