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DEC Announes a Week of Earth Day Activities
New York Ag Connection - 04/16/2018

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is commemorating the 48th anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored events around the state from April 16 through 22. These family-friendly activities include opportunities for New Yorkers to connect with nature by hiking, observing wildlife, planting trees, and learning about the importance of protecting the environment.

Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 after he toured the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. On April 22, 1970, demonstrations by an estimated 20 million Americans advocated for a healthy, sustainable environment.

Later that same year, DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were created and the Clean Air Act was enacted, providing the authority for federal and state governments to limit emissions. In 1972, sweeping amendments were made to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, predecessor to the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act became law in 1973.

Additional announcements will be made during New York's weeklong celebration of Earth Day. For more information about Earth Day, including a full, detailed listing of this year's regional family-friendly events and "50 At Home Earth Day Tips," visit the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/public/8804.html.

Highlighted Earth Week 2018 Events at DEC Environmental Education Centers include:

Hudson Valley -- Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center, 79 Farmstead Lane, Wappingers Falls. For more information call 845-831-3800 or visit foundation@stonykill.org. Additional Information: www.dec.ny.gov/education/1833.html

- Open Barn: 11 a.m.-1 p.m., April 21 and 22. Visit cows, pigs, sheep and chickens and learn about the importance of agriculture in the Hudson Valley and how to help support local farmers. The lambs are here!

Capital District -- Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road Delmar. For more information call 518-475-0291 or e-mail 5Rivers@dec.ny.gov. Additional Information: www.dec.ny.gov/education/1835.html

- Family Fun: Outdoors After School, April 19, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Join us after school to get some fresh air, stretch your legs, and have fun outdoors. We'll meet in front of the visitor center to head out on an adventure. Each week will have a different theme and will include time to explore. Come for as many sessions as you'd like, and dress for outdoor activity. For children in grades K-5 and their caregivers.

- Family Fun: Nature Journals for Kids, April 21, 10-11:30 a.m. April 21 marks the 180th anniversary of the birth of John Muir, noted naturalist and author, and April 22 is Earth Day. We'll celebrate both by reading a picture book about John Muir, going for a walk, and starting our own nature journal to take home, just as he did. NOTE: Organized groups (scouts, schools, hiking clubs, etc.) are welcome, but are asked to call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register.

- Guided Walk: Vlomankill Trail and Fordham's Crossing, April 21, 2-3 p.m. Join us as we explore this stunning ravine, following the path of the Vlomankill from the trailhead to where it flows into Heron Pond. Along the way, we'll keep our eyes open for early wildflowers and other springtime treasures. NOTE: Organized groups (scouts, schools, hiking clubs, etc.) are welcome, but are asked to call Five Rivers at 518-475-0291 to register.

Central NY, Region 7 -- Rogers Environmental Education Center, 2721 State Route 80, Sherburne. For more information call 607-674-4733 or visit info@FriendsOfRogers.org. Additional Information: www.dec.ny.gov/education/1831.html

- Storytime, April 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join us every Wednesday for songs and a story, followed by a short hike along the trails. Bring a snack or a picnic lunch to enjoy with friends.

- Family Fun Program - "Bed" Time, April 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Spring's arrival means time to start the gardens at Rogers Center, otherwise known as "Bed" Time! Join Friends of Rogers in preparing beds and starting seeds. Many hands help the gardens grow!

- "Catch-up" and Mustard Day, April 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Join Rogers as we catch up on trail work, pull garlic mustard and do our spring cleaning. Then join us for some ketchup and/or mustard on a hot dog!

Buffalo Area -- Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve & Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Dr. Depew. For more information call 716-683-5959 or e-mail reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov. Additional Information: www.dec.ny.gov/education/1837.html

- Senior Stroll, April 18, 10 a.m.-noon. Experience nature at your own pace, and enjoy a leisurely guided walk through the woods. Bring a lunch if you want to eat indoors after the tour. For adults only. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

- Night Hike, April 18, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy an evening walk under the stars and interactive quiz along the trail to discover the compatibility of your nocturnal spirit animals. For adults ages 18 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

- After School Escape, April 19, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Together, kids and their parents or caregivers can enjoy a different, fun, hour-long outdoor activity each week. For children in grades K through 5. No registration required.

- Phragmites Strike Team Meeting, April 19, 5:30-7 p.m. If you enjoy getting outside and want to help maintain healthy wetlands at Reinstein Woods, join our Strike Team! Volunteers are needed to monitor and remove Phragmites australis, an invasive plant also known as common reed. Team members will learn monitoring protocols and removal techniques. Monitoring will take place throughout the spring and summer. No experience needed. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

- Woods Walk--Spring Flowers, April 21, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Join a guided nature walk to search for the early wildflowers of spring. No registration required.

- Make a Reusable Bag, April 21, 2-4 p.m. Stop in with your old t-shirts and plastic bags and we'll help you transform them in to reusable bags and holders for all your shopping needs. No registration required, call 716-683-5959 for more information.

- Birding 101 Class #4, April 21, 2:30-4 p.m. Who's in the pond? Who's flying over the pond? And who's hiding in the reeds? Learn about the ducks and wetland birds of Reinstein Woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

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