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August 31, 2014
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Earlier this year, I heartily enjoyed serving as an environmental educator at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center (LCEEC) in Covington Township, PA. Traipsing through the forest, followed by children ranging in age from pre-school to fourth grade, peeking under rocks, poking along a stream bank, exploring a meadow, we focused on learning about habitats and the various species typically found in each.

It was wonderful to see the children absorbed in these outdoor experiences as their senses came alive. Often, we would hear one exclaim, “I wish I could do this EVERY day!”

Towpath trash pick-up

LACKAWAXEN, PA — Come join your fellow members and friends of the Lackawaxen River Conservancy for our semi-annual towpath trash pick-up on Saturday, October 19. Participants will meet at Mt. Moriah cemetery at 11 a.m. and spread out along the towpath from there. It shouldn’t take much more than an hour.

Afterward there will be socializing and lunch at the Rowland Cafe, together with members of the Bernt Balchen Sons of Norway Lodge and the Men of Bethel, who will be scouring their respective stretches of the Towpath.  Read more

It’s time for cider

NARROWSBURG, NY — Join Slow Food Upper Delaware River (Up De Riva) for an apple of an afternoon on Saturday, October 26 at 2 p.m. at 1300 Crystal Lake Rd.

Once again, Hans and Cornelia Kung have offered to let visitors celebrate the apples at their farm—picking apples, pressing apples and eating apples. Learn to shake the tree, collect apples and press them into cider. If you have apples, bring them along. Make sure to bring jugs to take home freshly pressed apple cider.

Cider and cider donuts will be available for a small contribution to Slow Food Up De Riva.

Autumn Landscape Tour planned at Grey Towers

MILFORD, PA — Brilliant red, yellow and orange leaves will be ablaze for the annual autumn landscape tour of Grey Towers National Historic Site, 122 Old Owego Tpk., on Saturday, October 19, at 1:30 p.m., if the government lapse in funding ends and Grey Towers re-opens to the public. Call or check the website for updated information.

“Evolution of the Grey Towers Landscape: Autumn in Cornelia’s Gardens,” will feature the foliage displays of the native shrubs, the Japanese maple, and the European copper beeches planted by Gov. Gifford Pinchot, among other favorites.  Read more

Giant pumpkins in Milford

MILFORD, PA — The Milford Garden Club will display two very large pumpkins, each weighing over 300 pounds, at Rotary Circle on Broad Street, in Milford, as part of its annual fall planting. The pumpkins were generously donated by Hank and Bert Sanders of Milford, who escorted them into town early Sunday morning, September 22. The pumpkins were grown from special seeds that Hank received from his friend in Nova Scotia.

Long-distance Catskill trails

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — They say 10 miles hiking the Devil’s Path, a well-known Catskill trail, is like 20 miles hiking anywhere else. Come find out why on Friday, October 11 at 6 p.m., at Morgan Outdoors in Livingston Manor. Jeff Senterman will bring stories, details and photographs of several challenging long-distance trails in the Catskill Mountains: the Long Path, the Devil’s Path and the Escarpment Trail. Senterman is the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Senior Program Coordinator and editor of a forthcoming guide to Catskills trails.  Read more

Martin D. Brand appointed as Region 3 Director for DEC

REGION — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has promoted Martin D. Brand to lead its Region 3 office in New Paltz. As the new regional director, Brand will oversee all agency efforts in Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.

“Martin Brand will call upon his three decades of work experience in a myriad of environmental areas including environmental site investigation, remediation and solid and hazardous waste regulations,” Commissioner Martens said.  Read more

Land conservation program in Pike County

BLOOMING GROVE, PA — Learn how to keep cherished lands in the family, protect your lands and waters forever, and receive financial and estate planning benefits from doing so. Attend “Financial Benefits of Land Conservation,” Wednesday, October 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Pike County Conservation District.  Read more

Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy for a fall hike

NARROWSBURG, NY — Join the Delaware Highlands Conservancy for a fall hike at the Tusten Mountain Trail in Sullivan County on Saturday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Enjoy great views of the Delaware River, fall foliage approaching its peak, and traverse a historic stone arch bridge. Learn about the ecology, culture and history of the area with Melinda Meddaugh, land protection coordinator for the conservancy.  Read more

‘Raptors though the Lens’

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — On Saturday, September 21, Morgan Outdoors will host a photography exhibit titled “Raptors through the Lens,” by local photographer Jerry Cohen, at 46 Main Street. The theme of the exhibit, which runs through October 14, is birds of prey—hawks, eagles, owls, osprey and falcons.  Read more

Cliff Park Golf Course lease awarded

BUSHKILL, PA — Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue announced that a proposal submitted by Joseph Stead of Milford to lease the 45.3-acre Cliff Park Golf Course has been awarded by the National Park Service (NPS). The new lessee hopes to re-open the course to golfers this fall.  Read more

DEC requests: report sick or dead deer

NEW YORK STATE — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking the public’s help to report cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) cases in white tailed deer. This viral disease is most common in the late summer and early fall when the midges that transmits EHD are abundant.  Read more

Bird watching 101 in two sessions

PORT JERVIS, NY — A free two-part backyard bird-watching series begins on Thursday, September 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Hub at Port Jervis Library, 138 Pike St. The presentation, “The Six S’s of Bird Watching,” will cover the size, shape, surroundings, song, season, and shade or color of birds to facilitate identification.  Read more

‘Wooly bugger’ chosen for fly tying contest

ROSCOE, NY — A fly tying contest will be part of this year’s TroutoberFest event in Trout Town USA. Contestants should send their version of the “wooly bugger” fly—one entry per person only—to Beaverkill Angler, P.O. Box 198, Roscoe, NY 12776. Include name and email address. Flies must be received by Thursday, October 10. The competition is open to all ages and tying abilities.

The contest invitation says, “It can be any size, any color, have eyes, cones, beads, or any other material you want to use, as long as it is still an interpretation of a ‘wooly bugger.’  Read more

Harvest festival features environmental activities

DINGMANS FERRY, PA — The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) will celebrate autumn at its 3third annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring animal presenters, arts and crafts, hands-on activities, conservation exhibits, live music, local food and old-timey activities, such as cheese making, corn grinding, homemade applesauce, and more. Pre-registration is not required. Admission is $5 per car.  Read more

Varden Conservation Day

VARDEN, PA — The Friends of Varden Conservation Area will host the fourth annual Varden Conservation Day on Saturday, September 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (rain or shine). At 11 a.m. Pocono Wildlife Rehab Center will make a presentation with live animals.

The day’s other events include guided hikes, a children’s fishing tournament, displays by local organizations, food, live music, homemade ice cream and prizes.

Meet at the Tannery Access off Route 296 for access to the conservation area. Visit www.vardenconservationarea.com or call 570/676-3428.

Become a community tree steward

LIBERTY, NY — Volunteers wishing to improve their communities and parks by caring for trees have an opportunity to receive a structured, two-day training and enjoy camaraderie among other like-minded adults. By popular demand, a unique, 10-hour Community Tree Steward course is offered for $25 by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Sullivan County on Tuesday, September 17, and Wednesday, September 18. Each class will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gerald J. Skoda Extension Education Center on 64 Ferndale-Loomis Rd. in Liberty.  Read more

Kayak course offered at Promised Land

GREENTOWN, PA — Promised Land State Park will hold a kayak instructional course with Northeast PA Kayak School on Thursday, September 12 at Promised Land Lake. There are two sessions: 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.; only register for one session as they are both the same. The course is called “Skill-building on the Water Level II: Kayak Paddling Course.”  Read more

Catskill streams to receive post-storm repair

REGION — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and its county partners in the stream management program recently announced the start of several important stream-restoration projects across the Catskills, focusing specifically on streams that suffered damage two years ago during tropical storms Irene and Lee. The more than $9 million in work will improve water quality and protect communities by stabilizing stream banks, reconnecting streams to their floodplains, and installing other upgrades related to infrastructure protection and drainage.  Read more

New hiking trail opens at Pepacton Reservoir

ANDES, NY — A new hiking trail has opened on New York City (NYC) property near the Pepacton Reservoir, thanks to a partnership between the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and local volunteers of the Catskill Mountain Club.

A sign marks the beginning of the 5.3-mile round-trip hiking trail, which will be known as the Shavertown Trail. The trailhead is located just off Route 30, across from the Shavertown Bridge Boat Launch on the Pepacton Reservoir in the Town of Andes.  Read more

Homegrown anglers make PA tops in fishing contest

HARRISBURG, PA — For the third consecutive year since the start of Cabela’s nationwide “Fish for Millions” tagged-fish contest, Pennsylvania was the top state for angler participation. More than 71,000 registered anglers took part nationally, and more than 9,000 of them came from Pennsylvania. More than 1,500 tagged fish were available in 22 states where the contest was held; of those, 313 tagged fish were caught for a total of more than $250,000 in prizes being awarded.  Read more