Almanack Contributor Caitlin Stewart

Caitlin Stewart manages the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. The District's mission is to manage and promote the wise use of Natural Resources in Hamilton County. Caitlin will be sharing the District's conservation-focused services, programs, and events. She’s been a full time resident of Hamilton County since 2008 and is an avid hiker, skier, paddler, and biker. She is obsessed with adventuring with her dog Artemis.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Conservation District tree sales help to clean climate

LAKE PLEASANT – Planting trees could very well be our planet’s quintessential conservation practice.  After all, trees produce oxygen, absorb pollution, prevent soil erosion, provide homes for wildlife, and help people find calm among the chaos of everyday life.  All across New York, county Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) held tree sales that clean the climate, green local neighborhoods, and spruce up communities.

The Dacre family on their way home with their seedling packs to plant.

Conservation Districts are the go-to organizations to help achieve New York State’s Climate Act goals, including planting 25 million trees by 2033.  In 2023 alone, their tree sales resulted in planting 489,488 seedlings statewide.  Plantings will leaf out and protect the environment.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hamilton County team works year-round to protect watershed resources

Woman shows a student a water critter

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District’s small yet mighty team works year-round to protect watershed resources and strengthen resiliency throughout the third largest and least populated county in the state.  Four staff members implement diversified programs and projects that protect natural resources and help landowners.  Their work is detailed in the 2023 annual report that highlights accomplishments and metrics.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Arbor Day Poetry Contest entries accepted until April 30

White tree with electric lights and purple and yellow leaf poems.

Lake Pleasant, NY – The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) invites senior citizens to think spring and enter the 16th annual Bob Tice Memorial Arbor Day Poetry Contest. Poets of all abilities, from first-timers to pros, can submit a shape poem based on the theme “trees are beautiful and essential.” Shape poetry takes on the shape of its subject.  The poem must be original and handwritten or typed.  Colorful poems and additional media are encouraged.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Hamilton County Conservation Contest Winners Announced

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.]

» Continue Reading.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Conservation Field Day sparks enthusiasm to learn

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.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Road salt, conservation projects hot topics at Black River Watershed Conference

Rob Williams, St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management reviews eDNA applications for the early detection of invasive species.

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.

» Continue Reading.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Senior citizens gather for Poetry Contest Gala

long lake library

Senior citizens gathered at the CVW Long Lake Public Library for the Arbor Day Poetry Contest Gala on June 28.  The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District hosted the 15th annual Arbor Day Poetry Contest for senior citizens this past spring.

“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.”

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Students help save a stream

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.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, May 19, 2023

What local water quality concerns do you have? WQCC meeting announced!

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.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Record numbers compete at Hamilton County Envirothon

An Envirothon team identifies coniferous and deciduous tree species at the Forestry station.

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.”

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Enter the Arbor Day Poetry Contest

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.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Kids come to Conservation Field Day, enter contests

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.

kids and posters

Lake Pleasant Central School’s fifth grade Conservation Field Day poster contest winners: class-wide second place Eden Borelli, over-all first place Adeliz Ruiz, and class-wide third place Dwaylon Pitts.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Community Resiliency Trainings bolster flood resiliency, protect watershed health

preventing erosion

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.”

» Continue Reading.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Adirondack Waterfest: a splash of a good time

adirondack waterfestAdirondack 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.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

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.

» Continue Reading.

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox