The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District hosted their 44th annual Lynn Galusha Memorial Conservation Field Day on Sept. 21, 2023. [A total of] eighty-three area students traveled to the district [for the event.] Armed with graphic organizers, kids hiked the Adirondack Ecotrail to six stations and jotted down notes during each presenter’s talk. Students later used [these notes for] their fifth-grade poster and sixth-grade essay contests. District staff ranked the submissions, held awards ceremonies, and are thrilled to announce the winners. [See below for additional details about the event.]
Lake Pleasant, NY – The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s 44th annual Lynn Galusha Memorial Conservation Field Day sparked students’ enthusiasm to learn about their environment on September 21. The District hosts the event annually on their Adirondack EcoTrail, and kids hike to six stations where they learn about exciting conservation topics from the natural resource experts.
CARTHAGE – Road salt and Conservation District projects were hot topics at The Black River Watershed Conference held at Zero Dock Street Restaurant in Carthage on June 14. Just under 100 people attended the thirteenth annual event to discuss issues that face the Black River, and learn how to become better watershed stewards.
The Black River Watershed includes over sixty communities in Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, and Oneida counties. While each community’s character is unique and has its own diverse needs, landowners and visitors share the Black River and the desire to keep it, its tributaries, and its watershed healthy and vibrant.
The annual Black River Watershed Conference stems from the completion of the Black River Watershed Management Plan in 2010. Organizers include the New York State Tug Hill Commission, the Lewis County Soil and Water Conservation District and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 6.
“The Arbor Day Poetry Contest turned fifteen this year, and record numbers of poets submitted entries from as far away as West Virginia,” said District Manager Caitlin Stewart. “I always look forward to re-working the theme and poetic form each year to keep the contest fresh for our seniors. It is important to me to offer something fun just for them.”
Twenty-five poets submitted lantern poem based on the theme “Hope Grows Through Trees.” Special guest judge Kathy Stewart ranked blind copies.
“This year’s Arbor Day Poetry Contest featured a very different format,” said judge Kathy Stewart. “The lanturne, or lantern poem is structured to resemble a Japanese lantern. While the format is rigid, the sentiments expressed by this year’s submissions were all different and truly uplifting. Spring, and a tree’s rebirth, are joyful to see. Watching the forest transform from the gray of winter to the bright green of spring seems to bring a renewal of hope, as do these amazing poems.”
Students helped save a trout stream with the historic conservation practice of planting trees. Warner Brook, Town of Arietta, has been negatively impacted by bank erosion for years, and the Halloween Storm of 2019 worsened the stream’s condition. The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District teamed up with partners and students to get conservation on the ground and stabilize Warner Brook.
Warner Brook has been plagued by erosion for decades. During the Halloween Storm, fast moving flood waters, rocks, and boulders scoured and undercut the banks.
LAKE PLEASANT – After a yearlong hiatus, the Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) will hold a meeting on June 5 at the Lake Pleasant Public Library from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. During the meeting hosted by the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, attendees will learn about impending invasive species, well water programs, and provide input on their local water quality needs and concerns. Experts from these fields will discuss issues and offer potential solutions and input.
Erik Reardon is an Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and will present on the invasive Round Goby. Florence Braunius previously worked with the Village of Speculator Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and will present on a Well Water Program. Following will be an open discussion of water quality needs throughout the county and refreshments will be served.
Both in person and virtual meeting options are available.
Record numbers competed at the twenty-ninth annual Hamilton County Envirothon held May 3, where eight teams of high school students took tough, science-focused tests and battled for first place. The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District organizes and hosts the event annually.
“The Hamilton County Envirothon provides an interscholastic competition in an academic setting,” said Nicole Curtin, Long Lake Envirothon adviser. “My teams gain exposure to other students from our county, and great, real-life applications of science concepts.”
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District invites senior citizens to think spring and enter the 15th annual Arbor day Poetry Contest. Poets of all abilities, from first-timers to seasoned, can submit a lantern poem based on the theme “Hope Grows Through Trees.”
A lantern poem is a Japanese form containing five lines with a syllable count of 1-2-3-4-1, and free rhyme scheme. The composition takes the shape of a lantern.
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.
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 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, 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.
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:
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.
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.
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