Monday, April 27, 2020

Micro-grant awards focus on farmers coping with COVID, climate change

farmers marketThe Adirondack Council awarded 10 micro-grants totaling over $32,000  to local farmers. According to a press release, the grants are an effort to address the greatest short-term and long-term threats to public health and the Adirondack Park: COVID-19 and climate change.

“COVID-19 and climate change each have the potential to devastate Adirondack communities,” says Adirondack Council Conservation Associate Jackie Bowen, the coordinator of the grant program alongside the Essex Farm Institute. In some cases, farms/food producers need to prepare more serve-at-home meals…others need equipment and funding to protect and sustain their employees who work in urban farmers markets.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Reading in Place

Good Books from Wild Places to Help Us Through Bad Times

Entodon cladorrhizans. ©Northern Forest Atlas Foundation

If you must “shelter in place”, the North Country is a good place to do so.  Those of us fortunate to live in New York’s great Adirondack Park are already accustomed to “social distancing”, and generally have ample space to get fresh air and exercise – thanks to the good work of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and regional land trusts in protecting millions of acres of wild lands and waters. We are also fortunate to have thousands of brave neighbors continuing to go to work to provide us essentials, like groceries, heating fuel, and health care.

Still, even we lucky Adirondackers – nearly as much as our fellow New Yorkers down-state wishing they could be up here – likely have more time alone now than we usually have.  Quiet time affords us chances to read. Here is a quick list of books of regional interest and/or environmental bent that I’d suggest to neighbors sheltered at home through this upsetting pandemic.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Online activities for Earth Day

Makeboro Trailhead courtesy The Nature Conservancy Erika BaileyThe Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter has shared the following activities for joining in the online festivities on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day:

Learn About Nature: some parents are finding it stressful to take on the roles of their teachers while the schools are closed, but the NCAC has created a Nature Lab to help children and parents alike to take part in nature related activities, in turn learning the science behind nature and what we can do to preserve it. View the Nature Lab’s resources for K-12 students here.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Adirondack Earth Day at 50 

NY invests in environment, public health infrastructure, bond act;

Trump’s Federal Government tearing down 50 years of progress

loonAs we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in the Adirondacks today, we see a state and a nation going in opposite directions in terms of environmental and public health protections. 

In New York, we are seeing unprecedented support for environmental progress from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s team, lawmakers and citizens.  Not only does New York have the most aggressive climate change law in the nation – the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act – but it is backing up its greenhouse gas reduction commitment with funding from a $300-million Environmental Protection Fund and a proposed $3-billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act. 

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Every Day is Earth Day

View from the Siamese Ponds Wilderness

Every day is Earth Day. That’s what folks knew and said to each other on April 23, 1970 – and ever since. Fifty years on, April 22, 2020, it’s obvious as well as vital to act accordingly since life support systems on our fragile earth have been torn and rendered by human activity and population growth since 4/22/70. This Coronavirus COVID-19 is novel to human beings. Today’s atmospheric carbon concentrations are novel for all life on earth – and only existed some 3.5 million years ago.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Lake Champlain Basin Program Offers Emergency Grants

Archaeological Tour of Lake ChamplainThe Lake Champlain Basin Program is providing watershed organizations located within the Basin with emergency funding of up to $5,000. The grants are intended to provide relief for those adversely affected by COVID-19, so they may continue to operate throughout this turbulent time. The grants are a one-time award and will be made available for immediate relief. Projects must begin within a week of notification of award and be completed within 90 days.

The LCBP has awarded over $10 million to more than 1,300 projects since 1992 within New York and Vermont, and all applications will be reviewed by independent volunteers.

The deadline of the grant proposals are due April 24 and should be sent to  grants@lcbp.org.

More information about the grants can be found at www.lcbp.org/grants.


Monday, April 20, 2020

7th annual Invasive Species Awareness Week planned for June

invasive species awareness weekNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets have announced  that the seventh annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be held June 7-13.

ISAW is an annual statewide campaign with the purpose of building an awareness of the threat invasive species pose to New York States ecosystem. This year, considering the COVID-19 public health crises, organizations taking part in ISAW are encouraged to plan and incorporate virtual experiences and events that adhere to social distancing guidelines. This would allow New Yorkers to participate in ISAW from the safety of their homes.

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Monday, April 20, 2020

DEC shares tips for a memorable Earth Day

Happy Anniversary, Earth Day … and DEC!

This April 22 marks Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and ours too. There are a number of ways to celebrate Earth Day even with physical distancing guidelines in effect.

Start by looking at our curated list, Caregiver Resources While at Home: Surviving at Home with Youth. This page has DEC-created lesson plans, DEC YouTube links, Tips to Help Caregivers Transition to Remote Learning, Professional Development Opportunities for Educators, loads of online resources from places around the state and the world (NY Botanical Garden, National Wildlife Federation, American Museum of Natural History, the Wild Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and WXXI, Greater Rochester’s PBS channel). There are two databases of community science projects and what community science is, along with a long list of live animal cams to visit and Zoos and Centers offering Facebook content weekly or daily.

On the international level, Earthy Day Network has provided resources that allow you to take action while social distancing. For example, they have created the Earth Challenge 2020, a community science app for iPhone and Android that allows users to track plastic pollution and local air quality. By taking photos in your neighborhood, you provide important information on pollution issues in your area. Another feature is “Create Your Own Act of Green”. In this section, you can report family or class activities you do to help the Earth. Your local actions are combined with hundreds of efforts by others around the world which add up to big impacts on the Earth. Visit the Earth Day Network’s Take Action page for details on these actions and more to help the planet this Earth Day.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Earth Day: 50 Years On

I came of age in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was a turbulent time in American history; marked by the rise of the antiwar movement (Vietnam, nuclear weapons) and the expansion of movements promoting equality for groups of marginalized people including woman, African Americans, Native Americans, and the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning) community.

Many also consider the 60s and 70s to be the beginning of the modern American environmental movement; which is often portrayed as having started with the publication of Rachel Carson’s best-selling book, Silent Spring (thirty-one weeks on the New York Times best-seller list), in 1962. The book described how the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides threatened both animals and human beings. “These sprays, dusts, and aerosols are now applied almost universally to farms, gardens, forests, and homes,” she wrote. “They should not be called insecticides, but “biocides… It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth.”

I don’t personally believe that the sixties birthed the modern environmental movement in this country. I believe the modern environmental movement really began with Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, and the conservationist / preservationist activism of the early 20th century. The 60s, however, kicked off a resurgence of interest in these issues, starting with passage of the Clean Water Act of 1960; followed by the Clean Air Acts of 1963 and 1967, the Wilderness Act of 1964, and the Water Quality Act of 1965. In fact, between 1963 and 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed nearly 300 conservation and beautification measures into law.

 

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Basics of Beekeeping: A Labor of Love

I am often asked why I decided to become a beekeeper. My journey into beekeeping came from my deep concern for the fate of honeybees (apis mellifera), which have been dying out in droves. There are very few things that can prepare you for the experiences you will discover with the amazing creatures we call honey bees.

 Beekeeping is like teaching or practicing law or medicine, and so many other things. Until you’ve actually done it and gotten some experience under your belt, all the reading and classroom time in the world doesn’t truly prepare you for the real thing. I love beekeeping but there are plenty of times the work is heavy, hot, tiring, and extremely sticky. It’s vital you do your homework and make sure you want to be a beekeeper before investing in hives, clothing, tools and other equipment – all of which can quickly run into the hundreds of dollars. So what’s the best way to prepare for this rewarding and eco-friendly hobby and be sure it’s right for you? The best preparation you can undertake is to find other local beekeepers and ask lots of questions. 

» Continue Reading.


Monday, April 13, 2020

NYS Pollution Prevention Grant Funding Available 

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) is announcing its Community Grants 2020-2021 Request for Applications for pollution prevention outreach and education projects. Eligible applicants are able to receive up to $20,000 to fund their project. NYSP2I provides an important funding source for community-focused pollution prevention initiatives.

Proposals are solicited from community organizations, municipal departments, and other public sector and nonprofit entities for projects that raise awareness and understanding of pollution prevention practices and lead to implementation at the local level. Submission Deadline: May 29, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST 

View the 2020-2021 application.

Questions? Please contact Gillian Griffin at gaggis@rit.edu or 585-475-5677.

Pictured here is current grant program recipient Capital Roots. The organization will continue to operate its Urban Grow Center and Mobile Markets for those who are searching for fresh, healthy produce. To ensure the safety of staff, customers and neighbors during this difficult time, Capital Roots has changed their processes to continue operations while remaining in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. 


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Restore Mother Nature Bond Act Needed Now More Than Ever

five pondsNew York State’s latest conservation and environment funding proposal was wisely named.  Each of those five words – Restore, Mother, Nature, Bond, and Act – can stand for good; but especially now, some months after Governor Cuomo proposed this fund, and confronting a global pandemic, these words are exactly what we need.

Humanity faces a pandemic now because we’ve been treating Earth not like a planetary Mother but like a shopping mall and garbage dump.  Our fragmentation of natural habitat and exploitation of wild species led to this zoonotic disease spreading round the world; and the fundamental antidote is to Restore wild Nature. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Lake George delays start of boat inspections

Lake George Park Commission has announced a delay the opening of the Mandatory Boat Inspection Program until June 1, a decision that has full support of the Lake George Association Board of Directors and members.

“At this time of year, we understand there is little risk of transporting and/or introducing viable invasive species to Lake George,” said Kristen Wilde, LGA Director of Education. “That fact doesn’t preclude boaters from ensuring they are following the state’s ‘Clean, Drained, Dry’ directives until the inspectors are present.”

“We want everyone to stay safe and stay healthy,” said LGA Executive Director Walt Lender. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Park Commission now and the inspectors later in the season.”

The Lake George Association is the oldest and most experienced lake protection organization in the country, whose members support water quality protection, water quality monitoring, education and lake-friendly living programs that benefit the watershed from Lake George Village to Ticonderoga.

All the money raised by the Lake George Association goes to projects and programs that benefit the Lake and the watershed, protecting Lake George water quality now and in the future.

For more information, call (518) 668-3558 or go to http://www.LakeGeorgeAssociation.org

File photo courtesy of Carl Heilman


Saturday, April 11, 2020

ADK applauds recent NYS budget measures

adk mountain club logoADK applauds New York State legislature for supporting the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, a $3 billion bond act proposed by Governor Cuomo, which will support habitat restoration, clean energy, and climate resiliency projects throughout the state. “If passed by voters, this bond act will secure New York as the nation’s leader in building tomorrow’s green economy and strengthening our resiliency against climate change,” said Executive Director Michael Barrett in a news release.

The legislature also continued funding the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) at $300 million. The EPF provides essential support for land stewardship, to include an increase of $1.4 million to steward critical areas affected by high use. “During this critical time in the battle against coronavirus, Governor Cuomo, the Assembly and the Senate showed exceptional leadership in producing a budget that retains the funding needed for environmental programs that are essential for rebuilding local economies and combating climate change,” said Cathy Pedler, ADK Director of Advocacy.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, April 6, 2020

Family pitches in with released rehabilitated owl

owl releaseAs part of their at-home learning, St. Lawrence County resident Jade Reynolds, art teacher and her husband, a New York State Police Officer, were doing a lesson incorporating owl pellets into their school work by dissecting them for science.

When DEC Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Bret Canary caught wind of their project, he put the concepts into reality by inviting the family to take part in a release of a rehabilitated barred owl. ECO Canary met with the family at their farm and released the owl with the assistance of the two children. Reynolds posted the release live on social media so that her students at Indian River Central School in Philadelphia, Jefferson County, could view it remotely.

Provided photo: Rehabilitated owl in a box getting ready for release