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For Release: Friday, April 13, 2018

DEC Announces 2018 Earth Day Activities

Weeklong Celebration of Earth Day with DEC Regional Family-Friendly Events

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is commemorating the 48th anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored events around the state from April 16 through 22. These family-friendly activities include opportunities for New Yorkers to connect with nature by hiking, observing wildlife, planting trees, and learning about the importance of protecting the environment.

Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 after he toured the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. On April 22, 1970, demonstrations by an estimated 20 million Americans advocated for a healthy, sustainable environment.

Later that same year, DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were created and the Clean Air Act was enacted, providing the authority for federal and state governments to limit emissions. In 1972, sweeping amendments were made to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, predecessor to the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act became law in 1973.

Additional announcements will be made during New York's weeklong celebration of Earth Day. For more information about Earth Day, including a full, detailed listing of this year's regional family-friendly events and "50 At Home Earth Day Tips," visit the DEC website.

Highlighted Earth Week 2018 Events at DEC Environmental Education Centers include:

Hudson Valley
Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
For more information call 845-831-3800 or visit foundation@stonykill.org
Additional Information: Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center

  • Open Barn: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    Saturday, April 14; Sunday, April 15; Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22

    Visit cows, pigs, sheep and chickens and learn about the importance of agriculture in the Hudson Valley and how to help support local farmers. The lambs are here!

Capital District
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
, 56 Game Farm Road Delmar, NY 12054
For more information call 518-475-0291 or e-mail 5Rivers@dec.ny.gov
Additional Information: Five Rivers Environmental Education Center

  • Watchable Wildlife: Welcoming Back the Early Spring Migrants
    April 14, 10 - 11:30 a.m.

    While mid-May brings waves of returning warblers and other songbirds, "spring" migration begins much sooner. We will watch for birds that typically return at the end of March or the beginning of April to breed at Five Rivers (e.g., Wood Duck, Killdeer, American Kestrel, and Tree Swallow). We may also see birds who are passing through early because they still have miles to go before they breed (e.g., Palm Warblers or northern-breeding waterfowl). Bring binoculars if you have them. A limited supply will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
    NOTE: Organized groups (scouts, schools, hiking clubs, etc.) are welcome, but are asked to call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register.

  • Do You Have a Question?
    Saturday April 14, 2 - 3:30 p.m.

    Did you find or see or hear something interesting at Five Rivers or home and want to know more about it? Ask a Naturalist! A Five Rivers educator will be on hand in the visitor center's exhibit hall to answer, or help find answers to questions you may have. Bring pictures if you have them.
    NOTE: Organized groups (scouts, schools, hiking clubs, etc.) are welcome, but are asked to call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register.

  • Family Fun: Outdoors After School
    Thursday April 19, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

    Join us after school to get some fresh air, stretch your legs, and have fun outdoors. We'll meet in front of the visitor center to head out on an adventure. Each week will have a different theme and will include time to explore. Come for as many sessions as you'd like, and dress for outdoor activity. For children in grades K-5 and their caregivers.

  • Family Fun: Nature Journals for Kids
    Saturday April 21, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
    April 21 marks the 180th anniversary of the birth of John Muir, noted naturalist and author, and April 22 is Earth Day. We'll celebrate both by reading a picture book about John Muir, going for a walk, and starting our own nature journal to take home, just as he did.
    NOTE: Organized groups (scouts, schools, hiking clubs, etc.) are welcome, but are asked to call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register.

  • Guided Walk: Vlomankill Trail and Fordham's Crossing
    Saturday April 21, 2 - 3 p.m.

    Join us as we explore this stunning ravine, following the path of the Vlomankill from the trailhead to where it flows into Heron Pond. Along the way, we'll keep our eyes open for early wildflowers and other springtime treasures.
    NOTE: Organized groups (scouts, schools, hiking clubs, etc.) are welcome, but are asked to call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register.

Central NY, Region 7
Rogers Environmental Education Center
, 2721 State Route 80, Sherburne, NY 13460
For more information call 607-674-4733 or visit info@FriendsOfRogers.org
Additional Information: Rogers Environmental Education Center

  • Storytime
    Wednesday, April 18, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

    Join us every Wednesday for songs and a story, followed by a short hike along the trails. Bring a snack or a picnic lunch to enjoy with friends.

  • Family Fun Program - "Bed" Time
    Saturday, April 21, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

    Spring's arrival means time to start the gardens at Rogers Center, otherwise known as "Bed" Time! Join Friends of Rogers in preparing beds and starting seeds. Many hands help the gardens grow!

  • "Catch-up" and Mustard Day
    Sunday, April 22, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    Join Rogers as we catch up on trail work, pull garlic mustard and do our spring cleaning. Then join us for some ketchup and/or mustard on a hot dog!

Buffalo Area
Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center
, 93 Honorine Dr. Depew, NY 14043
For more information call 716-683-5959 or e-mail reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov
Additional Information: Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center

  • Citizen Science: Project Budburst
    Saturday April 14, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

    Become a volunteer and learn how phenology (a plant's natural life cycle) affects wildlife and is affected by climate change. For adults and children ages 10 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

  • Senior Stroll
    Wednesday April 18, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    Experience nature at your own pace, and enjoy a leisurely guided walk through the woods. Bring a lunch if you want to eat indoors after the tour. For adults only. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

  • Night Hike
    Wednesday April 18, 7 - 9 p.m.
    Enjoy an evening walk under the stars and interactive quiz along the trail to discover the compatibility of your nocturnal spirit animals. For adults ages 18 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

  • After School Escape
    Thursday April 19, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
    Together, kids and their parents or caregivers can enjoy a different, fun, hour-long outdoor activity each week. For children in grades K through 5. No registration required.

  • Phragmites Strike Team Meeting
    Thursday April 19, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
    If you enjoy getting outside and want to help maintain healthy wetlands at Reinstein Woods, join our Strike Team! Volunteers are needed to monitor and remove Phragmites australis, an invasive plant also known as common reed. Team members will learn monitoring protocols and removal techniques. Monitoring will take place throughout the spring and summer. No experience needed. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

  • Woods Walk-Spring Flowers
    Saturday, April 21, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    Join a guided nature walk to search for the early wildflowers of spring. No registration required.

  • Make a Reusable Bag
    Saturday, April 21, 2 - 4 p.m.

    Stop in with your old t-shirts and plastic bags and we'll help you transform them in to reusable bags and holders for all your shopping needs. No registration required, call 716-683-5959 for more information.

  • Birding 101 Class # 4
    Saturday April 21, 2:30 - 4 p.m.
    Who's in the pond? Who's flying over the pond? And who's hiding in the reeds? Learn about the ducks and wetland birds of Reinstein Woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.
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