Pets & Conservation 10.17.19

Run Once

Rensselaer Youth Outdoors Connecting Rensselaer County Youth to the Outdoors

Rensselaer Youth Outdoors (RYO), the Northeast’s only Children’s Forest, is a network of partners focused on introducing and engaging children and families in the wonder, science, and adventure of nature in an effort to create a healthier, more sustainable community in an increasingly complex world.

RYO, with a grant from the US Forest Service, sponsored a youth program this summer, offering a service learning opportunity for teens aged out of many summer camps. The 4 week Forest Conservation Corps (FCC) program engaged 35 teens aged 14-16 throughout Rensselaer County at Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center, Grafton Lakes State Park, and Poestenkill and Albert Family Community Forests of the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance.

Teens spent half the day working on conservation projects, and half the day on recreational and environmental educational activities. They cleared over 13 miles of trails, removed invasive species, built play areas, and maintained public spaces.

At the end of the week, each participant received a $100 stipend as a thanks for all their hard work. The estimated value of the work completed by the teens and volunteer supervisors for this project totaled just under $10,000.

FCC members are still giving back to the community, even though the program is at an end. One teen arranged for his Scout Troop, BSA Troop 166, to put in community service hours at Dyken Pond. Eleven troop members were supervised by Chip Bulson who directed them in repairing a broken culvert. The estimate to hire a professional to complete the repair was $3,500, but with the work put in by the scouts and the volunteers the only cost to Dyken Pond was $121 for a new section of pipe.

RYO is excited to continue connecting Rensselaer County youth, families, and people of all ages to outdoor educational, recreational, and community service opportunities. The Children’s Forest is grateful to the many volunteers and donors who continue to make these programs a reality.

Mushroom Identification Series

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

October 19 • 10 a.m.–noon Mushroom Walk for Beginners with Sue Van Hook Mycologist.

Sue will lead us into the woods at one of our Preserves or Forests on the Rensselaer Plateau. Participants will have a chance to develop their field skills in mushroom identification.

October 19 • 1–3 p.m.: Learn to Key Mushrooms with Sue Van Hook, Mycologist. Sue will guide us in the use of books and keys to identify some of our local mushrooms.

10/10/2019 – 10/31/2019

Upcoming Events at Grafton Lakes State Parks

For all events, please call ahead to pre-register at (518) 279-1155 ext. 2.

Saturday, October 19th—Radical Reptiles 1:00 P.M. Join us in celebrating Reptile Awareness Day at our welcome center and learn about reptiles found in Grafton!

Sunday, October 27th — Batty about Bats 1:00 PM. With Halloween just around the corner, take a chance to learn about conservation concerns and what you can do to help one of the more misunderstood creatures in the animal kingdom.

Saturday, November 2nd — Amazing Water Bear Hunt 10:00 AM — 12:00 PM. Stop in to help a scientist find microscopic creatures, known affectionately as water bears, that live in your own backyard! Learn about these incredibly resilient animals and get a chance to view one through a microscope.

Sunday, November 3rd — Sunrise Fire Tower Hike 5:30 AM. Start the day off by watching the sunrise over the green mountains from one of the best views on the Rensselaer Plateau, the Dickinson Hill Fire Tower. Be sure to dress in layers and bring proper lighting.

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 fall. More information and registration at

Mushroom Naturalist Series

October 19

10 a.m.–noon: Mushroom Walk for Beginners with Sue Van Hook

1–3 p.m.: Learn to Key Mushrooms with Sue Van Hook

October Events at Dyken Pond EE Center

Grafton – The Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center is offering the following events in October.

Batty for Bats! : Saturday, October 19: 1pm -3pm Just in time for Halloween, learn all about this sometimes misunderstood, but amazing creature. Learn about our native bats, their habitat and habits. Play bat games and make a bat mask. For kids 4 – 12 years old. $3 per youth suggested donation.

Firewood Gathering Volunteer Day: Saturday, October 26: 9am – noon An annual event to help the Center cut, gather, haul, split, and stack enough firewood to last the winter. We’ll treat all hardy volunteers to a free lunch for your efforts. Please preregister by Thursday, October 24 so we can plan enough food for everyone.

Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center is a Rensselaer County Park open daily during daylight hours for hiking, fishing and non-motorized boating. Preregister for all events by calling (518) 658-2055 or email dykenpond@gmailcom. Call for more information and a complete schedule of our fall events or visit .

Animal And Pet Items In-House Garage Sale!

An on–going sale! Come and see nifty animal/pet knickknacks, bric-a-brac, pet toys & supplies. Items can be purchased during Venture Inward classes and events. Go to to see Calendar for days and times we are open!

If you have items you would like to donate, contact Venture Inward at 518-477-6566 & please forward this to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, facebook friends!! All proceeds go directly to Jane Demartino’s CaringAboutTheStrays, a 501.c3 non-profit, so your generosity is tax deductable too!

Run Anytime in October

Enjoy the Majesty of Fall

Join the Arbor Day Foundation in October and Receive 10 Colorful Trees and Bushes

The Arbor Day Foundation will brighten up your fall by offering 10 colorful trees and bushes when you join the organization in October.

The free trees are part of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees for America campaign, a program dedicated to environmental stewardship through the planting of trees.

Everyone who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in October will receive 10 colorful trees and bushes selected for your area.

“Members will especially enjoy these trees during the autumn months because they’ll add abundant, vibrant color to any yard or landscape for years to come,” said Matt Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Planting instructions will be enclosed with each shipment of trees.

To receive your free trees, visit or send a $10 membership contribution by October 31 to:

Arbor Day Foundation

10 Colorful Trees and Bushes

100 Arbor Ave.

Nebraska City, NE 68410

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