Though our family always enjoys the numerous Adirondack trails, we also like to experience rich history through lectures available at a variety of wonderful venues. Not only are these lectures led by experts, it is an inexpensive way to entertain a crowd as well as a delightful way to learn more about a wide range of topics.
Those of us with young people can take advantage of the benevolence of the speaker or performer. Most people graciously answer questions or enjoy showing people of all ages the tricks of their trade. Whether it’s a fabulous round of storytelling by Chris Shaw or an historical retelling from Heaven Up-h’isted-ness!’s Sharp Swan, here is just a sampling of places to go and lectures to hear. » Continue Reading.
This month the Adirondack Center for Writing (ACW) moved to Main Street in downtown Saranac Lake. ACW’s new office is above the Artist Guild with a doorway in the parking lot bordering Nori’s Village Market.
ACW had been housed at Paul Smith’s College, for the past thirteen years. ACW still plans to work with Paul Smith’s to bring a major author every year and also plans to continue to work with Paul Smith’s staff to bring in performance poets every year. This year that event will be held November 15th. » Continue Reading.
Gould Hoyt, a long-time professor and friend of Paul Smith’s College, died last Tuesday. He was 90.
Hoyt was employed as a full-time professor at Paul Smith’s from 1952 to 1983 and gained emeritus status in 1986. He retired fully in 1992. But Hoyt wore many different hats and touched many lives at Paul Smith’s during his tenure and beyond.
“Professor Hoyt was held in the highest esteem by the Paul Smith’s College alumni who had the privilege to be his students,” said President John Mills. “One only needed to be at reunion and see the crowd that surrounded him when he arrived to know he truly had a significant impact on many lives and careers.”
Hoyt taught forestry, silviculture and dendrology, among other courses. He was the advisor to the Forestry Club and helped guide the construction of the Forestry Club Cabin, which is still as well used as ever. » Continue Reading.
Two weeks ago I was able to attend a plein air painting event in the Finger Lakes area – where artists seek out scenic spots and paint outdoors, on location. Being an Adirondack artist, I chose to avoid the busy vineyards, docks and sailboats on Canandaigua Lake and spent my time finding trails and wilder views to paint. The landscape there was very scenic, yet I learned it was very different from the Adirondacks.
The first day I painted, I’d done some prior internet research and had directions to a place called ‘Bare Hill”. The Finger Lakes are long, glacier carved gouges in the earth embraced by high ridges and flat topped hills at the southern end. Bare Hill was one of these, it’s steep slopes wooded down to the water, but the top was clear. A sign indicated according to Seneca legend it had been an early settlement. I wandered around, eventually painted a view of the lake, and never saw another person. I sensed it was a very spiritual place for the native peoples. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondacks are home to the largest known contiguous tract of unlogged forest in the Northeast. Located in the Southern part of Five Ponds Wilderness Area (Herkimer and Hamilton Counties), estimates of this patch of ancient forest range from 42,000 to 50,000 acres.
According to researcher Mary Byrd Davis, “The state bought the tract to settle a claim for damages brought by a land owner who charged that construction of a dam had prevented his shipping and therefore selling the timber on his land.” » Continue Reading.
The Chili Ski and Snowshoe Fest will take place on January 28 no matter the weather conditions, according to Paul Smith’s College VIC Interpretive Naturalist Educator Sarah Keyes.
The event will be jammed with family-friendly activities such as a modified “poker run” where kids will search on skis for animal cards and an obstacle course. There are also kids’ freestyle ski races, a bird walk and a snowshoe stampede. “Paul Smith’s College Culinary and Bakery students will create three different types of chili as well as bread and some baked goods, “says Keyes. “All the outside snow-related activities will be covered with the purchase of a VIC day pass but there are some events happening at the VIC which are free.”
According to Keyes Mark Manske of Adirondack Raptor Center will give live birding demonstrations where people can get up close and personal to owls and hawks. Children can also always access the inside touch table. Visitors can stop by to view the ongoing art show “Winter Wonders” and the traveling exhibit “Ways of the Woods.”
“We encourage people to stop by and see all the different activities we have happening,” says Keyes. “There will be music that afternoon as well the Adult 5K ski races.”
Keyes says, “We are always open to suggestions from people regarding our programming. We are looking into do an environment book club and after the great success of our “no school” program, parents can look forward to the next session over President’s weekend vacation.”
Keyes mentions that during the Christmas holiday she prepared weekday activities for school-aged children to get kids outside and entertained. The President’s weekend format will be similar and open to locals as well as visitors during holiday weekends. Keyes recommends people calling her at 327-6241 for more information.
The Paul Smith’s College VIC Chili Ski and Snowshoe Fest will start at 10:00 a.m. with a bird walk with Adirondack Birding Center Director Brian McAllister and conclude with a backcountry ski lecture with Brian McDonnell of McDonnell’s Adirondack Challenges though the live music with the Bog Stompers and access to the VIC trails will continue until 4:00 p.m.
photo used with permission of Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time
The Paul Smith’s College VIC has issued their schedule for the remaining winter season. The VIC is located at 8023 State Route 30 in Paul Smiths. For more information about the events listed here or the VIC in general contact Brian McDonnell at (518) 327-6241
Sunday, Jan. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 19 – Winter Wonders Art Show and Sale
Local featured artists will display their nature themed art from 1-3 p.m. at the VIC. The first show of the new year, we will feature 8 artists showcasing their art in a variety of mediums including photography, watercolor, oil, and pastels. This will be the first show of the year. Each month, on the new moon, we will offer a new exhibit featuring 2 local artists. » Continue Reading.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have even more terrain to explore at the Paul Smith’s College VIC this winter. “We’ve made some significant upgrades,” said Brian McDonnell, the VIC’s director. “We’ve almost doubled the size of the trail system, and we now have trails to suit both classic and skate skiers.” A groomer purchased by Paul Smith’s College last winter will be used to maintain the expanded trail network. Since the college acquired the VIC from the state in January, it has made improvements to the building and grounds. To help defray the cost of the trail improvements and the purchase of grooming equipment, VIC patrons will be required to purchase a day or season pass to the trails. Access to the VIC trails will remain free during the non-winter months.
“We’re trying to improve the trail system for the community, but we need to cover our expenses,” McDonnell said. “We’re on a five-year plan to make the VIC self-sustaining.”
Three categories of trails, for snowshoeing, classic and skate skiing, will be maintained and marked for daily use from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Classic-ski trails will typically be groomed 4 feet wide with a track for both snowshoeing and classic skiing, while skating ski trails will be cut 7 to 10 feet wide and groomed to accommodate both skate and classic skiers. Snowshoe trails will be packed primarily for snowshoeing but may also be skied on when conditions permit.
Some trails will also be designated for skijoring, or dog-drawn skiing. Leashed dogs are allowed on the snowshoe trails at anytime, as well.
Trail users will be asked to register at the visitor’s building. Trails will be monitored by a trained volunteer first-aid ski patrol, and a courtesy patrol to assist people with directions.
McDonnell said the trail network is likely to be expanded next year. The VIC staff has scouted a network of potential trails that could be added to the nature center, which covers nearly 3,000 acres.
“This is a transitional year, and future expansion will depend on how much interest we have from the community for the varied ski-trail network,” McDonnell said.
Under 6 years old: Free Child (6-17): $5 Adult (18-64): $10 Senior (65+): $5 Current Paul Smith’s faculty, staff and alumni: $5 Current Paul Smith’s students: Free Other college students: $5 Groups of 10 or more: $8 each
Under 6 years old: Free Child (6-17): $50 Adult (18-64): $75 Senior (65+): $ 50 Current Paul Smith’s faculty, staff and alumni: $50 Current Paul Smith’s students: Free Other college students: $50 Family: $150 (Buy 2 adult season passes and children under 18 in the household ski free.) Guest pass: Add an additional $25 to any season pass and bring a guest.
Individual day pass: $5 Individual season pass: $50
Additionally, the VIC will rent cross-country skis for $25 a day and snowshoes for $15. Trail fees will be included in the cost of the rental.
Trail pass holders will be eligible for discounts on weekend events and program at the VIC, including bird watching walks; natural-history themed walks and events; and backcountry snowshoeing led by VIC staff up the Adirondack Low Peaks. Several other weekend programs are in the works.
For more information, call the Paul Smith’s College VIC at (518) 327-6241. Photo: The pack sprints from the starting line during a snowshoe race at the Paul Smith’s College VIC (photo provided).
The Paul Smith’s College VIC has issued their schedule for the remaining summer season. The VIC is located at 8023 State Route 30 in Paul Smiths. For more information about the events listed here or the VIC in general contact Brian McDonnell at (518) 327-6241
July 29 – August 28: “Life on the Lakes” Juried Art Show
The Paul Smith’s College VIC has asked Caroline Thompson, Executive Director of The Arts Council of The Northern Adirondacks, to be the juror of our first juried art show. Artists from around the region have been invited to submit their works for consideration. The Opening Reception will take place from 5 to 7:00 PM on July 29th in the Great Room of the VIC. In addition to the juror selected awards, a “People’s Choice” selection determined through visitors voting for their favorite artist’s work. The balloting will be a fundraiser to support the development of art programming at The VIC. July 30 – NOLS Comes East
The National Outdoor Leadership School, based in Lander, Wyoming, has utilized the Paul Smith’s College VIC as its eastern outpost for the month of July. NOLS is the recognized leader of “hard skills” in outdoor education and recreation. Come listen to Jack Drury, a former NOLS instructor and well known outdoor educator, give a historical perspective of NOLS followed by a presentation by Adirondack based NOLS logistics coordinator Lindsay Yost on plans for NOLS coming East with their wilderness programs.
August 6: Adirondack Wildlife Festival
The Paul Smith’s College VIC will continue the tradition of hosting the Adirondack Wildlife Festival on August 6 from 10 AM to 8 PM. There will be presentations on all creatures great and small, from Bears to Salamanders. We’ll have live music with Roy Hurd, Native American storytelling with David Fadden of the 6 Nations Indian Museum, Mark Manske’s bird on hand demonstrations, fun and games, visits to the butterfly house and a very special presentation on Loon Conservation in America by Dr. Jim Paruk, The Director of Biodiversity Research Institute’s International Center for Loon Conservation and Research. August 12: Mindfulness Meditation Yoga Walk
Mary Bartel, ERYT, of Inner Quest Yoga and Wellness Center, will lead a silent walk from 10 AM to Noon to awaken your senses and participate in gentle flowing yoga movements on the trails at The VIC. Preregistration is required. The fee is $25. August 13: Joe and Jessie Bruchac
Father and son Abenaki singers and storytellers, Joe and Jessie will perform their Native American themed stories and music in the Whispering Pines Amphitheatre at The Paul Smith’s College VIC at 2 PM. Sponsored by the Adirondack Center for Writing.
August 19: Adirondack Plein Air Festival Paints the VIC
Come out to the VIC on Friday August 19th to view artists in various locations around the VIC. The public is welcome to visit artists as they create art on the trails and in the woods. Three of the Plein Air artists have donated paintings to the VIC to raise awareness of the festival and to generate funds for the center. We thank them for their generous commitment to growing The Arts presence at The VIC. We will sell tickets at the front desk. The drawing will take place at the Plein Air Festival. August 28: Monarchs in The Meadow
The benefit concert will start at 2 PM, and outdoor fun all afternoon for friends and families of the Paul Smith’s College VIC. Join us in the meadow next to the butterfly house to celebrate the migration of the Monarch butterfly and wind down the summer in style.
Regular programs and Activities:
Check out the goods under the pavilion from local farmers on Fridays from 2 to 5 PM.
The Paul Smith’s College VIC Butterfly House
The popular butterfly house is open and staffed 7 days a week from 10:00 to 4:00 PM throughout the summer. Visitors can view native butterflies up close and learn about the life stages and migratory patterns of these colorful insects. The Butterfly House is made possible with significant support from the Adirondack Park Institute (API.) For more information contact The VIC at 327 – 6241.
The Paul Smith’s College VIC Fun Runs – Every Wednesday
Every Wednesday of the summer The Paul Smith’s College VIC offers Free Fun Trail Runs from 6:00 to 7:30. Join area runners on the great trails at The VIC. Sarah Keyes will talk training, nutrition and techniques for adding distance to your running.
First Sunday Series of Trail Races
The “First Sunday” Series will continue with a “Predator and Prey 10K” on August 7. Every month the distance for the First Sunday Series will progressively increase. September 4th we will offer a 15k Trail Race and on October 2nd we’ll offer a 13.1 mile half marathon. There will be also be a 5k option every month. “First Sunday Series” Trail Races begin at 9:00 AM. Register: www.active.com Sponsors include Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, Mac’s Canoe Livery and Paul Smith’s College. For more information contact The VIC at 327 – 6241.
Naturalist led Back Country Paddles – Every Tuesday of the summer.
The Paul Smith’s College VIC offers a guided back country canoe trip every Tuesday of the summer. Trips are suitable for families. MAC’S Canoe Livery, in Lake Clear, will furnish the boats and equipment. Trips meet at The VIC at 10 AM and return by 4 PM. Trip fee is $75 for adults. Reservations are required. For a complete schedule, more information or to make a reservation for these popular trips 327 – 6241. Explore the Adirondack ALPS – Every Thursday of the summer.
The Paul Smith’s College VIC offers a series of day hikes up the “Adirondack Low Peaks” in close proximity to The VIC. Trips meet at The VIC at 10 AM and return by 4 PM. Trip fee is $50 for adults. For a complete schedule, more information or to make a reservation for these popular trips, contact The VIC at 327 – 6241. Naturalist led hikes and paddles at The VIC – Every day of the summer
Come explore nature at The Paul Smith’s College VIC! The trails are open and free to the public all the time! To enhance your experience, join one of The VIC naturalists for an investigative two hour hike in the woods or paddle on the waters of The VIC. Groups meet at 10 AM and 2 PM daily. Trip fee is $20 for adults. For a complete schedule, more information or to make a reservation for these popular trips, contact The VIC at 327 – 6241. “Fun with Fungi” Mushroom walks
The Paul Smith’s College VIC will host naturalist led mushroom explorations on the trails and in the woods of the 3000 acre VIC campus. Come investigate “anything fungal” with mushroom specialist Susan Hopkins on Thursday, July 21, and August 4. We will meet at the VIC Visitor’s Building at 10:00AM for an introduction on what you might expect to see at this time of year; followed by a two hour walk of identification and collection. After the walk we will return to the center and those interested can sort out and discuss the various fungi collected on the tour. Susan will explain the various field guides and simple keys she uses to identify the various local mushrooms. The Fun with Fungi Interpretive Workshop is $20 per person. Preregistration is required. Yoga on the deck at The VIC
Jackie Foster, RYT, will lead sessions on the deck at the VIC to awaken your senses to the natural world. Wednesdays through 8/31 from 9:30 to 10:45 AM. $15 per session
Take the Teddy Roosevelt Birding Challenge this spring in the Adirondacks or join birders from across the country during June’s birding weekend celebrations in the Adirondacks. See boreal birds like the black-backed woodpecker, three-toed woodpecker, boreal chickadee, spruce grouse, Bicknell’s thrush and several migrating warblers.
Join friends and fellow birders at the 9th Annual Adirondack Birding Celebration June 3-5, 2011 at the Paul Smith’s College Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths. The Adirondack Park Institute will host birding trips, lectures, workshops and the popular Teddy Roosevelt Birding Challenge. A special keynote address will be given by noted bird expert, author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul. Registration opened May 1, 2011. For more information or to register, call (518) 327-3376 or log onto AdirondackParkInstitute.org. The 7th Annual Birding Festival in Hamilton County is slated for June 10-12 in partnership with Audubon NY. Birders will travel through remote and wild forest areas of Hamilton County, including: Speculator, Lake Pleasant, Piseco & Morehouse, Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake, Long Lake, Raquette Lake and Inlet. See wood warblers and Boreal Birds like the Olive-sided and Yellow Bellied Fly Catchers, Gray Jays, three-toed woodpeckers and boreal chickadees. Guided walks, canoe excursions and evening presentations add to this weekend of birding in the Adirondacks. Be sure to check out National Historic Landmark Great Camp Sagamore, a vintage Vanderbilt Camp and 27 building complex. Guide walking and birding tours are available.
Paul Smiths College Professor Curt Stager’s new book, Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth (St. Martin’s Press, 2011) is a fresh look at global climate change. Stager’s approach is that of the paleoecologist, a discipline that has traditionally been focused on reconstructing the paleoenvironment using the fossil record to clarify the relationship that plants, animals, and humans have to their environment in the past.
Typically, paleoecological researchers have aimed their attentions on the Quaternary period (the last two million years), particularity with studies of the Holocene epoch (the last 11,000 years), or the Pleistocene glaciation period (50,000 to 10,000 years ago). Stager’s Deep Future looks in the other direction, 100,000 years into the future. Stager is quick to point out that no, humans won’t go extinct; some species will win, some lose, because after temperatures rise, they’ll fall (at a slower rate). Deep Future is built around the Anthropocene, the first epoch in which humans have come to influence the Earth’s ecosystems.
Scientists are somewhat divided over when the Anthropocene begins. Some suggest 8,000 years ago, when we began clearing forests to raise animals and grow crops during the Neolithic Revolution, others establish a date as late as the Industrial Revolution of the 1750s. Both agree that what’s significant is that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is increasing at a faster rate, and to a much greater extent, that previous glacial-interglacial cycles of the past million years, and that humans are the cause.
Deep Future illuminates the changes of the coming 100,000 years, among them the effect we’ve already had in delaying the next ice age. Describing himself as a “converted climate skeptic” thanks in part to research at Paul Smiths into weather and lake ice records in the Adirondacks, Stager explores the idea that our distant descendants may well applaud us for the changes we cause, but many of the earth’s species will suffer dramatic transformations. Acidification of our oceans will impact sea species, shifting micro climates will force great species migrations to adapt, which on land may be blocked by human development.
The bottom line of Deep Future is that what we decide to do now about controlling our carbon emissions will have tremendous impacts on our future descendants. Putting it into an even larger context, Stager offers this unique perspective: “If we burn through all our fossil fuels now, we will leave nothing for the people of the future to burn to stave off future ice ages and prevent the crushing devastation of migrating ice sheets.”
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Paul Smith’s College and the Adirondack Center for Writing are proud to present Sapphire, poet and best-selling author of the novel Push — the inspiration for the Academy-Award winning film, “Precious” at the Paul Smith’s VIC on April 19, 2011 at 7pm. The reading is free for students and faculty, $5 for all others. Sapphire’s books will be available for sale, which the author will sign.
Famed in the worlds of literature, poetry, and literacy—and an extraordinary public speaker—Sapphire is first and foremost a poet and performer. She is the author of American Dreams, cited by Publisher’s Weekly as, “One of the strongest debut collections of the nineties;” and Black Wings & Blind Angels, of which Poets & Writers declared, “With her soul on the line in each verse, her latest collection retains Sapphire’s incendiary power to win hearts and singe minds.” Sapphire’s bestselling novel, Push, about an illiterate, brutalized Harlem teenager, won the Book-of-the-Month Club Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s First Novelist Award, and in Great Britain, the Mind Book of the Year Award. Push was named by The Village Voice as one of the top twenty-five books of 1996 and by TIMEOUT New York as one of the top ten books of 1996. Push was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction. It was made into a major motion film, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”, produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Past authors featured in the Visiting Author Series sponsored by Paul Smith’s College and Adirondack Center for Writing have included Rick Moody, Andrea Barret, Terry Tempest Williams, William Kennedy, and Alistair McLeod. The Adirondack Center for Writing is an independent non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting literature and providing educational opportunities and support to both aspiring and established writers in the Adirondack region. We provide workshops, conferences, and readings throughout the year in locations all around the Adirondack Park. Paul Smith’s College also generously donates office space and in-kind office services to the Adirondack Center for Writing.
Amphibians in the Adirondacks face a wide range of challenges — but a new project aimed at citizens and scientists alike could help ease some of those threats, says David Patrick, a Paul Smith’s College professor who is director of the Adirondack All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI).
The ATBI is organizing a series of hour-long, family-friendly workshops to show people how to monitor amphibians and their habitats. Researchers will use the data collected by observers in order to help with amphibian conservation efforts. Habitat destruction, invasive species and diseases, climate change, and deaths caused by vehicles have led to declines in many of the 32 species of amphibians — 14 frogs and toads and 18 salamanders — found in New York State.
“One of the best ways to help in conserving these animals is to learn more about where they are currently found, and the types of habitats they are using,” Patrick said. “These workshops will show where you can learn more about these animals, how to identify them, where to find them, and the information that can be collected to aid in their conservation.”
The ATBI is a coalition of several academic institutions, state agencies, not-for-profit organizations and other groups.
Workshops are free and open to the public. They are scheduled for 6:30-7:30 p.m. on the following dates:
* Thursday, March 31. SUNY-Potsdam, Stowell Hall, Room 211.
* Wednesday, April 13. Adirondack Interpretive Center, Newcomb.
Prof. Glenn Johnson of SUNY-Potsdam, co-author of “The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State,” will host the events at Paul Smith’s and SUNY-Potsdam; Stacy McNulty, an ecologist with SUNY-ESF, will host the event in Newcomb with Patrick, who is also director of Paul Smith’s Center for Adirondack Biodiversity.
For more information, contact David Patrick at (518) 327-6174 or [email protected], or visit www.paulsmiths.edu/ATBI.
An expert in developing energy-efficient buildings will speak at Paul Smith’s College this Friday, Feb. 25, at 10:10 a.m.
Greg Pedrick, a project manager in the Building R&D Sector of the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), will give a talk in the Pine Room of the Joan Weill Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Pedrick will discuss sustainable energy use and green construction, including residential construction techniques for both new and existing buildings. Pedrick developed and runs NYSERDA’s Advanced Buildings Program, which focuses on the development and demonstration of high-performance residential buildings and helps the building industry incorporate those advances in the real world.
An engineer with more than 23 years of experience, Pedrick has designed and managed the construction of a high-efficiency, 1,600-square-foot timber-frame home in the Adirondacks. His recent work has focused on high-performance building shells and dehumidification systems that do not require compressors.
The talk is sponsored by the college’s Natural Resources Sustainability program and the School of Forestry and Natural Resources.
The Adirondack Research Consortium (ARC) has announced that the 18th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks will be held May 18th and 19th, 2011 at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid. The event will feature author, educator, and environmentalist Bill McKibben, and include presentations on the Adirondack Partnerships Project, Alternative Waste Water Treatment Technologies with Tom Ballestero of University of New Hampshire, Bioenergy, HydoPower, a North Creek case study, Hudson River collaborations, Birds of North America, and more. There will also be a graduate and undergraduate Juried Student Paper Program sponsored by the Pearsall Foundation. ARC is dedicated to encouraging, facilitating, and disseminating scholarship that advances the quality and vitality of the Adirondack Park and related environs. For more information about their history, projects, annual conference, and the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, visit their web page at www.adkresearch.org.
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