July 15, 2009
- Clean Air
- 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
Clean air is necessary to our health and the health of our planet. When harmful chemicals, particles or other matter are released into the atmosphere, the result is air pollution. Some air pollutants are produced from natural events, including lightning strikes, volcanoes and wildfires. However, human activities such as transportation, manufacturing and electrical production release large amounts of pollutants.
Air pollution can harm human health, resulting in respiratory and cardiovascular problems, eye irritation and other diseases. Pollutant overload can also threaten plant and animal life and even erode building materials. What can you do to help clean up our air? Here are some simple steps you can take:
-Reduce your driving by making one trip for many errands
-Walk, bike or carpool instead of driving
-Conserve energy around your house by turning off appliances and lights when you aren't using them
-Recycle newspapers, bottles, plastics and cans
-Choose products with minimal packaging
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Rain, Rain, Go Away
To find out what particles are in the air, place a clean jar in an open area just as it begins to rain. Leave the jar out during the first hour that it is raining. Using a rubber band, secure a clean coffee filter over the opening of the jar, and pour the rainwater into a second jar or bowl. Remove the coffee filter and turn it over to see what the rain washed out of the atmosphere. Use a magnifying glass to examine the filter for particles of dirt and other pollutants.
The Air We Breathe
The air around our homes is filled with dust, dirt, soot and other floating material. In the previous experiment, you learned about finding the pollutants that you can see. But what about invisible gaseous pollutants? Try this experiment in several different locations (such as your backyard, a forest, a city) to test the air we breathe. Take a piece of cardboard and place three or four rubber bands around it and lay it in a shady location. Check the rubber bands every day. The faster they become brittle and snap, the more pollutants there are in the air. Ozone (a poisonous form of oxygen) is known to crack rubber products. The more ozone in the air, the faster the rubber bands will break. Note the different times it took for the rubber band to become brittle in each location that you tried the experiment.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Saturday, July 18 at 10:00 AM
What edible and non-edible wild fruits can we find growing along the paths and grounds of Stony Kill?
Saturday, July 25 at 6:30 PM
Make a firefly lantern and learn how fireflies use bioluminescence to find a mate or a meal.
Saturday, July 18 at 2:00 PM
In summer, there's no such thing as an eager beaver. There are no seasonal floods to require dam repair, the kits are being weaned and there's plenty of food. Join us to monitor the summer activity of the beaver.
Tuesday, July 21 at 7:00 PM
Join us for an outdoor evening stroll to the Jones Barn where we will watch for bats emerging for their night of foraging.
Home Tweet Home
Saturday, July 25 at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Join us for a nature walk with activities about bird nests of all shapes and sizes. Fun for the whole family. Call 518-475-0291 to register by Tuesday, July 21.
Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 PM
Remember catching fireflies as a kid? Join us for an evening walk to take a census of fireflies and learn about how we can help these magical beetles.
Family Summer Camp: Pine Bush Adventurers
Thursdays, July 16 and 23 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Calling all kids!! Bring your favorite adult to this daytime summer camp to explore and learn about the great outdoors and the Albany Pine Bush. Suitable for children ages 7 - 10 years. Call 518-456-0655 to register. Cost: $2.00/person per day.
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
Tuesday, July 21 from 10:00 AM to Noon
This summer our family programs feature reptiles and amphibians. Wear clothes that you can get dirty. Adults must attend and participate in the program with their children. Cost: $5/family, free/Adirondack Park Institute members. Call 518-582-2000 to register.
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Saturday, July 18 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Be inspired by the beautiful butterflies and caterpillars in the Butterfly House and then come and craft your own winged wonder.
Summer Wagon Ride
Saturday, July 25 from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM
The Paul Smith's College Draft Horse Club will have its draft horses hitched up to offer wagon rides to view the summer woods. Call 518-327-3000 to schedule a time and meeting location. Cost: $5/adult, $2/child, $3/Adirondack Park Institute members.
Summer Children's Series for ages 4 to 10
Friday, July 17 from 10:30 AM to Noon
Crab spiders, monarch butterflies and snakes, oh my! We will get close to the ground to explore the many wonders of the field. Call 607-674-4017 to register.
Friday, July 24 from 10:30 AM to Noon
Walk on the wild side with your eyes wide open as we visit the woods. How many creatures and features can you spot? Call 607-674-4017 to register.
Canoe/Kayak Unadilla River
Saturday, July 18 from 8:30 AM to Noon
Join us for a paddle down the beautiful Unadilla River. Equipment provided or bring your own. Call 607-674-4017 to register. Cost: $5 per paddler due at registration.
Kopac Trail Hike
Saturday, July 25 from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
The Kopac Trail passes through a conifer forest and by two ponds. Call 607-674-4017 to register.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Pond Life for Peewees
Saturday, July 18 at 10:30 AM
Dive into the world of aquatic organisms and see what is living in our ponds. For children ages 4 to 8; parent or guardian must attend.
Insects of the Night
Tuesday, July 21 at 8:30 PM
We will attract moths and other insects using light and scent on this evening walk.
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