April 18, 2012
- Earth Day Every Day
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Hudson Valley - Norrie Point and Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Centers
- Capital District - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
- Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
- Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
Earth Day Every Day
On April 22-Earth Day-we celebrate our planet by participating in activities that are good for the environment and for us as well. U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (1916-2005) was the founder of Earth Day. Senator Nelson planned an environmental demonstration, and he invited everyone to participate. Twenty million demonstrators and thousands of schools and communities across the country participated in the first Earth Day in 1970. Now children learn about the environment in school, and colleges and universities offer degrees in environmental sciences.
We have come a long way since the early days of our country, when the need to protect the environment and conserve resources was not as well understood. Along the way, there have been people who have made a difference and changed the way we think about our planet. They are our conservation heroes.
New York's Conservation Heroes
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919) loved the outdoors and visiting the Adirondacks as a child. When he became president in 1901, he made a promise to protect the environment. President Roosevelt created the U.S. Forest Service, 150 national forests and five national parks. He also started work to create the National Park Service.
John Burroughs (1837 - 1921) is called the father of the American nature essay. As he traveled the Hudson Valley and Catskills, he used scientific books to attach names to the birds that he saw. He wrote 23 volumes of nature essays. His writing enabled people who lived in the city to appreciate the great outdoors.
Anna Botsford Comstock (1854 - 1930) is the mother of nature education. She believed that teachers should take students outside to learn. Anna developed the nation's first lesson plans for educating elementary students outdoors. Her ideas and plans spread throughout the country, and colleges like Cornell University in Ithaca began teaching environmental science. The book she published more than 100 years ago is still used today.
Bob Marshall (1901 - 1939) was a strong champion of the wilderness. He spent his childhood summers at a family camp in Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. His father helped to protect the Adirondacks and Catskills and make them "forever wild." Bob supported preserving forest land instead of cutting trees down for timber. He encouraged preserving the woods as a place to escape from city crowds.
To learn about more conservation heroes, read the August 2008 issue of Conservationist magazine.
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.
Be an Environmental Reporter
People think about nature and the environment a lot differently than they did 50 or 100 years ago. Interview an adult who remembers when things were much different than they are today-even 20 years ago. Here are some questions to get you started:
-Are there animals that lived in your area that don't anymore?
-Did you spend a lot of time outdoors when you were young?
-As a child, what environmental issues did you learn about at school or were you aware of?
-How did you feel about the environment as a child? How have your attitudes changed?
Keep a Nature Journal
People appreciate nature more if they take the time to enjoy it. If you are patient during your wildlife viewing, you can see a lot of different animals. Keep a record or nature journal (pdf-104Kb) of your experiences and observations. Bring a notebook with you when you go outdoors, and write down the date and what you see, hear and even smell. Make sure that you note the location, in case you want to go back to the same spot again. You can draw sketches of things that you see or take photographs and include them. If you are unsure of what type of animal you are watching, look it up later in a field guide or on the Internet. Remember to include a photo or drawing of it in your nature journal.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Upcoming DEC Events
Programs at Stony Kill are now offered by the Stony Kill Foundation; there are no DEC education staff at the site due to fiscal constraints.
Open Barn Tour
Saturdays and Sundays, April 22, 23, 28 and 29 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Friends of Five Rivers 40th Anniversary and Awards Reception
Friday, April 20 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Call the Friends of Five Rivers at 518-475-0295 for ticket information.
Teacher Workshop: Project Wild
Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Participants will receive a free Project WILD K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide. Please call the center at 518-475-0291 to register by Wednesday, April 18.
Earth Day Project: Canal Clean Sweep
Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Help beautify the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, starting at the Colonie Town Park entrance and going west to Dunsbach Ferry Road. Garden gloves recommended. Bags will be provided. Meet at the Colonie Town Park entrance at 9:00 AM. Please call 518-475-0291 for more information.
Earth Day Project: Plant Trees at Five Rivers
Saturday, April 21 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM
Join us for an afternoon tree-planting project in celebration of Earth Day, as we seek to improve wildlife habitat along our eastern border. We'll provide the trees and shovels. You provide the planting holes. Boots and garden gloves are helpful. In the event of inclement weather, this project will be postponed. Please call 518-475-0291 by Tuesday, April 17 to register.
Citizen Science: Woodcock Watch
Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 PM
Citizen Science: Frog Watch
Friday, April 27 at 7:30 PM
Waterproof footwear and flashlights recommended. Call the center at 518-475-0291 for more information.
Tree and Shrub Pickup Sale
Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 to 4:00 PM
Shipping charges will be waived for those who order trees and shrubs from the nursery for pickup at Five Rivers on this date. Order forms are available online or at Five Rivers. Orders must be placed and paid for by Monday, April 23. Call 518-587-1120 for more information.
Project Learning Tree Teacher Workshop: Focus on Forests
Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM
These interactive workshops will introduce teachers of grades 9 through 12 new hands-on activities which will help students see the forest for the trees, while meeting state and national academic standards. Please call 518-475-0291 to register by Thursday, April 19 for either or both workshops (see below).
Project Learning Tree Teacher Workshop: Places We Live
Saturday, April 28 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Albany Pine Bush Preserve Discovery Center (this link leaves DEC's website)
Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Volunteers will perform a variety of tasks that may include trash cleanup, invasive species removal, planting willows, boundary posting, trail clearing, habitat restoration and interpretive projects. Groups of all ages and abilities are welcome. Please come prepared with sturdy shoes, clothes that can get dirty and drinking water.
More events at Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center (this link leaves DEC's website)
Central New York
Programs at Rogers are now offered by the Friends of Rogers (this link leaves DEC's website); there are no DEC education staff at the site due to fiscal constraints.
Kids Drop-In Program
Saturday, April 21 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Dress for the weather and parents must stay with their children for the duration of participation.
Rogers Earth Day Spring Cleaning Event
Saturday, April 22 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Celebrate Earth Day by helping with spring cleaning in and around the Rogers Environmental Education Center to improve environmental education opportunities at Rogers. All are welcome to participate. Organizations and individuals are invited to sign up to work on an area around the center they are most interested in improving for the public. Pack a lunch if you would like to stay all day, or just join us when you are available. Friends of Rogers will provide beverages for volunteers on the day of the event. Please bring your own work gloves and additional tools if you have some available. For more information and to register, call 607-674-4733 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Western New York
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Thursdays, April 19 and 26 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.
Friday, April 20 at 7:30 PM
Fee = $2.00 per person; Friends of Reinstein members = $1.00. For adults and children ages 8 and older. Call 716-683-5959 to register.
Garlic Mustard Challenge Kickoff
Saturday, April 21 at 11:00 AM
Gather your scout troop, science club or other organization, and compete with other groups to see who can remove the most garlic mustard from the woods. The group who picks the most will receive a prize! Call 716-683-5959 to register.
Trees along the Trail
Saturday, April 28 at 10:30 AM
Call 716-683-5959 to register.
Every Tuesday from April through September from 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.