Pets & Conservation 07.11.19

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

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.

July Programs at Grafton Lakes State Park

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!

Upcoming July Programs at Cherry Plain State Park

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!

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.

Rensselaer Youth Outdoors Forest Conservation Corps Teen Sumer 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.

The Burden Lake Conservation Association events

The Burden Lake Conservation Association (formerly the Burden Lake Improvement Association) is a not-for-profit organization committed to making a positive impact on keeping Burden Lake crystal clear and preserving it for future generations. Please join us for some of our many community and educational events. Open to the public. Our clubhouse is located on the 3rd Burden Lake, 4 Brook Spring Avenue, Averill Park, NY 12018. More information is available on our web site – or on facebook.

The following are our BLCA events for 2019:

July 11 – Red Sauce Night at BLCA Clubhouse – Steve Quillinan & Cindy Nadel – 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM – Pasta Dinner with meatballs (extra meatballs for early reservation!) Includes glass of red wine/lemonade – $10 per person.

July 19 – History Night at BLCA Clubhouse – Connor Kopcho – Doors open at 7:00 PM – Learn about the history of Burden Lake – Bring old photos and stories to share – snacks provided

July 25 – David Chinery from Cornell Cooperative Extension – seminar at BLCA Clubhouse – “Growing a Great Lawn with Lakes in Mind” – 7:00 PM

July 27 – Night at the Races at BLCA Clubhouse – Mark & Babe Scully – Post time 6:00 PM – You don’t have to go to Saratoga to bet the horses! Grab your friends for a fun night of racing. Snacks provided. Proceeds to benefit the BLCA and St. Jude’s.

August 2 – “Burden Lake Takeover of June Farms” at June Farms in West Sand Lake, Matt Baumgartner – 5:00 PM, Admission $5.00 – June Farms bar and food available – MYSTERY GUEST BARTENDERS

August 9 – Comedy Night – “The Not Too Far from Home Comedy Tour” at BLCA Clubhouse – Janice Tighe – 8:00 PM – $15.00 per person advance, $20 per person door (518)477-8152

August 23 – Kids Lip Sync/Ice Cream Social at BLCA Clubhouse – Lori Dunigan & Cherisse Young – Join us at 5:00 PM for ice cream and games, stay for Kids Lip Sync Acts start at 6:30 PM – Admission $6.00

August 31- Adult Lip Sync at BLCA Clubhouse – doors open at 8:00 PM – Bo Weidman – $20 per person at the door (no pay pal).

Tickets can be purchased by going to our Facebook page: and going to ‘Events’.

July Events at Dyken Pond EEC

Grafton – The DP EEC  is offering the following events in July.

Music Under the Trees: Jack Empie and Friends: Saturday, July 13 5pm – 8pm. Music that just feels good. This concert is free and is sponsored by the Friends of Dyken Pond. Donations always welcome. Rain Date Sunday July 14.

Full Moon Kayak: July 16th, 7pm: A twilight paddle on the lake, returning to the shore in time to see the rising full moon. Bring a snack to enjoy by the campfire after the paddle. For adults and older teens. Pre-registration a must and space limited to 12 boats. Kayak rentals available for $10.

Tuesday Treks with Len: Every Tuesday: 1pm -3pm: We will hike about 2-3 miles depending on conditions every Tuesday afternoon in July. Please call or check the website for updated conditions and possible cancellations. For adults and older teens. Leader: Leonard Tremblay.

Superhero Hike: Tuesday, July 23: 10-11:30pm: Walk in the woods while adopting the superpowers (adaptations) of plants and animals along the way. Fly like a bird, turn invisible through camouflage, jump higher than humanly possible, and possess superhero strength plus so much more. Feel free to dress up as your favorite superhero. For preschool aged youth and above. Preregistration required. $3.

Playing in the Pond: Saturday, July 27: 10-12pm: Come find out just what is lurking at the bottom of ponds. Catch and release frogs, salamanders, insects and other creepy crawlies. Preregistration required. All ages. Cost $3.

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.

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.

Dec Issues Guidance To Reduce Bear-Human Conflicts

Recent Rise in Bear Sightings Confirms Young Bears Are on the Move

           New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today issued guidance to reduce the potential for human-bear conflicts.

“Black bears have recently been reported in a number of suburban locations,” said Commissioner Seggos. “DEC is urging homeowners and property managers to follow the simple steps and guidance to keep bears from taking up residence in an area, including storing garbage in secure buildings, removing bird feeders, and feeding pets indoors. Preventing access to food sources is key to preventing nuisance bears.”

Conflicts between people and bears typically increase in summer months due to the dispersal of young bears from family groups, the onset of the breeding season, and a lull in natural food availability prior to the ripening of local berries and other natural food sources. These conditions occasionally cause bears to travel through unfamiliar areas. Bears will take advantage of anything they consider a food source as they travel, adding to the potential for conflict. The most common attractants are poorly stored garbage, bird feeders, messy grills, and pet food left outdoors. Once a bear finds these foods, it will often continue to return to the area in hopes of finding the same food again.

When bears have access to human foods, it encourages behaviors that can put bears at risk. While bears can be intimidating, they generally shy away from getting into conflicts with people. The bears seen recently are mostly young individuals dispersing from their natural habitat, searching for new suitable habitat. If bears find reliable food sources near human residences, they may become temporarily established in green spaces in urban and suburban areas.

Bears will avoid large groups of people. If a bear is seen in a community, residents should simply be aware of the bear’s presence and avoid any interaction with it.

DEC staff and local police officers will sometimes attempt to direct a bear toward a better location, away from developed areas, but this is not always possible. Nearly all urban bears leave as quickly and quietly as they appear, without serious conflict or need for physical removal.   

Residents and visitors should take the following steps to avoid attracting and creating nuisance bears:

NEVER FEED BEARS INTENTIONALLY – Feeding bears intentionally is illegal and a ticketable offense. Bears that obtain food from humans will continue to seek food from humans and become nuisance bears.

Around Dwellings

· Remove all bird feeders;

· Keep garbage, grills, pet food, and bird seed inside a solid, secure structure (house, shed, garage, etc.);

·If grills cannot be secured, move grills away from houses and remove grease traps after each use;

·         Put garbage on the curb the morning of collection, not the night before, and use bear-resistant trash containers; and

·Close garage doors and ground-floor windows/doors at night.

At Campgrounds

·Keep campsites as clean as possible;

·Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and wash basins clean when not in use;

·Leave coolers and food inside car trunks or truck cabs;

·Store food and coolers in food lockers when available;

·NEVER keep food, coolers, or scented items in tents when camping. Store toiletries securely with coolers and food;

·Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles, or other refuse into the fireplace; and

·Dispose of garbage in the campground’s dumpsters every evening.

In the Backcountry

·Pack a minimal amount of food. Use lightweight and dehydrated foods. Plan all meals to avoid leftovers;

·Use bear-resistant food canisters, which are required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness of the Adirondack Park;

·         Cook and eat before dark and cook away from campsites;

·         Avoid spills and drippings while cooking and do not pour grease into fire pits; and

·         Never leave food unattended.

If you encounter a bear

·         Don’t panic. Most bears are just as afraid of people as people are of bears;

·         Never approach, surround, or corner a bear;

·         Back away slowly – do not run;

·         Do not throw backpacks or food at bears. If bears are rewarded with food, they will continue to seek food from people; and

·         If feeling threatened by a bear, raise your arms over your head to look bigger and yell loudly at the bear while slowly backing away.

More information on avoiding and creating conflicts with nuisance bears is available on DEC’s website.

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