Habitats for Bats: 2019 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest

The winning 2019 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest winner will depict the theme, “Habitats for Bats.” Entries are due December 21, 2018. Full contest rules along with lesson plans for teachers can be found here.

According to NYSDEC, most bats eat a variety of things including flying insects, fruit, nectar, and small animals. New York State is home to nine species of bats. Six species are cave bats, which hibernate in caves during the winter but live in a variety of places during the summer, including trees. Three species are tree bats that live year-round in trees. DEC produced a terrific brochure about these nine species that might prove helpful to the fifth grade artists.

 

North Collins Celebrates First-Ever Arbor Day

North Collins kindergartners helped heel in the swamp white trees planted on Arbor Day 2018, the town’s first AD celebration. Photos Courtesy Town of North Collins

With the help of a grant from the Council, the Town of North Collins (pop. approx 3600) in Erie County celebrated its first-ever Arbor Day on April 27. Kindergartners read tree tributes and helped plant two swamp white oaks (Quercus bicolor) in the Marion J. Fricano Town Park at the future Veterans Tribute site. North Collins Town Supervisor John Tobia spoke at the event about the origins of Arbor Day.

Location of North Collins in Erie County in New York State.

In addition to kindergartners and their teachers, the event was attended by Town Board Councilwoman Ellen Mathis, Town Clerk Lynn DiVencenzo, the Veterans Tribute Committee, and Town Forestry Committee Chair Wes Awald, whom Tobia thanked for his special effort getting this Arbor Day celebration organized. 

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Pine Hollow Arboretum: Environmental Education in the Capital District

Arboreta are a unique component of the urban forest, a place where we can see the breadth of beautiful trees and shrubs suited to our climate. They also make excellent outdoor environmental education labs.

For the 7th year, NYSUFC organizational member The Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands (a suburb of Albany), is providing an opportunity for area students to connect with nature in a meaningful way. The goals of the program are to increase overall environmental literacy and stewardship, to foster an appreciation for biodiversity, and to provide a venue for collaboration across socioeconomic and cultural barriers serving as a step towards community connectivity in the Capital District. 

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Winning 2018 Fifth Grade NY Arbor Day Poster Contest Artist

Sydney Starkey
Congratulations to 5th grader Sydney Starkey from Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, who won the 5th Grade 2018 NY Arbor Day poster contest! This year’s theme was “Trees for Bees.” She is seen here with her parents, Catherine and David, at the DEC Urban Forestry Awards ceremony in Albany in March.

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Behind the Scenes with Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner

Sarah at Arbor Day ceremony
from left: Sarah Werner, 2017 winner of the statewide 5th grade Arbor Day poster contest; Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard; and Patricia Reinhardt, chair of the Arbor Day Committee and a member of Warwick Valley Gardeners. Photo by Denise Werner

Last spring, many students from the Warwick Valley Central School District took part in the 2017 Arbor Day Ceremony on April 28th at Stanley-Deming Park, co-hosted by the Village of Warwick and Warwick Valley Gardeners. Among them was fifth grader Sarah Werner, whose artwork on the theme of “Defend New York’s Forests” was chosen as the statewide Arbor Day poster contest winner. We talked with Sarah and her Mom, Denise, about this achievement and about their personal connection with trees.

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Sarah: When I saw the theme ‘Defend New York’s Forests’, I thought of a fantasy where the forest had a shield, like a knight protecting the forest. The forest is behind the shield, but different kinds of trees are featured in front of it. My Mom taught me how to paint trees. I’ve been into art since I was very little, where I started with finger painting. My favorite trees are the maples because of all their fall colors. Trees always calm me. They put me in a peaceful mind place.

Denise: Since Sarah was a baby, my husband and I have taken her hiking in the forest near us, Wawayanda State Park. From six months old on she was out there in a backpack with us. Also since Sarah learned to walk, she helped me water newly planted spruce trees around the property. Those experiences influenced her awareness of trees and why trees are good for the environment. 

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Save the Rain’s Fall 2017 Tree Planting in Syracuse

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Volunteers planting in the Brighton Neighborhood of Syracuse. Photos Courtesy Save the Rain

From Clare Evelyn Carney, CCE Onondaga Urban Forestry Educator:

The Save the Rain (STR) Tree Planting Program had a wonderful year of planting street trees throughout the City of Syracuse. In 2017, over 1,000 trees were planted through the collaborative efforts of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County, the City of Syracuse Parks Department, and the Onondaga Earth Corps. In the fall, Save the Rain team members participated in a neighborhood restoration project and two tree planting events in which volunteers engaged with their communities. The program is a component of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s award-winning stormwater management program, Save the Rain.

On September 14th, 2017 the STR team came together to support the annual Home HeadQuarters Block Blitz. It was a wonderful opportunity to partner with other organizations working to rejuvenate our communities. The Block Blitz is a volunteer event focused on the revitalization of homes in Syracuse, with interventions such as painting, landscaping, cleanups, and structural restoration.  As part of the landscape renewal, the STR crew planted 13 trees at properties along West Bordon Ave, West Beard Ave, Landon Ave, and Midland Ave of Syracuse.  

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A Happy Tale from the Community Benefit Tree Program of the ALB Reforestation Project

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Photo by Pete Cheswick

by Addie Cappello, Horticulture Assistant, CCE Nassau County

As part of the ongoing Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Reforestation Grant, we ALB project staff (Nick Bates, Rob Calamia, and Addie Cappello) entered the fall 2107 planting season excited to be out of the office and back to working outdoors. For the third consecutive season, we were undertaking the entire tree project—from planning to planting—without the assistance of outside contractors. We are proud of the skills, knowledge, and self-sufficiency we have built up over time.

As part of the ongoing Community Benefit Tree Program of the ALB project, we had planned to plant 50 public trees within the Town of Oyster Bay in fall of 2017. These trees would be planted within the grounds of three schools located in the Massapequa School District: Massapequa High School, Unqua Road Elementary School, and Eastlake Elementary School. We worked closely with the grounds manager for the district, Pete Cheswick, who helped us locate ideal spots for new trees, while we selected appropriate species. Planting went well and we were happy to have helped a community as well as further our goal of reforesting Long Island. 

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Green Horizons: NYC Middle School Careers Event in its 22nd Year

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NYSDEC Senior Forester Greg Owens facilitated native tree planting and other activities in the All About Trees workshop. Photo by Diana Pedi

The 22nd New York City Green Horizons middle school careers event was held October 19, 2017 in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. It attracted almost 300 students—the largest registration ever. The weather was perfect and the Park was an ideal site for students to explore 19 stations that focused on environmental and natural resources careers. Special partners this year were staff and volunteers of Van Cortlandt Park, the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, and the Van Cortlandt Historic House Museum. 

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