LAKE PLEASANT – The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District hosted our 42nd annual Field Day to spotlight conservation for fifth and sixth graders, who were rewarded for their knowledge of natural resource protection during essay and poster contest ceremonies.
Community Resiliency Trainings bolster flood resiliency, protect watershed health
Over one hundred people attended Community Resiliency Trainings throughout the Champlain and Upper Hudson River Watersheds. Ten events bolstered flood resiliency toolboxes for highway departments, prepared communities for climate change, and instructed Soil and Water Conservation District staff how to protect watershed health through erosion prevention.
“Soil and Water Conservation Districts partnered with Watershed Coalitions to host trainings that were laser focused on climate resiliency,” said Upper Hudson River Watershed Coalition president Caitlin Stewart. “Our target audience was municipalities, departments of public works, contractors, SWCD staff, environmental and conservation groups, and the public.”
Adirondack Waterfest: a splash of a good time
Adirondack Waterfest was a splash of a good time that drew over 400 visitors to the Town of Inlet’s Arrowhead Park on Aug. 4. The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District organized the day-long celebration of water with support from the Finger Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance.
Storm clouds and a few rain showers dampened no one’s spirits at Waterfest. The celebration made learning about the importance of clean water fun and exciting.
Adirondack Waterfest coming to Inlet August 4
Adirondack Waterfest, the caravanning celebration of water, is coming to Arrowhead Park, 160 State Route 28, Inlet, on Aug. 4, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. There will be plenty to see and do, with activities, exhibits, and demonstrations for everyone. Admission is free.
Twenty-six years ago, the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District birthed the idea of a day-long celebration of water. The first Adirondack Waterfest was held in Speculator on July 19, 1996. Each year, the event is hosted at a different location in the Adirondack Park. Now, Adirondack Waterfest is coming home to Hamilton County for its twenty-first year.
Successful year for Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District closes out 2021 with the release of their Annual Report. The document details the District’s 2021 programs, projects, and events.
“The accomplishments listed in our 2021 Annual Report would not be possible without the steadfast support from our Board of Directors, the Soil and Water Conservation Committee, Association of Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hamilton County, and local organizations and agencies” said District Manager Caitlin Stewart. “Technicians Lenny Croote and Jaime Parslow, and Clerk Marj Remias provided expert and excellent service to landowners and municipalities year round.”
Highlights from the District’s Annual Report include:
Trail Blazers discover there is more to scat than just a plop of poop
When Hamilton County Community Services’ Prevention Educator Evangeline Wells invited me to give an outdoor presentation to Trail Blazers kids, I knew I wanted to mix fun and nature facts to keep things light and interesting for this summer event. Students traveled to the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District office on July 21 and discovered that there is more to scat than just a plop of poop in the woods. I packed the morning with activities and information about animal tracks and scat.
Photo at left: I ask the Trail Blazers to describe the story of track photos.
Hamilton County hosts successful Conservation Field Day for kids
Christine Campeau, Adirondack Experience the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, details The Beaver Fur Trade.
Area school kids learned about conservation during the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual field day on October 7. The autumn weather was sunny and warm as ninety fifth and sixth graders hiked the Adirondack Ecotrail to six stations, learning about natural resources from the experts.
The Lynn Galusha Memorial Conservation Field Day turned forty-two this year. I organize the event annually, and was thrilled to return to in-person after last year’s virtual videos, and it was fantastic to see the kids, teachers, presenters, and volunteers.
Wells Youth Rec goes wild for bats
Wells Youth Rec went wild for bats during a talk and game I presented on July 20. Kids discovered that while bats may seem scary, they are misunderstood, important, and super cute.
I explained to the Youth Rec campers that bats are quite like humans. Both have hair, eat fruit or meat, and sing.
Kids hike and journal at Auger Falls
It doesn’t get any better than educating kids on a hike, bringing in some creativity with a journaling activity, and appreciating the wild energy of a waterfall.
I teamed up with staff from the Hamilton County Family First Program and Trail Blazers to host a hike and outdoor journaling adventure to Auger Falls for students from Wells, Lake Pleasant, and Indian Lake.
Our pack of fourteen had an epically glorious afternoon on April 8 for a jaunt to the falls situated on the Sacandaga River. The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny, with the additional bonus of being blissfully free of biting bugs.
Conservation contests rewards students’ knowledge
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District held our 41st annual and first virtual Conservation Field Day event last fall where students learned about natural resource conservation from the experts and entered the fifth-grade essay and sixth-grade poster contests. I scheduled virtual and in-person awards ceremonies this winter with all participating schools to reward students’ knowledge and creativity.
Conservation Field Day was too important to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I was excited to rethink the platform. I warmly thank our fifth and sixth grade teachers for facilitating the virtual event with their students.
(Pictured here: Wheelerville Union Free School’s Joleen Rivera placed overall third place for the Conservation Field Day fifth grade poster contest.)
Emergency Stream Intervention training for highway departments, planners
A virtual Emergency Stream Intervention (ESI) training designed for highway departments, planners, supervisors, and engineers will be held Wed. April 28, 2021, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on Zoom. Participants will learn how streams function, the historical perspective of the causes of stream instability, and an overview of an ESI project.
This program is a tool to assist communities to better understand how streams function, why flooding occurs, and how to begin addressing impacts to communities. Program support comes from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts in New York State.
This ESI event is part of the Community Resiliency Training Program sponsored by the Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York, LLC and the Upper Hudson River Watershed Coalition, with funding provided by New York State through the Soil and Water Conservation Committee.
Those interested must register by April 27, 2:00 PM by going to https://forms.gle/TkeJ15iThMpJQ5Dm9
For more information, contact Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Jim Lieberum at 518-623-3119 or email@example.com.
Forest Pest Symposium will Highlight Bad Bugs
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (District) will host a Forest Pest Symposium to highlight bad bugs that are invasive to the Adirondacks on April 22, 8:30 AM – 1:15 PM. Landowners, supervisors, and outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to attend, and will learn identification, impacts, and how partners are slowing the spread of emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and spotted lanternfly.
Experts will share their work, success stories, and detail simple steps that anyone can take to combat emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and spotted lanternfly. These invasive insects threaten the Adirondacks’ natural resources and tourism industry. Early detection and rapid response are crucial to stopping the spread of these invaders that can harm forests, stream corridors, hiking trails, and agriculture.
Progress made in Hamilton County following 2019 Halloween Storm
Since the Halloween Storm raged through Hamilton County on October 31, 2019, excellent progress has been made to mitigate damage. In the wake of the storm, departments worked unceasingly to make roads passable. Then, they spent the spring, summer, and fall repairing infrastructure and stabilizing streams. Work continues, with more projects on tap for 2021.
Greg Boyer, Hamilton County Department of Public Works Road Supervisor II, reported that when the storm first hit, crew members spent countless hours making the roads passable.
“Crews were fabulous as far as getting together to get the work done, and making roads accessible for people to get in and out of their houses,” Boyer said. “Everyone worked together really well.”
The Hamilton County DPW completed the following flood mitigation projects:
Kids take part in invasives control with release of leaf-munching beetles
Hamilton County students got a first-hand look at controlling the spread of invasive plants, thanks to the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Leaf Munchers project. As part of the program, kids reared and released leaf-munching beetles to keep the invasive wetland plant purple loosestrife in check.
A Moffitt Beach Campground Invasive Species Survey
Tom Colarusso and I teamed up for an invasive insect forest survey on a sunny, warm January day. Tom is a Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. We survey one campground a year for invasive insects, and his expertise has fueled my understanding of these hungry bugs.
We headed to Moffitt Beach Campground to check trees for hungry bugs like Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), emerald ash borer (EAB), and hemlock woolly Adelgid (HWA). » Continue Reading.
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