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For Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014

Commissioner Martens Announces DEC's Regional 2014 Earth Day Activities for Weeklong Celebration

Diverse Environmental Activities Planned Throughout the State

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will commemorate the 44th Anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored events around the state from April 19 through April 27, DEC Commissioner Martens announced today. The earth-friendly activities include a range of ways the public can connect to nature by partaking in hikes, observing natural wildlife, tree plantings and a variety of exhibits to educate New Yorkers on the importance of sustaining the environment.

"Earth Day is always a good reminder to individuals, families, communities, businesses and government to appreciate and recognize the benefits of the environment and it raises awareness to the best ways we can sustain our natural resources," said Commissioner Martens. "I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in some of the state's week-long activities and learn more ways we can help protect the environment in our daily lives. We all play a role in ensuring that future generations are able to enjoy the state's natural resources and benefit from a clean 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.

In the same year as the first Earth Day, DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (December) 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, which was the predecessor to the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act became law in 1973.

Earth Week 2014 Activities

Additional announcements in celebration of Earth Day will be made throughout next week.

Saturday, April 19
Earth Day Guided Walk: John Muir's Gifts: 10:00 a.m.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
Join us as we celebrate the 176th anniversary of the birth of John Muir, noted naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, and the 44th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Walk through the woods and be inspired by Muir's writings. "Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

Family Fun: Black Bear: 10:00 a.m.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
Families are invited to learn about black bears during this fun, hands-on presentation. Discover what kinds of food bears like to eat that people also enjoy, and play a game about how bears survive in the forest.

The Fallen Log: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Rogers Environmental Education Center, 2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne
Come out and welcome spring with the Friends of Rogers staff as we venture out on the trail to explore the hidden world of fallen logs. A fallen log leaves a lot of resources behind for other living things to use. Things we will look for are insects, plants, amphibians and much more.

Animal Superpowers: 2:00 PM
Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew
They may not be faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive, but many animals have abilities beyond those of humans. Take a walk and learn about some of the amazing residents of the woods. Registration is required; please call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

Tuesday, April 22
Trail Tuesdays: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew
Turn your love for the outdoors into rewarding action. Every April through August from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., assist with projects to help maintain and improve ecosystems and trails throughout the preserve. There is something for almost every age and ability to help with! Refreshments provided. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

Wednesday, April 23
Toddler Story Time and Hike: 10:00 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Rogers Environmental Education Center, 2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne
Songs and a story start off this family friendly program followed by a short hike on one of the trails. Bring a snack or a picnic lunch to enjoy after the hike with your new found friends. For children ages one to four. Join Friends of Rogers every Wednesday, 10 - 11 a.m. for these special programs for toddlers. For more information call 607-674-4733.

DEC Tribute to Anne LaBastille: 12:00 p.m.
DEC Headquarters, 625 Broadway, Albany PA Room 129
Recognize the very significant contributions she made to conservation and women in conservation. Anne was an internationally known ecologist and pioneer in the conservation ecology for women, author of books and many scientific articles.

Thursday, April 24
After-School Escape: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew
Children in grades K through 5 and their caregivers are invited to enjoy a one-hour program for kids featuring fun, outdoor activities.

Woodcock Walk: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
Join Center Director Ray Perry and members of the Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club to listen for the flight of the woodcock, one of the most distinguished sounds of spring.

Container Gardening Workshop: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls
Find out what makes a great looking container garden. Discussion will include how to select plants of different heights, characteristics and colors that will create a unique combination. For adults; $5.00 per person. Register via email at foundation@stonykill.org.

Friday, April 25
Owl Prowl: 7:30 PM
Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew
Learn about local owls and listen for their calls on a walk in the woods. Program sponsored by Friends of Reinstein to raise funds for purchasing new owl mounts. Fee $2.00/person; Friends of Reinstein members fee is $1.00. For adults and children ages 8 and older. Registration is required; please call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

Saturday, April 26
John James Audubon's Birthday Walk: 9:00 a.m.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
Celebrate the birth of ornithologist and painter John James Audubon. Birds of America is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed and inspired an interest in birds that continues to this day. Observe birds in the field and compare them to their images in Audubon's paintings.

Earth Day Project: Canal Clean Sweep: 9:00 a.m.
Albany Boat Launch at the Corning Preserve, Albany
Five Rivers staff and Student Conservation Association environmental educators invite volunteers to help beautify the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, starting at the Albany Boat Launch at the Corning Preserve in Albany and working northward. Garden gloves are recommended. Trash bags will be provided. Meet at the Albany Boat Launch at 9:00 a.m. Please call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 for more information. Registration is helpful but not required.

Maintaining Trails Workshop: 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls
This workshop is conducted by the NY/NJ Trail Conference for volunteers who are interested in helping maintain the eight miles of trails at Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center. Adults should register via email at foundation@stonykill.org to participate in the workshop.

Name that Tree: 10:00 a.m.
Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew
What better way to celebrate Arbor Day than to take a hike in the woods and identify common trees? Join Reinstein staff to discover the tricks to tree ID and learn fun tree facts along the way. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

I-Fish-NY Public Fishing Program at Norrie Point: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Norrie Point Environmental Center, 256 Norrie Point Way, Staatsburg
Fishing the River program: Seining in the cove and angling on the back deck with the DEC's I Fish NY program.

Open Barn: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls
Visit cows, sheep and chickens and learn about the importance of agriculture in the Hudson Valley and how to help support local farmers.

Guided Walk: North Loop: 2:00 p.m.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar
Explore the forests of the North Loop Trail. Spring is a special time of year in the forest and is ideal for observing ephemeral native plants, vernal pools, and new buds. Enjoy a two-mile guided hike as we see the forest come to life.

For more information and background on Earth Day, including 50 At Home Earth Day tips, visit the DEC website.

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