How can we expect to preserve and protect biodiversity if we don’t even know the names of the plants and animals that share our neighbourhood?
– Robert Bateman
Creek Week activities in Accord and Ulster Park
This year’s Ulster County annual Creek Week takes place from September 15 through 23. I like visiting area streams with our children and scooping with nets to see what we find beneath the surface. What’s nice about Creek Week is that I might finally learn some new critter terminology beyond “the wiggly ones” and “the squiggly ones.” Here are two cool family-friendly Creek Week activities taking place on Saturday, September 15 that your crew might enjoy, which are free and open to the public. To learn more about Creek Week events, visit https://ucenvironment.org.
At 1 p.m., join Martha Cheo, stream educator and ecologist, for her stream monitoring session. Cheo will teach participants how to identify different aquatic insects and creatures and explain how they are an important indicator of stream health. Cheo says, “Join us to discover the secret life of stream bottom-dwellers. It’s not just crayfish down there, although they are usually a big hit. My personal favorite is the stonefly nymph: our most sensitive critter, and therefore a sign of a healthy stream.”
Participants will meet at the Rondout Valley Resort, located at 105 Mettacahonts Road in Accord. Please wear appropriate shoes for wading in the stream and bring nets, containers and magnifiers if you have them. In the event of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, September 16 at 1 p.m. For more information, contact Laura Finestone at [email protected].
Later, join the Sunset Seine and Sing at the Esopus Meadows Preserve at 5 p.m. It’s such a lovely spot, especially around sunset. Who knows what wildlife you’ll encounter, from juvenile fish to blue crabs, and maybe even an eel? Interested participants can use the chest waders and take the seine net through the water to catch fish. Afterwards, the group will identify and discuss the day’s catch. Bring a picnic for dinner afterwards and enjoy some music.
The seining program lasts for one hour, with music to follow. The Esopus Meadows Preserve is located at 257 River Road in Ulster Park. For more information on this particular event, call (845) 797-2847 or visit https://www.clearwater.org. Esopus Meadows Preserve is owned and maintained by Scenic Hudson (www.scenichudson.org/parks).
Farmland Cycling Tour out of Poets’ Walk
I’m not saying that anyone should participate in Scenic Hudson’s Farmland Cycling Tour just for the fresh donuts. I’m just saying that donuts can make a long bike ride much more awesome. Part of this month’s annual Hudson River Valley Ramble celebration, the Farmland Cycling Tour takes place on Saturday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the countryside of Dutchess and Columbia Counties. Ride lengths are 10, 25 and 45 miles. Along the route, water stations will offer healthy produce and plenty of water before returning to Poets’ Walk Park for lunch and live music. You don’t have to ride; you can just join in for a fun day in the Park.
Children under 16 years of age need to be attached to their adult’s bicycles or they must ride a tandem bike with an adult. Riders under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants need to bring a bike, helmet and clothing appropriate for the ride. Bicycle techs will be on-site to inspect your bikes and give advice on proper seat height and tire pressure.
The cycling tour begins at Poets’ Walk Park with registration from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m., with recommended start times of 9, 9:30 and 10:00 a.m., depending on which ride you choose. This event is free and open to the public. Poets’ Walk Park is located on River Road in Red Hook. For more information, call (845) 473-4440, extension 273, or visit https://www.scenichudson.org.
Revolutionary War Weekend at Van Wyck Homestead in Fishkill
The New York State Education Department’s learning standards for Social Studies include the Revolutionary War. We can help our kids make history feel more alive by checking out the Revolutionary War Weekend at the Van Wyck Homestead Museum. On September 15 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can see Revolutionary War reenactors, muzzle-loaders, cooking demonstrations, blacksmiths and more. Admission is free, but a donation is recommended.
The Van Wyck Homestead Museum is located at 504 Route 9 in Fishkill. For more information, call (845) 896-9560 or visit https://www.fishkillhistoricalsociety.org.