May 6, 2009
- Eating Locally
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Hudson Valley - Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center and Tivoli Bays Visitors Center
- Capital District - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
- Adirondacks - Adirondack Park Agency Visitors Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths
- Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
- Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
Do you know where your food comes from? In New York, much of our food comes from different parts of the country or world with warmer climates, where plants and fruits can be grown all year. But how many different types of food that you eat are produced right here in New York and maybe even in your own community? A number of livestock farms throughout the state provide beef, lamb, pork, chicken and turkey to grocery stores. Specialty New York farms sell elk meat and venison. Milk and cheese are made at dairy farms throughout upstate New York, and apples and grapes grow well in our colder climate. Many local farms provide fruits and vegetables to local farmers' markets or sell directly from the farm.
Food that is grown locally is fresher and healthier. When you buy food grown locally, you are also supporting your community farmers. So this spring and summer, find a farm or market near you and go shopping, or if the farm allows, pick your own! For a list of farms and markets in your area, visit the Local Harvest website.
Send us an e-mail and tell us what you think about Outdoor Discovery.
Want to get started growing your own vegetable garden? Here are a few things that you have to do before you start:
-Choose an area of your yard that gets six or more hours of direct sunlight.
-Make sure that the area is near a hose or water spigot.
-Level your site so that the water doesn't run off before it is absorbed into the ground. Remove any weeds and/or rocks.
-Make sure that the soil has worms and organic matter like dead leaves to help provide nutrients to your plants. If there aren't any worms, you can always add some!
-Buy some seeds for your favorite vegetables and follow the planting directions on the seed packet.
One, Two, Three
A traditional Native American method of planting is called the "three sisters"-corn, beans and pumpkins-and is a great way to create a garden "fort". First build a mound of soil about a foot high and between 18 inches and 3 feet in diameter. To plant the corn, soak about seven corn seeds overnight and then plant them six inches apart in the center of the mound. A week or two later, soak and then plant six pole bean seeds in a circle about six inches away from the corn. Plant the pumpkin or squash seeds next to the mound, about a foot away from the beans. As your vegetables grow, you will have to thin out the seedlings so that you have three corn plants, four bean plants and one pumpkin/squash plant. The beans will grow around the corn for support, and the pumpkins will shade the soil.
Looking for an adventure this summer for your teenager? Check out DEC's Environmental Education Camps!
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Upcoming DEC Events
Saturday, May 9 at 9:00 AM
The woods will ring with morning birdsong as we look and listen for springtime's migrant songbirds, including scarlet tanagers and rose-breasted grosbeaks.
Saturday, May 16 at 2:00 PM
Wild turkey courtship and mating is in full swing this season. Come and learn about wild turkeys and why they were Ben Franklin's choice for our national symbol.
Tivoli Bays Visitors Center
Wednesday, May 6 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Search for all the creepy, crawly underworld creatures that are underneath your feet.
Wednesday, May 13 from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Snakes are slithering over to the Visitor Center! Come see and touch some of the beautiful snakes of the estuary.
Outdoors After School
Every Thursday from February 26 to June 18 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
A nature walk for grade-school children and their caregivers. Each week will feature a different theme and habitat.
Saturday, May 9, 9:00 AM
Come celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on an auditory tour of the grounds as we engage in "sound science" at the height of the annual spring migration.
Birding for Kids
Saturday, May 9, 2:00 PM
Birds at the feeder and beyond: concepts in bird anatomy, behavior, identification and conservation. Parent and child must accompany each other. Register by Wednesday, May 6.
Friday, May 15, 7:00 PM
We'll monitor our amphibian population by listening for their calls. Bring flashlights. No nets, please.
Call 518-456-0655 to register for the following events.
Leapers, Peepers and Creepers
Saturday, May 16 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Have you ever wondered what creatures utter the peeps, chirps and trills so familiar to spring evenings in the Pine Bush? Since rainy weather makes for good amphibian observing, the walk will not be cancelled in the event of rain.
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
Call 518-582-2000 to register for the following events.
Take a Child Outside Week: Down by the Water's Edge
Thursday, May 7 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians-everyone loves the water's edge. Bring your old sneakers and wear old pants since we might get wet.
Take a Child Outside Week: Nature's Treasure Chest
Friday, May 8 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Using found objects, we will make a basket or box to keep the treasures you find in the woods.
Take a Child Outside Week: Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, May 9 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Enjoy the outdoors with your family on the trails. Stop by the front desk to pick up a scavenger hunt sheet.
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Call 518-327-3000 to register for the following events.
Evening Habitat Hike
Friday, May 8 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Experience the sights and sounds of several different habitats such as marsh, stream and forest.
DEC Summer Camp Open House
Saturday, May 9 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Looking for something for your teenager to do this summer? Come learn about DEC's week-long environmental education camps.
Take a Child Outside Week: Family Fun Hike
Saturday, May 9 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
We will explore the marsh for frogs, look for snakes and salamanders, make some bark rubbings and roast marshmallows.
Central New York
Wildflowers at Cush Hill
Saturday, May 9 at 10:00 AM
What better way to spend time than walking through the woods, enjoying spring's beauty?
Salamanders at Cush Hill
Saturday, May 16 at 10:00 AM
Explore the rocks, logs and crevices of Cush Hill while searching for salamanders.
Western New York
Registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Full Flower Moon Walk
Friday, May 8 at 8:00 PM
Enjoy a walk at the time of year when flowers bloom during the day and the moon is in bloom at night.
Early Bird Walk
Sunday, May 10 at 9:00 AM
The early birder catches the early birds! Search for spring migrants in the morning. Bring binoculars if you have them. For adults and children age 8 and older only.
Sounds of Spring
Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30 PM
Listen for the creatures of the night while taking an evening walk in the woods.
Birding for Beginners
Saturday, May 16 at 9:30 AM
Learn how to identify some common local birds and how to use binoculars properly. Bring binoculars if you have them. For adults and children age 8 and older only.
Evening Bird Walk
Sunday, May 17 at 6:30 PM
Discover which birds are active before dusk. Bring binoculars if you have them. For adults and children age 8 and older only.
Stories in the Woods
Wednesday, May 20 at 1:00 PM
Listen to a nature story, followed by a short walk in the woods. For children ages 3-5 and their caregivers.
Subscribe to Conservationist magazine- New York's award-winning publication with astonishingly beautiful photography and captivating articles.