Pets & Conservation 07.04.19

DEC Launches Second Phase Of “WomenHuntFishNY” Photo Contest

Following the success of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s DEC) statewide photo contest for women hunters, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the second phase of the “WomenHuntFishNY” contest to celebrate women anglers in the state. The contest officially opens on Monday, June 17, and continues through July 8, 2019.

Women who fish in New York State are encouraged to share their photos by emailing DEC welcomes photos of all aspects of safe, legal, and ethical fishing. Contest categories include:

*Freshwater fishing

*Saltwater Fishing

*Ice Fishing

*Youth (girls) fishing

*Mothers and Children/Multi-Generational

*Action shots (Casting, reeling, or landing the big one!)

To be considered in the contest, photos must depict women fishing in New York State. Fishing photos entered in DEC’s fall WomenHuntFishNY hunting photo contest will automatically be entered for consideration. Participants are strongly encouraged to include a sentence to describe their image or experience.

The deadline for contest entries is Monday, July 8. All submissions will become property of DEC to be used in promotions and outreach. Winning entries will be featured on DEC’s website, social media posts, marketing campaigns, print products, and future outreach to inspire future generations of female anglers. 

July Programs at Grafton Lakes State Park

July 4th —Sand Castle Building Contest—12pm Registration by the Lifeguard Station at Long Pond Beach. Must provide your own tools and props. 2pm Judging, 3pm Awards. Free with prizes!

July 6th & 28th— Beach Yoga 9:30-10:30am. 16+ and provide your own mat. $5 per participant. $8/vehicle gate fee refunded if departing directly after class. No pre-registration required. North end of the beach past the volleyball nets. Rain? Meet @ Welcome Center.

July 7th— Be Bear Aware @ 1:00 PM— Discover interesting facts about bears, touch a real bear pelt, and learn some tips on how to keep bears away from your house and what to do if you encounter one. Ages 12 and up. Meets at welcome center.

July 13th– Group Kayaking on Long Pond 10:00 am-12:00 pm. BYO Kayak, limited rentals for added fee. All experience levels. Limited space; call 518-279-1155, ext. 2.

July 20th– Rensselaer Plateau Bioblitz–  Survey for fish, birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, reptiles, plants, and fungi. No expertise necessary. Details to come. Email

July 26th– Family Movie Night @ 8:45 PM- Free movie on Long Pond beach, weather permitting. PG for the whole family. Food concession open after the beach closes at 6pm; buy food before the show! Bring a chair or blanket.

July 27th—Paint the Park 5:00 pm– 7:00pm. No experience required, all materials provided. $12 per person, to cover cost of materials. Please call to pre-register at (518) 279-1155, ext. 2. Space is limited, register early!

Rensselaer Youth Outdoors Forest Conservation Corps Teen Summer Program

Rensselaer County, NY: Rensselaer Youth Outdoors is announcing an environmental education summer program for teenagers, aged 14-16. The program will combine recreation and education experiences while teens work on valuable conservation projects protecting Rensselaer county’s parks, waters and natural resources.

The four-week program will run weekdays from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, July 22 to August 16, with space for 10 teens each week.


Week 1: July 22-July 26 – Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center

Week 2: July 29-August 2 – Grafton Lakes State Park

Week 3: August 5-August 9 – Poestenkill Community Forest

Week 4: August 12-August 16 – Albert Family Community Forest

Participants who complete a full week of the program will receive a certificate and a $100 stipend at the end of the week.

For more information or to download an application, visit and click the Programs tab

Contact RYO Program Coordinator Amanda McCreary with questions at: Email:

Phone: 518-810-4544.

Hiking & Rensselaer Naturalist Series Programs

Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) and Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) are partnering to bring our communities unique opportunities to get outside this summer! More information and registration at

July 13 • 9 a.m.–noon: Geology at RLT’s Kinderhook Creek Preserve, East Nassau

Bill Kelly, retired New York State Geologist, will describe the geological features and explain their origin at the Kinderhook Creek Preserve.

July 13 • 9 a.m.  Taconic Crest in One Year: Southeast Hollow to Mattison Hollow in Cherry Plain, 7.2 miles

July 14 • 10 a.m.–1 p.m.  Ferns, Mosses, and Lichens at RPA’s Poestenkill Community Forest

Tom Phillips, expert bryologist, will lead us through the varied habitats of the Community Forest and show us the diversity of fascinating and beautiful plants.

July 20 • 1p.m.–4 p.m.   Peatlands and Bogs

Ecologist Dr. David Hunt will show us the plants of peatlands and bogs, including insect-eating pitcher plants and sundews.

July 27 • 9 am – 3 pm Invasive Species/Peatland Restoration workday at Wyomanock Center for Sustainable Living

Help restore the largest and best example of a calcareous peatland in Rensselaer County. The Wyomanock Center is hosting a volunteer “restoration workday” led by Ecologist Dr. David Hunt.

Sail the Scenic Rensselaer Hudson River Shoreline-July 27

A Benefit Event for Rensselaer Land Trust & Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

Connect to our beautiful Hudson River and join the Rensselaer Land Trust on Saturday, July 27 for a sail aboard an authentic working tall ship – the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. This three-hour sail on the scenic Hudson River will include dockside orientation before departure, Clearwater’s history, wildlife observation and education. Refreshments available at the dock after the morning sail and before the afternoon sail.

Clearwater is a 106 foot long wooden sailboat, with one 108 foot tall mast. In the 1800’s such boats were a common sight on the Hudson and Long Island Sound; now, ships like Clearwater are a rare sight.

Rensselaer Land Trust is an accredited, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a mission to conserve the open spaces, watersheds and natural habitats across Rensselaer County for the benefit of our communities and future generations.

This is a benefit for the Rensselaer Land Trust and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Tickets are limited and sell out quickly! $150/pp. Departing from Rensselaer docks. Two trips are available: 8:45 a.m.–noon or 1:45 pm–5:00 p.m. Learn more: or call 518-659-5263.

Wildlife, Insect, Plant, And Fungus Lovers

Needed As Bioblitz Volunteers

At Grafton Lakes State Park July 20th

(Grafton, NY) Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a wildlife biologist? On Saturday, July 20th, Grafton Lakes State Park along with Dyken Pond Environmental Center and Poestenkill Community Forest will be hosting a Rensselaer Plateau wide bioblitz. The park invites volunteers to sample for as many different types of life as we can find throughout the day. We’ll look for birds, mammals, wildflowers, mushrooms, reptiles, insects, fish– all the nature we can find. People of all ages and skill levels are invited. All you need is your curiosity, something to take pictures with, and plenty of enthusiasm! We’ll be joined by local experts and others who know the area well. Together we’ll chronicle as much life as we can, help conservation efforts, and have some fun! More details to come. To be added to the mailing list for this event, call the Grafton Lakes State Park Office at 518-279-1155, or email

Feathered Phenoms Program at Peebles Island State Park

Join us July 6th at Peebles Island State Park for the “Feathered Phenoms” program, beginning at 10am. Ever wonder about the big birds you don’t normally find in your backyard? Get ready to dive in to learn about the larger birds that can be found throughout Peebles Island. Weather permitting, we will even take a hike to an active eagles nest that can be seen from a trail in the park! This program is designed for children ages 8-12. Meets at the Visitor Center.

Upcoming July Programs at Cherry Plain State Park

Saturday, July 6th Wilderness Survival Skills 1:30-3:30PM – Ever wonder if you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Stop by the table on the beach at Cherry Plain to learn and practice your survival skills including flint and steel fire making, primitive structure building, and water filtration and purification.

Saturday, July 20th Reptiles with Uncharted Wild from 2-4PM – Meet some amazing animals with educator Adam Bornt. Come visit some animal friends up-close, learn some fun facts, and ask your own questions!

Saturday, July 27th– Family Movie Night @ 8:45 PM- Join us for a free movie on the beach, weather permitting. Check out our 16’ big screen under Cherry Plain’s big sky! Movie is kid-friendly and PG-rated so bring the whole family. We can’t announce the movie title due to licensing restrictions!

Wildlife, Insect, Plant, And Fungus Lovers

Grafton Lakes State Park July 20th

The park invites volunteers to sample for as many different types of life as we can find throughout the day.

A bioblitz is a fun, intensive, short search for biodiversity in a specific location. We’ll look for birds, mammals, wildflowers, mushrooms, reptiles, insects, fish– all the nature we can find. People of all ages and skill levels are invited. All you need is your curiosity, something to take pictures with, and plenty of enthusiasm! We’ll be joined by local experts and others who know the area well. Together we’ll chronicle as much life as we can, help conservation efforts, and have some fun! More details to come. To be added to the mailing list for this event, call the Grafton Lakes State Park Office at 518-279-1155, or email

Please join park staff and area experts on July 20th as we search and celebrate all of the life we can find on the plateau. For more information about this event, please contact Grafton Lakes State Park at (518) 279-1155. For additional information about state parks and historic sites in New York, visit

Rensselaer County’s Second Annual Farm Day Out!

When: August 18th 12pm-3pm Where: Kinderhook Creek Farm (5168 S Stephentown Rd, Stephentown, NY 12168)

Join Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County and The Eckhardt Family at Kinderhook Creek Farm from 12-3pm on Sunday, August 18th, for Rensselaer County’s Second Annual Farm Day Out! Kinderhook Creek Farm is an 1150+ acre field crop and vegetable farm that has been owned and operated by the Eckhardt’s since 1959. Once parked, a hay wagon ride will take you through some of the fields at Kinderhook Creek Farm. Through interactive demonstrations you will learn about the different crops (such as hay, grain, sweet corn, and the many vegetables) grown on this farm. You will also see how their farm products get to market and eventually to your family’s table. Also, be sure to visit exhibits set up by local organizations & businesses, experience the equipment used on the farm by the farmers and see the 4-H Club sponsored petting zoo. Food, corn on the cob, ice cold watermelon and other farm fresh foods will be available to purchase for your enjoyment. Admission and parking for this event is free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you Sunday, August 18th!!! If you are interested in being a volunteer, a sponsor, or have any questions please reach out to Kayela in the CCE office at (518)272-4210.

Tree Identification Book

The Arbor Day Foundation has a book that helps people identify trees in a simple, step-by-step process. The book, What Tree Is That?, is available for a $5 donation to the nonprofit tree-planting organization.

What Tree Is That? is a fun, easy-to-use tree identification guide that features hand-drawn botanical illustrations highlighting the distinctive characteristics of many tree species.

Its beautiful, full-color illustrations are in precise detail and depict natural colors, shapes and textures so users can make a positive species identification in a few steps.

The Arbor Day Foundation offers this book to help people identify trees throughout the Eastern and Central regions of the United States. What Tree Is That? uses a unique step-by-step approach for identifying the species of each tree, explaining what to look for in the shape and arrangement of the leaves, differences in the leafstalks and specific characteristics of fruits, flowers, buds and bark.

What Tree is That? is also available as an online interactive version at

To obtain a tree identification guide in full color, visit or send your name, address, and $5 for each guide to:

Arbor Day Foundation

What Tree Is That?

100 Arbor Ave.

Nebraska City, NE 68410.

Gardening Tips from the Sand Lake Garden Club

As we celebrate 25 years in the Town of Sand Lake, we hope that you too will be celebrating your beautiful healthy gardens. Enjoy these tips as you spend your time in the garden.

– Have your Soil tested. You do not need more than a half cup of dirt that should be thoroughly dry. Take samples from wherever you are planting such as a vegetable area or your perianal gardens. The test will give you the Ph for your soil and help you determine if your soil needs additional nutrients. Your Cooperative Extension in Troy will do this for a nominal amount.

– Keep weeds out of your garden. The earlier you start pulling weeds, the fewer you will have during the growing season.

DEC Asks Public to Report Moose Sightings

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking the public to report moose sightings and observations. DEC and its research partners use these public sightings as indices of moose distribution and abundance in New York. This is part of a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, health of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate.

Most moose sightings occur within the Adirondacks, but neighboring states Connecticut and Massachusetts also have moose populations, resulting in observations in the southeast portion of New York.

The moose, a protected mammal in New York State, is the largest member of the deer family and the largest land mammal in New York. Bulls weigh from 600 to 1,200 pounds and stand up to six feet tall at the shoulder. Cows weigh anywhere from 500 to 800 pounds.

DEC reminds the public to respect wildlife by viewing from a distance, at least 50 feet away. Keep quiet, move slowly, and do not approach moose. Drive cautiously at dusk and at night in the Adirondacks.

Have you seen a moose? Let DEC know by reporting your observations using the online form. Share your moose encounters by mailing in or e-mailing your photos to us.

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