Winter has finally arrived and is looking like it might stick around for a bit this year. I know I am not alone in reminiscing about last year's snow and cold free climate, conveniently forgetting how much I longed for the chance to go snowshoeing. And let’s not forget the stress that was last year’s Winter Festival when it seemed that the snow luge, ice skating, and ice fishing were going to be replaced by a mud run. Here’s hoping that winter treats us right and we get “just enough” of a winter wonderland to make everyone happy.
Speaking of winter wonderlands, the Huyck Preserve is looking quite dashing with dusting of snow… and unfortunately ice. Please be careful when you are out on the trails, cramp-ons are HIGHLY recommended and of course be sure to dress appropriately for arctic breezes off Lake Myosotis. But don’t be discouraged about getting outside during these colder months! New research suggests that being in the wild improves creative reasoning. Still trying to get the last of your holiday shopping completed? Maybe a quick jaunt outdoors will get those creative juices flowing so that you can choose the perfect present for your loved one.
Of course, we at the Huyck Preserve have a few gift ideas for those extra difficult people. Huyck Preserve T-shirts, water bottles, and artist designed stationary are always a crowd pleaser. For the discerning, may we suggest a gift Membership or a donation in their name to our Annual Fund? Memberships are a great way to get your friends and family outside and involved in all the Huyck Preserve offers- from guided hikes, to festivals, to summer education programs for the younger set, and special members only events. Donations to our Annual Fund will add your love one to our ranks as an Environmental Defender- someone who recognizes clean water, forested habitat for wildlife, and access to green spaces as crucial for the health and happiness of people and the environment. Won’t you and your loved ones join us in helping to defend the wilderness this holiday season?
The next two weeks will find staff in and out of the office as we too take a moment to connect with friends and family. We’re looking forward to yummy treats, warm hugs, and time outdoors followed by hot cups of cocoa. We wish all our wonderful members and those of you who already count yourself as one of our Environmental Defenders, seasons greetings and a very happy and healthy New Year!
We are on our way to reaching our goal of raising $30,000 this year as part of our Annual Appeal!
Wondering what the Huyck Preserve can do with $5,000?
Calling all users of the Huyck Preserve (even those of you who still resit becoming members)! Become a defender of the environment by donating to the Huyck Preserve.
Here's the deal, we are doing awesome things here at the Huyck Preserve making big splashes in the community. This holiday season, we have put a call out to Environmental Defenders for donations to help us continue to protect over 2,000 acres. We are committed to providing green spaces for wildlife and access to all those looking to connect with nature. If you are reading this blog, you are likely familiar with all the Huyck Preserve offers, but if you are still looking for concrete reasons why protecting the Huyck Preserve is important, read on below:
First, we have 12 miles of well-maintained trails. These trails, dare I say it... yes, I will... are the best trails in the Capital Region if not the state or the northeast. If you can find a better trail, please let me know. I will go find it, hike it, grumble about being slapped in the face by trees, spend twenty minutes looking at a map because I lost the trail markers (yes, I am that person), and probably nit pick every time I have to clamor over a tree or get my feet wet. Oh sure, there is a time an place for roughin' it, but here is where you come when you want to commune with nature and not channel your inner Bear Grylls. I am talking about a space where you can hear birds singing and see woodland creatures with out the backdrop of concrete. The Huyck Preserve is a place where you look up in the summer and and it's green and in the winter a frosty white with no roads or cars to be seen or heard. Thus, when you come to the Huyck Preserve you can let go of all your worries, act like a kid, "oooh" at the wildlife, and just relax. Of course, there are some, who are not the relaxing kind, and I direct those curious visitors to our other programming. Dying to know about mushrooms? We have a hike for that. Thinking of living off (your own) land? Hike for that. What about if you are just into woodworking and suddenly think, "You know, I should know more about trees"? Hike for that too. I'm just saying, we have a lot of hikes throughout the year. I find myself wandering the icy cold trails at night during full moons in the winter. Who will be joining me on January 13 and February 11 for our next two night hikes? RSVP below.
Second, we are all about connecting children to nature. I have been accused of being education-centric. In reality, kids in the wild catching crayfish or just exploring make for fantastic pictures. Not only is breathtaking nature in the frame but you also get curious and gleeful faces. In the office, we naturally gravitate towards those memories when we make photo-collages documenting the year. Pictures aside, our education programs are super cool. We pride ourselves on making education at the Huyck Preserve learning-oriented. Yes, just exploring is fun but it is so much more meaningful when found salamanders are assigned names and students are able to learn a bit about their biology. And kids want to know why salamanders are moist and sticky, why you are more likely to find them under rocks and logs, and what they eat. They are amazed to discover these tiny little creatures are able to return to the same rock in the forest even if you move them several meters away. Our school field trip programs are especially important as supplementation to science programming in the classroom. We work directly with teachers to offer field trips that build upon classroom lessons so that ideas like conservation, preservation, and stewardship can become a reality.
Third, we educate more than kids here at the Huyck Preserve. At our core is the Huyck Preserve's research station and our research program. We not only do our part to monitor some of the invasive species moving into the area but we also support field-based research studies conducted by researchers from around the world. To visiting researchers we offer a base of operations including avenues for sharing ongoing research with the public. Every summer we present a slate of new research talks as part of our Thursday Night Lecture series and Science Symposium. Some of these speakers present on work happening at the Preserve. Just this year our series included a presentations by a SUNY Cobleskill group investigating our Preserve as a reintroduction site for a locally extinct burying beetle. Other researchers, like this year's Science Symposium's keynote on infectious diseases, have been invited to share their cutting-edge work first-hand with the Huyck community.
Finally, for those who really are, just into saving the wild. I present to you a slide show of the Rensselaerville Falls across time and seasons. In these dramatic photos take a moment to see how much the falls have changed over the years. Note how the forest has grown in around the falls creating the lush green we see today. It is the continued support of people like you that has allowed nature to reclaim the Rensselaerville Falls so that they may be enjoyed in their true glory fall, winter, spring, and summer. If you love the falls, be and Environmental Defender, and donate to the Huyck Preserve today.
As always, can't wait to see you out on the trails,