National leaders in energy efficiency design, practices and retrofitting will be at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake on Saturday, April 30 helping homeowners, business owners and government officials learn how they can reduce their monthly energy costs. High energy costs coupled with the fact that ‘green’ buildings jobs can’t be outsourced, means energy efficient building can offer local jobs and savings, both of which can improve the Adirondack economy. Rethinking the way homes and commercial properties are built affects Adirondack residents and visitors alike.
Tedd Benson, author, innovator, and leading construction expert will deliver the Keynote Address, “Reinventing Homebuilding: Off Site Fabrication and the Open-Built Solution”, on Saturday, April 30th. He has been featured on This Old House, Good Morning America, and the Today Show and recently in USA Today. Benson has won several awards and is recognized as the premier designer/builder of high performance homes in the U.S. and Canada. Featured presenters, in addition to Tedd Benson, include Jonathan Todd, speaking on eco-friendly lower cost wastewater solutions; Rob Roy on living roofs and cord wood masonry; Robert Clarke, from Serious Materials, the company that manufactured the new windows for the Empire State Building, on super insulating windows; and Dan Frering of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on new lighting technologies that will drastically cut electric bills.
The full agenda for the event can be found online.
By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities Earth Day is every day, I get that and I do hope I live that way. That doesn’t mean that I don’t need a few nudges. Having an Earth Day celebration is like giving your own mother a card for your birthday and letting her know that you really appreciate the 22 hours of labor she went through. (So far my children only hear white noise when I mention that.)
So here are a few ideas to help make Mother Nature’s job just a bit easier.
For anyone in Essex County that wishes to “dump the pump” on Earth Day, the Essex County Transportation Bureau is offering free bus rides for everyone on April 22nd.
On April 23rd, Judy’s Computer Support will be at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise‘s parking lot from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. as part of a Community Computer Recycling Day to collect used computers, printers, laptops, monitors, faxes and computer cords. You can spend a few hours before going on a hike and clean up a trailhead parking lot. Sadly, I am always surprised by the amount of garbage we pick up. Remember to bring gloves and a bag because some of the stuff we’ve found is just plain nasty. This activity has made such an impact on my children that they are more mindful of their own wrappers. It has even sometimes altered their purchasing decisions when they now recognize excess packaging.
Last year we made a B’ Earth Day Cake for my daughter but there is no reason why Mother Nature can’t share in the calories plus it’s an exercise in geography. It was refreshing to hear my son say ”I think we need to move South America a bit more to the right.”
In Saranac Lake, The Adirondack Green Circle continues to sponsor their Wake-Up! Film Fest with a showing of Blue Gold tonight (April 19th) at Upstairs at the Waterhole on Main Street with the next film offering being the comedic documentary How to Boil A Frog on May 3rd (same time, same location). The other dates are set but films are being decided for May 17 and 31st. Please call 518-891-7230 for more information.
Recycling electronics, computers and your grandmother’s TV (that wouldn’t sell on eBay even though you listed it as “antique”) can now be taken away for free. On May 2nd from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Lake George residents and small businesses can recycle their old, used or broken electronics for free at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing.
On May 3rd Cornell Cooperative Extension in Hudson Falls will offer a free lecture on ways to reduce energy bills through no-cost/low-cost actions.
A wonderful inside activity, while waiting for the last of the Adirondack snow to melt, is planting seeds. Nothing connects children more to the earth than seeing the miracle of a tiny seed growing into something they can eat. Remember that some flowers are edible, too. It doesn’t always have to be about the vegetables.
Finally, the weekend of April 29 to May 1 is the “Build a Greener Adirondacks” Expo at the Wild Center with training workshops for everyone from contractors to home owners. The Wild Center will then reopen to the public on May 1st with GreenFest, a day packed with family activities, animal encounters and green crafts for kids.
I am sure I’ve missed a few and will gladly amend this post to make sure all favorite Earth Day options are listed.
The Wild Center will hold the Wings Spring Fling at Affirmation Arts in New York City on Thursday, April 28th from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm. Wings launched last spring, bringing together the next generation of Adirondackers (21-45 years old) who want to share their passion for the natural world of the Adirondacks, while supporting the important educational and environmental work of The Wild Center.
The event will include an open bar with wine, beer and signature ‘The Wild Thing’ vodka drink, catered hors d’oeuvres and dessert. There will also be music performed by Frankenpine, a Brooklyn-based string band with roots reaching from the subway platforms of the city up the Hudson Valley to the mountains of the Adirondacks. The banjo and fiddle in Frankenpine give it a touch of bluegrass, but the band’s original music draws on a wide range of influences—everything from blues to gypsy jazz to rock to old-time. Frankenpine has been receiving strong acclaim for its recent CD release, The Crooked Mountain. Like the Wings Spring Fling, Frankenpine (with members Ned Rauch and Colin DeHond, former Saranac Lakers) is a perfect blend of New York City and the Adirondacks.
The event is free for Wings members and there is a $30 guest contribution to Wings for non-members. Sponsors are Affirmation Arts, Frankenpine, Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Lake Placid Spirits and Photography by Jordan Barnes. For more information and to RSVP for the Wings Spring Fling, please visit www.wildcenter.org/wings.
By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities I have been having a great winter skiing and snowshoeing around the Adirondacks so much so that when I received my Otter birthday party reminder at the Wild Center it took me a bit by surprise. It is already that time of year when The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center) closes for the month of April to rejuvenate and get ready for a busy summer season. That said, this weekend, March 25-27) will be the last opportunity until May 1st to see what the Wild Center has been up to this winter.
Now with the recent flurries of snow, mud season doesn’t seem to be approaching as fast as some may wish. Keep in mind that if you always wanted to attempt snowshoeing now is the time. The Wild Center offers free snowshoes with paid admission. So practice around the various trails and see how easy it is to go out an explore while the trails are still covered in snow. The added bonus for this weekend is the Otters’ birthday party celebration.
Interpretive Naturalist Kerri Ziemann says,”On Friday and Saturday we will have all our regular programming as well as one more chance for people to find the golden otter before the drawing on Sunday.”
For those not in the know, a tiny golden otter has been hiding in various places within the Wild Center for the past twelve weeks. Children and adults are welcome to search and use a list of clues to find the evasive creature. Once found, submit his/her name into a raffle for a chance to win a pack basket full of otter related goodies. Thankfully nothing that I saw relates to having to go home with a real otter though there is a huge plush toy right on top.
“For this weekend the otters’ birthday will be held on the 27th and we will have activities all day starting at 10:00 and ending around 3:30. There will be enrichment programs about otters and craft tables open for anyone to color an individual quilt square. We will then tie all the squares together to create a quilt,” continues Ziemann.
Additional events are face painting and storytelling sessions with author Hope Marston of “My Little book of River Otters” at noon and 1:00 p.m. Ollie the Otter, the Wild Center mascot, will also be around for picture taking. Currently the Wild Center as four otters: Squirt, Louie, Squeaker, and Remy. The raffle will be drawn at 1:30 p.m. with a celebration of cupcakes (for humans) and ice “cake” for the otters.
If that doesn’t fit into the schedule, the Adirondack Museum will hold two more Cabin Fever Sundays. Women and their role in early conservation is the March 27 topic where Museum Educator Jessica Rubin will highlight early female activism. On April 10, curator Laura Cotton will discuss artifacts from the museum’s collection that show chase Adirondack ingenuity. These events are at 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium and free to museum members or elementary-school-age children and younger. Otherwise it is $5 for nonmembers. Though to see the whole facility you will have to wait until its May 27th opening day.
UPDATE Due to the weather, the Adirondack Day has been rescheduled for March 23.
Eleven years after the Adirondack Curriculum Project (ACP) began, hundreds of teachers and students have been helped to better understand the unique landscape of their home, the Adirondacks. Many will share their knowledge with each other during Adirondack Day on March 10th at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
Over 100 students and teachers from four schools will share their projects through a play, art exhibition, poetry reading, story-telling, meet-the-author book reading and interactive displays. Schools attending include – Tupper Lake, Potsdam, Indian Lake, and Newcomb. Adirondack Day has been funded by The Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack Park. Often times in the Adirondacks, because of time and distance, small schools don’t have the opportunity to interact. Adirondack Day provides the opportunity for these students to meet and ‘teach’ each other.
Sandy Bureau, science teacher at Indian Lake Central School and one of the day’s organizers says, “Research shows that having to ‘teach’ others is one of the best ways to learn. We hope to provide that opportunity and to help students feel the value of their voices and learning about this special place we live in”.
The ACP’s mission is to foster better public understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Adirondack region’s natural and cultural resources, by providing educational resources and training opportunities for teachers in the region. The ACP hosts workshops for teachers showing them how to develop an ‘Adirondack Challenge’ – a student-centered, project-based, lesson plan aligned with NYS Learning Standards. Teachers leave the workshops with a project ready to use in their own classrooms. They later submit their completed projects to the ACP, where other teachers can access and utilize those resources. Adirondack Day is the first opportunity for students who participated in those projects to share their experiences.
Additional information about the Adirondack Curriculum Project can be found online.
The Wild Center’s Wild Winter Weekends continue with activities from now until the end of March. On Friday, February 18th join NASA scientist Peter Wasilewski at 1pm for The Color of Ice. “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water….” (Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey).
Water ice is one of the most widespread, intriguing, and familiar compounds on the planet, in the solar system, and beyond. On Earth it falls as snow, forms lacy deposits on winter windows, creates skating surfaces on lakes, gracefully drapes rock cliffs, packs thickly on the polar oceans, and lays even thicker on the ice caps blanketing Greenland and Antarctica. Peter will speak on the history of winter as seen through ice cores and snowflakes. Peter is a research scientist for NASA on changes in the onset and duration of winter over time. His presentation is filled with exceptional images of snowflakes and ice cores close up. » Continue Reading.
The Wild Center’s Wild Winter Weekends continue with activities from now until the end of March. On Sunday, February 13th Family Art and Nature day begins at 1pm. Bring the entire family and explore this week’s theme, Creatures of the Deep. Ever wonder what is brushing against you as you swim in Adirondack lakes?
On Sunday, February 13th join NASA scientist Peter Wasilewski for The Color of Ice, an exploration of water ice, one of the most widespread, intriguing, and familiar compounds on the planet, in the solar system, and beyond. On Earth it falls as snow, forms lacy deposits on winter windows, creates skating surfaces on lakes, gracefully drapes rock cliffs, packs thickly on the polar oceans, and lays even thicker on the ice caps blanketing Greenland and Antarctica. Peter will speak on the history of winter as seen through ice cores and snowflakes. Peter is a research scientist for NASA on changes in the onset and duration of winter over time. His presentation is filled with exceptional images of snowflakes and ice cores close up.
As always, there are hikes on free snowshoes, animal encounters, feature films and great food offerings. Wild Winter Weekends are free for members or with paid admission.
The Wild Center is open throughout the winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and during the entire week of President’s Day. For additional information on The Wild Center, visit www.wildcenter.org or call (518) 359-7800.
The greatest change in homes since the invention of the chimney is underway, and for three days some of the biggest and smallest new ideas will be on center stage at The Wild Center’s second Build EXPO. Expert builders, interested home owners and people who want to see the absolute latest green building ideas can gather at the Center’s Build a Greener Adirondacks EXPO. Some of the nation’s leading practitioners will convene in the Adirondacks to demonstrate energy and money saving ideas and products. The EXPO uses ski trail signs to distinguish between its expert and easier days. The three day EXPO starts April 29 with Black Diamond day for experts and builders. Day Two will be Blue Square day for residents who feel like they have a strong idea of Green Building and want to add to their knowledge. On the last day it’s Green day, when the public is invited to have a look at the latest ideas and meet the vendors and presenters. Contractor Green Building Training – Black Diamond Day, April 29 This is a Green Building Training Day. A Fundamentals of Building Green course will be offered to those individuals interested in integrating green practices into the core knowledge of their building business. Once this four hour prerequisite course is successfully completed, participants may opt to take a certificate exam based on the Fundamentals material or select an additional trade specific 6 or 8 hour course offered elsewhere in the state and take a combined Fundamentals/Trade Specific certificate exam. Additional information can be found at www.gpro.org. The course costs $150, which entitles participants to admission on all three days.
Green Building Symposium & EXPO – Blue Square Day, April 30 The middle day of the EXPO will consist of a Green Building Symposium and EXPO with more than 30 building science, product and technology experts from around the northeast sharing information on the latest green building technologies. Presentation topics will include: high performing windows, alternative and unique green building construction techniques, green building science, effective building insulation, passive design considerations, reclaimed lumber, energy saving major building appliances and eco-design concepts (subject to change). The event will include a green building product trade show with numerous exhibitors displaying products and systems that have been recognized for their ability to contribute to safe, healthy, sustainable and/or highly energy efficient building environments. The day will be highlighted with a keynote address offered by Tedd Benson, called one of the most interesting builders in America by Treehugger.com and featured on This Old House, Good Morning America, and the Today Show, and recently recognized with a BuildingGreen.com award for his innovative design. (Day 2 sessions only will be $45 with advance online registration or $55 the day of the event. A combined Day 2 and Day 3 will be $55 with advance online registration and $65 the day of the event.) EXPO and Community Energy Efficiency Forum “The Doctor is In” – Green Day, May 1 May 1 is The Wild Center’s official reopening day for the 2011 spring visitor season. On this final day the EXPO hall will be open to the public with paid general admission (free for Center members and Season Pass holders) and offer consumers the chance to ask questions and see what kinds of choices they have when they make building or renovation decisions. There will be special speakers and a “The Doctor is In” booth where you can talk about your home’s symptoms and find out if there’s a cure. This day will include a Community Energy Efficiency Forum. People interested in ways to make a greener Adirondack home will have the chance to ask experts on hand here in the Adirondacks thoughout the day.
The Wild Center’s Wild Winter Weekends continue with activities from now until the end of March. On Sunday, February 6th Family Art and Nature day begins at 1pm. with this week’s theme, Outrageous Raptors. Visitors will experience live Adirondack Raptors, including a Red-tailed Hawk, an American Kestrel and Adirondack owls. There are also hikes on free snowshoes, animal encounters, feature films and food. Wild Winter Weekends are free for members or with paid admission. The Wild Center is open throughout the winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and during the entire week of President’s Day. For additional information on The Wild Center, visit www.wildcenter.org or call (518) 359-7800.
The Wild Center’s Wild Winter Weekends continue with activities from now until the end of March. Next Sunday, January 30th Family Art and Nature day begins at 1pm. Bring the entire family and explore this week’s theme, Hibernation Fascination. Ever wonder what happens to Adirondack animals in the depths of winter? Meet Adirondack amphibians that hibernate during the winter. Decorate your own hibernation keepsake box.
As always, there are hikes on free snowshoes, animal encounters, feature films and great food offerings. Wild Winter Weekends are free for members or with paid admission. The Wild Center is open throughout the winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and during the entire week of President’s Day. For additional information on The Wild Center, visit www.wildcenter.org or call (518) 359-7800.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the winter season you’ll be able to come in from the cold at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake to explore our natural world. Visitors can learn about North American carnivores and tracking them from naturalist Susan Morse; join Adirondack naturalist Peter O’Shea for a nature walk on “The Wild” side; watch “The Legend of Pale Male” the infamous Red-tailed Hawk of Central Park and explore the “Return of the Wild”.
Sunday Family Art and Nature features special programs with a naturalist – a walk outside, an animal encounter or a story and a family art project related to the theme of the day. Themes include Hibernation Fascination, Outrageous Raptors, All About Bears and Otter Birthday Party. Visitors can use free snowshoes on the Wild Center’s trails during their visit, watch feature films, and the regularly scheduled otter encounters. The Wild Center also has unveiled a new Winter Season Pass for residents and frequent visitors to the Adirondacks. With something happening every weekend during the winter months, the season pass is valid for unlimited visits from January until Memorial Day weekend. There are over 50 days that you can use the Season Pass. Pass holders can also take advantage of regular special sale discounts at the Center’s store. Please visit www.wildcenter.org/pass to purchase a Winter Season Pass at a special online today.
The Wild Center is open throughout the winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and during the entire week of President’s Day. The Wild Center is closed during the month of April.
What follows is the Winters Weekends schedule. For more information, visit www.wildcenter.org or call (518) 359-7800.
January 8, 2011 Kick start your winter season with a whole day of family fun at The Wild Center, plus kids 16 and under can visit for FREE! The day will be filled with live animal programs, craft projects, story time, face painting and snowshoe treks.
January 9, 2011 Marvelous Mammals, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
January 16, 2011 Turtle Time, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
January 21, 2011 Join Susan Morse, nationally recognized naturalist and the founder of Keeping Track, for a lecture on North American carnivores at 7pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free and open to the public.
January 23, 2011 Join author, Adirondack naturalist and conservationist Peter O’Shea for a nature walk on “The Wild” side at 12:30pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
As part of Wild Winter Weekends, there will be a Family Art and Nature project, Nature Detectives, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
January 30, 2011 Hibernation Fascination, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
February 6, 2011 Outrageous Raptors, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
February 13, 2011 Creatures of the Deep, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
February 19, 2011 Learn about Adirondack winter birds during live raptor programs and expert-guided bird hikes for the whole family at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. At 1pm, enjoy the Adirondack film premiere of “The Legend of Pale Male”, the true story of love and life about a Red-tailed Hawk’s claim to Central Park.
February 20, 2011 The Mighty Moose, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
February 27, 2011 Owl Wisdom, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
March 6, 2011 Join author, Adirondack naturalist and conservationist Peter O’Shea for a nature walk on “The Wild” side at 12:30pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
All About Bears, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
March 13, 2011 Rattlesnakes, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
March 19, 2011 Spend a day learning from the experts about all of the wild Adirondack carnivores that are here and were once here during ‘Return of the Wild’ at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. The day will include a discussion on wolves and an opportunity to meet a red fox.
March 20, 2011 Creatures of the Night, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
March 27, 2011 Otter Birthday Party, at 1pm at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. Free with paid admission.
The Wild Center and Big Tupper Ski Area are partnering again to offer skiers a great day on and off the slopes for just 15 bucks.
From opening day at Big Tupper (scheduled for this Friday December 17th) until Sunday, March 27th people who purchase either a ticket to The Wild Center or a day pass to ski at Big Tupper will get a pass to the other venue for free. Both the ski mountain and the Center have adult tickets priced at $15, and the free ticket can be redeemed for up to two weeks from when they are issued. You can buy a museum ticket one day, and hold off on the skiing until the next dump of snow or vice versa. Tickets are non-transferable. This is the second season that Big Tupper will open with support from the community. Big Tupper is opening a new chairlift to the top of the mountain that will run on Saturdays and Sundays, giving skiers and riders 1,200 feet of vertical. The Wild Center opened in 2006. It’s filled with live exhibits on the nature of the Adirondacks and has received rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today.
Both the mountain and the Center are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all winter. The Wild Center offers Wild Winter Weekends, with a full slate of indoor and outdoor activities and presentations. The museum website hosts an outdoor webcam that shows local snow conditions.
“The community is coming together to make Tupper Lake the place to be this winter,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, Executive Director of The Wild Center. “It is so exciting to have two great things, so close to each other, for families to do this winter. Where else can you spend the morning on the slopes and then warm up with hot chocolate and an otter program in the afternoon. The best part is that it doesn’t break the bank.”
“Last year was so inspiring on so many levels for us,” said Jim LaValley of Ski Big Tupper. “So many people said it couldn’t be done, but we did it. The same was said before The Wild Center was built, and here it stands today. It just goes to show when people work together, anything can be achieved. We are thrilled to be working with The Wild Center again this winter.”
Like many of the winter resorts in the area that offer season passes for skiers and snowboarders, The Wild Center (a regular sponsor of the Adirondack Almanack) is unveiling a new Winter Season Pass for residents and frequent visitors to the Adirondacks.
With something happening every weekend during the winter months, the season pass is valid for unlimited visits from January until Memorial Day weekend. The Center is open throughout the winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and during the entire week of President’s Day. The passes are available at a special online price at The Wild Center’s website for $29.95 for an individual and $55.95 for a family. Pass holders can also take advantage of regular special sale discounts at the Center’s store.
Activities during Wild Winter Weekends will include tracking workshops, nature walks with Peter O’Shea, bird encounters, an in-depth discussion about the Return of the Wild exhibition and the popular Otter Birthday Party.
Every Sunday is Family Art and Nature Day where you can learn more about the Adirondacks and participate in nature-related art projects that the entire family can enjoy.
Visit www.wildcenter.org for detailed information on the Calendar of Events. The new Winter Season Pass covers unlimited admission to The Center for ALL of these activities as well as otter encounters, feature films, screenings of the BBC ‘Life’ series and the free use of snowshoes for exploring the trails.
“We want to offer something to people who would like to use The Center in the winter for family days or to come to all of the lectures and special events, and make it easy,” said Jen Kretser, Director of Programs. “An individual or family only needs to come twice during the winter to have the pass pay for itself. With something happening every weekend, it really is one of the best values in the Park all winter.”
Please visit www.wildcenter.org/pass to purchase your Winter Season Pass at the online price today. The Winter Season Pass is also available for purchase at The Wild Center, for $38 for an individual and $65 for a family. The Wild Center is closed during the month of April.
Looking for something to do after the turkey is eaten and guests are still visiting? On Friday, November 26th, The Wild Center will host a special Family Friday. The day will include live music, a talk and book signing by local author Caperton Tissot, seasonal goodies from The Waterside Café, arts and crafts for kids, a discount at The Wild Supply Co. (the museum’s gift shop), free gift wrapping, nature walks and live animal encounters.
From 10:30 am until 1:00 pm The Rustic Riders, a Saranac Lake-based acoustic group, will play original music with traditional roots in the Great Hall. Local author, Caperton Tissot will talk about her new book Adirondack Ice: a Cultural and Natural History at 1:00 pm in the Flammer Theater. Ice has determined the course of Adirondack history in many surprising ways. This book traces the evolution of that influence, touching on everything from ice industries and transportation to recreation and accidents. In 360 pages of personal stories, observations and over 200 historic and contemporary photos, she pays tribute to a fast disappearing era. A book signing will follow.
The Great Hall will be filled with music by Adirondack musician Jamie Savage from 2:30 pm until 4:00 pm.
All programs are free for members or with paid admission.
The Wild Center will host Wintergreen, a conversation about the future of winter recreation, sports and culture in the Adirondacks on November 12th at 9am at the NYSEF Building at Whiteface Mountain. Wintergreen is an open forum to discuss how climate change will effect the economy and cultural life in the Adirondacks.
Attending will be a delegation from Finland who will give their perspective on the way climate change is effecting Finnish culture and way of life. Community leaders, athletes, business owners and others concerned about the future of the winter culture of the Adirondacks should join in the discussion and sharing of how important winter is to our lifestyle and economy. Best labeled climate disruption, planetary warming is already impacting traditional winter and summer recreation and economic opportunities in the Adirondacks. From shortening the period during which ice covers Lake Champlain and mountain lakes permitting fishing shacks to spring up, to inadequate snow cover for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and certain alpine sports, a shift in expected weather patterns is beginning to affect us and eventually the bottom line. $92 million of tourism income in Essex County in 2009 was earned between December 1 and March 31 that year.
This is the first of two visits from the Finns to the Adirondacks. The team from The Wild Center, including community members, will visit Finland in 2011. These first round of exchanges are focused on education, while the second round will focus on forests and economic issues. During and after each visit, there will be community outreach, lectures and workshops as well as sharing with the online community through the Internet.
Wintergreen is a jointly funded effort. It is part of a project funded by the U.S. Department of State through the Museums & Community Collaborations Abroad (MCCA) program of the American Association of Museums (AAM). The project, entitled “Connecting Finnish and Adirondack Communities: Science Museums Facilitating Awareness and Action on Climate and Energy” is being conducted in partnership with Heureka/The Finnish Science Center. The forum is also sponsored by the Tourism Task Force of the Adirondack Climate and Energy Action Plan (ADKCAP), through a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. ADKCAP is a coalition of about 30 universities, business organizations, community development groups, nonprofits, local government agencies, and energy action organizations around the Adirondack North Country region working with facilitation support from The Wild Center to find energy savings and green economic opportunities that fit the local lifestyle.
The purpose of the project is to facilitate an exchange of experiences between local communities in Finland and the Adirondacks, discussing community learning and action on energy saving, climate issues, and “green” practices supporting the regions’ commitment to sustainable tourism. The goal of the project is to help communities served by The Wild Center and Heureka to exchange experiences and discuss the need for more information related to climate and energy action. Participants and their communities will have an increased understanding of the global nature of the problem and shared commitment to solutions.
Communities around the northern world are seeking ways of participating in climate change action reducing carbon and saving energy locally. They are starting to notice changes in the climate that may affect their winter cultures, lifestyles and economies. In the two regions participating in the project, science centers and museums are facilitating that exploration and raising awareness of why action is important.
“We’re looking forward to the upcoming Finnish delegation’s visit and their perspective for Wintergreen,” said Stephanie Ratcliffe, Executive Director of The Wild Center. “Our environment is similar to that of Finland. In many ways our cultures are often closely tied to our experience of winter and outdoor recreation, which is changing. Wintergreen will be an open discussion of ways we anticipate changes in our winter culture and recreation and understand the effects of climate change.”
Spaces are limited for Wintergreen, but a few spaces remain. RSVP for this event online at www.wildcenter.org/wintergreen.
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