Tag Archives: environmental education

L.O.V.E. = LAKE ONTARIO’S VALUED ECOSYSTEMS

14 Jun

L.O.V.E. = LAKE ONTARIO’S VALUED ECOSYSTEMS.

BY KRISTEN MOORE

Sun shines over Lake Ontario from Scott's Bluffs

A sunny afternoon glimmers from the eastern edge of Scott’s Bluffs.

When winter seemed like it would never end, this acronym came to me. Clean water has always been important to me, especially growing up beside Lake Ontario.

The lands along Lake Ontario’s southern shore are abundant with wildlife ranging from Bald Eagles, Ospreys and Great Blue Herons to turtles, trout and trillium. As an adventure educator, I hope experiential learning will captivate people and foster healthy behaviors including outdoor exercise, recreation and stewardship.

The Red Creek Marsh Unit is an area I’ve enjoyed exploring for years. Reading books in the shade of tall oaks, kayaking, picnicking, clearing litter and invasive species; I know it well. Mute swans and Canada geese rely upon these waters, as do turtles, beavers, raptors and others.

Still marsh waters foster huge reflection of sky and greenery

Still waters create a mirror of the sky, with a single lily pad showing off in the foreground.

Sunlight and white, puffy clouds reflect upon a marsh's waters beside the nose of a green kayak

White, puffy clouds and sunshine reflect from the waters of the Red Creek Marsh Unit.

Water chestnut is due to grow in here soon. Hydra algal blooms have been a problem in the past. Poison oak here has harmed me, along with wild parsnip? This wild area is a treasure to marvel and care for.

Sodus Bay, with Chimney Bluffs to the east and Crackerbox Palace/Alasa Farms to the south; the bay and lake have defined life in this area for quite a long time! Historic Huron and the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum both have artifacts and information about our local families and culture that demonstrate great richness of people and environment.

A black horse named "Double" looks over the fence at the photographer.

“Double” looks at the camera, perhaps wondering if baby carrots are to be enjoyed today.

Stone Bench and View at Alasa Farms

This stone bench sits beside the eastern pastures at Alasa Farms. An animal sanctuary and Genesee Land Trust property, Cracker Box Palace is a gift to many species.

What can we do for L.O.V.E.? We can participate in invasive species removal events. We can clean spaces of litter, take pictures & video-while posting on social media. We can conduct watershed education with events like kayaking with local historians and conservation leaders. We can explore the geology of our beaches and bluffs, igniting people to learn about our glacial history and earth sciences. We can help Randy maintain trails at Crackerbox Palace/Alasa Farms. We can raise pints from Lunkenheimer’s to support the Genesee Land Trust and Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum!

These spaces thrill me with their variety, rhythms and life. To me they are L.O.V.E., Lake Ontario’s Valued Ecosystems.

Butterflies, Bees and More

25 Apr

My grandmother said she WAS a butterfly.  She wrote, spoke and thought in metaphor.

Butterflies could use our help.  Numerous factors are affecting populations of butterflies and bees.  Detailed steps are listed at The Xerces Society’s page “Bring Back the Pollinators Campaign that can be taken to foster health for pollinators and environment alike.

Purchasing and caring for monarch larvae is a fantastic way to witness the metamorphosis in the development of butterflies.  People of all ages can experience wonder, while learning and supporting butterfly populations.  If you would like to order  and purchase your own monarch larvae and personal nursery to be shipped to your home, you can do so at butterflybushes.com.  Deliveries are not expected to occur until June 2017.

Many different partners are coming together to share information and resources to support butterflies, bees and more. Please contact me if you would like to participate.  More educational and event information will be released as the season progresses.

Three sites are listed below, each offering projects, actions and advice to promote the health of pollinators.

The Xerces Society’s page devoted specifically to our region is http://www.xerces.org/pollinators-great-lakes-region/.

Even Cheerios is hoping to create positive change for bees.  The cereal company shares information regarding challenges bees are facing and what is being done to help here: http://www.cheerios.com/weneedthebees.aspx

A quick look at the Cayuga Nature Center’s page devoted to butterflies, offered a name of the delightful creature that fluttered beside me yesterday, a “Baltimore Checkerspot.”

Now, time to venture into the fields and see the work these creatures are performing.

 

 

June!

15 Jun

June in the Finger Lakes is exciting! Happy to see green hills, ferns, flowers, trees with leaves, fresh produce and students anticipating summer, it is easy to forget the threats we face individually and on a larger scale. Ticks carrying Lyme disease are silent, tiny enemies that need to be avoided with diligence. Invasive species threaten the balance of ecosystems and chemicals from a multiplicity of sources can contaminate our fresh water resources. Learn what you can do to enjoy the outdoors safely and encourage the health of our local and global environment.

The Finger Lakes Institute of Hobart and William and Smith Colleges is doing great work in our region, engaging students and communities to become aware of their environment and ability to impact it negatively and positively.  Working as a Watercraft Steward for FLI allowed me to train with leading educators and others committed to preventing the transport and spread of invasive species.  “Clean, drain and dry” became more than a slogan for thoughtful boaters and more of a step by step directive for those who may be contributing to the spread of invasive species without even knowing it.

Read June’s monthly newsletter to discover the variety of projects FLI’s staff members are involved in around the area.  FLI Happenings

Individuals and small groups are also working to shed light on environmental concerns and to bring people together to discuss impacts and solutions.  Susan Peterson Gately is an environmental educator, sailor and author who has launched a KickStarter campaign to fund a video about Lake Ontario from her vessel, the Sarah B.  She hopes to share facts about the lake, current pollutants and possible improvements that can be made to improve the health of the Great Lake north of the Finger Lakes.  View her campaign,  Lake Ontario A Love Story and consider supporting this passionate scientist and advocate now.

Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity and Nature Preserve.

Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity and Nature Preserve.

Meadows and forests feed my sanity yet enjoying them must be done with care as Lyme disease carrying ticks are prevalent in the Finger Lakes region of NY.  Dressing sensibly is a necessity, even though one may prefer shorts to long pants, creating a barrier to ticks is logical.  High socks, proper shoes, a tucked in shirt and a hat are wise gear to choose.  One may also apply topical deterrents such as essential oils of lavender and/or eucalyptus.  Dogs can share in the protection if safely applied to a bandanna to be worn around the neck.  Essential oils can be strong so do not overuse them!

Permethrin was recommended to me this morning for tick prevention.  A quick search brought up product details and other suggestions that may be more gentle than those applications containing DEET.  What have you found to be useful in warding off ticks and other pests?

As you get out and enjoy this amazing place to visit and call home, please do so with care.  We are connected in ways we may not yet understand. Have fun!