March 21, 2012
- Environmental Stewardship - What Can You Do to Help?
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
Environmental Stewardship - What Can You Do to Help?
Environmental stewardship refers to responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation. Environmental stewards work to protect our wildlife, habitats and natural resources, like air, water, land, energy and minerals. While some people's work involves direct stewardship activities managing resources, most of us are not focused on stewardship every day. Individuals or groups can be environmental stewards. You can even be an environmental steward without realizing it. Every day, we make choices: what to do, what to buy, where to go and how to get there, how to behave. Many of our choices affect the environment. If we keep the effects of our decisions in mind and make responsible choices, we can all be environmental stewards.
If one incandescent light bulb in every American home was replaced with an Energy Star® bulb, the country would save $600 million in energy bills, conserve enough energy to light 7 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1 million cars.
Now imagine how much we could protect the environment if we all turned off the water when we brush our teeth, recycled every day and picked up litter!
We all live in a watershed. Find out what a watershed is and how you can help protect it.
Adopt a Natural Resource Program
New York State has a program that encourages volunteers to help take care of state-owned natural resources like forests and streams. Volunteers pick up litter, help maintain nature trails, remove invasive plants and take care of fish and wildlife habitats.
If you belong to a youth group or school organization looking for a project, check DEC's Adopt a Natural Resource Program to see whether you can help.
Send us an e-mail and tell us what you think about Outdoor Discovery.
Subscribe to Conservationist magazine-New York's award-winning publication with astonishingly beautiful photography and captivating articles.
Learn the best places to view wildlife at DEC's Watchable Wildlife pages.
We often pass right by litter without even noticing it. Go on an un-nature hike to tune yourself in to what doesn't belong in the woods. Have someone hide ten objects along a short trail in the woods or other natural area. Some ideas include leaving a candy wrapper sticking out slightly from under a rock, putting a pen in a tree or tossing a banana peel under a bush. Walk along the trail with your friends (not the person who hid the items), and try to find what doesn't belong in nature and bring it back with you. Could an animal have mistaken an item for food? Make sure you pick up all the objects and dispose of them properly.
Little Actions Lead to Big Changes
You don't have to commit to a big project to become an environmental steward. Check the "Students for the Environment" section of the Environmental Protection Agency's website (this link leaves DEC's website) to find out more about environmental issues. The "Pick 5" section asks you to commit to five actions that will help protect the environment. The student section also has great features like games, homework resources and "What I Want" videos, where kids tell what they want to do for the environment this Earth Day, April 22.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Upcoming DEC Events
Programs at Stony Kill are now offered by the Stony Kill Foundation (This link leaves DEC's website); there are no DEC education staff at the site due to fiscal constraints.
Open Barn Tour
Saturdays and Sundays, March 24, 25, 31 and April 1 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Is It Spring?
Friday, March 23 at 7:00 PM
Family Fun: Maple Sugar Open House
Saturdays, March 24 and 31 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Organized groups are welcome but must call 518-475-0291 to register.
Albany Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center (This link leaves DEC's website)
Sunday, March 25 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Call 518-456-0655 or go the Albany Pine Bush website to register. Cost: $3.00/person, $5.00/family, children under 5 free.
More events at Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center (This link leaves DEC's website)
Western New York
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Thursdays, March 22 and 29 at 4:30 PM
Enjoy a one-hour program for kids, featuring a different, fun, outdoor activity each week. For children in grades K through 5. No registration required.
Spotted Salamanders on the Move
Friday, March 23 at 7:00 PM
For adults and children ages 8 and older. Call 716-683-5959 to register.
Climate Change Café
Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 PM
Participants will receive a free copy of the book Low Carbon Diet: A 30-Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds and develop an action plan to save energy at home and at work. Call 716-683-5959 to register.
Snowy with a Chance of Salamanders
Saturday, March 31 at 10:30 AM
Call 716-683-5959 to register.
Every Tuesday from April through September, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Assist with stewardship projects to help maintain and improve ecosystems and trails throughout the preserve. A variety of projects ensures there is something for almost every age and ability. Call 716-683-5959 to register.