Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Friday, June 23, 2023

DEC Hosts Annual Field Day at Hale Creek Field Station

Students Learn About Environmental Science Through Hands-on Experience

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) hosted students from Fonda-Fultonville Middle School this week for the annual Field Day at the Hale Creek Field Station in Gloversville, Fulton County. Participating students learned about environmental science and natural history through hands-on experiences.

"Connecting young people to New York's natural resources allows them to witness first-hand the impact they have on the health of our environment and the important role they play in protecting it," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "Whether it's identifying fish species or testing water quality, immersing these students in the outdoors is a fun and exciting way to get them involved in nature and may help to cultivate the next generation of environmental stewards."

Organizers at Hale Creek set up rotating stations for the Field Day allowing students to roll up their sleeves and participate in stream ecology, fish identification, pollutants in fish and wildlife, fish processing for pollutant analysis, amphibian identification and ecology, and forest ecology. In addition, during the day-long event, DEC worked with the students to educate them about the impact of invasive species on New York's environment.

DEC established Hale Creek Field Station in 1978 as a multi-disciplinary research facility. Environmental chemists, research scientists, and biologists make up the research team at Hale Creek. The facility's environmental chemistry lab is the only in-state lab that analyzes fish and wildlife for contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals like mercury, and emerging contaminants like polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The facility is located on an 85-acre site that was formerly the Johnstown Fish Hatchery. The property is open to the public and maintains ponds containing fish and race ways stocked with trout. There are several miles of hiking trails on the property providing an excellent opportunity to explore local forest habitats and view the flora and wildlife.

Funding for student transportation to the event was provided by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation through the Connect Kids to Parks Program (leaves DEC website).

"New York State's public lands are exceptional places for students to learn memorable lessons about science, the environment and history," said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. "The Connect Kids to Parks Field Trip Grant program continues to inspire a new generation of conservationists by expanding opportunities for both children and adults to further connect with nature and engage in hands-on learning in the outdoors."

Middle Schoolers gather around DEC staff member at Field Day
Hale Creek Field Day

Middle Schoolers walk into the woods on a trail
Hale Creek Field Day

DEC staff shows a diagram to middle schoolers during Field Day
Hale Creek Field Day

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