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2017 Spring Programs

To pre-register for programs and for more information, please contact the Center at or 518 658-2055.

Please note that our weather conditions at 1700 ft. elevation may differ from where you live. Please check the outgoing message at 518 658-2055 for updated conditions and possible program cancellations.


Junior Naturalist: Sunday, August 6 9 - 10:30am Fishing
This class is intended for kids who would like to learn how to fish or are just beginning the sport. Youth will learn about the types of fish found in Dyken Pond and how they can best be caught. Instruction will be given on how to safely cast a fishing pole, how to tie a fisherman’s knot and how to bait a hook before attempting to catch fish. Limited fishing Poles and tackle will be available. Preregistration required. Cost $1. Ages 5 and up.

Full Moon Kayak: Monday, August 7 6:30 - 8:30
Enjoy a sunset paddle around Dyken Pond as we watch the moon rise over the lake. Kayak rentals available with advance notice for $10. Pre-registration required and space limited.

Music Under the Trees Summer Concert: Wednesday, August 9 6:30 Joseph Brushac, Native American Storyteller and Musician
Joseph Brushac is an internationally acclaimed Abenaki Storyteller and musician. Storytelling is an essential part of Native American culture. Through the telling of Native legends people of all ages can be taught valuable lessons and be amused at the same time. These legends, combined with traditional drum songs and explanation of various native philosophies and the traditions they contain, can help give people a better understanding of native culture. Concert is free. come early with a picnic dinner. Light refreshments will be available for fee. kayak and canoe rentals will be available until 6pm on this day. Rain date will be August 10. This project is sponsored by the Friends of Dyken Pond and is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of theNew York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New YorkState Legislature and administered by The Arts Center of the Capital Region.

Junior Naturalist: Tuesday, August 15 1 - 3pm Make a Nature Journal
Create your own Nature Journal and learn how fun it can be to record your nature adventures to revisit on a rainy day. You can write down your thoughts or experiences, draw pictures, and even preserve leaves or flowers. We’ll take a hike and use all 5 senses to fill in the first entry. Then, see how your observations change as you make more entries about your own adventures. Fee: $2 per person. Pre-registration suggested in order to help us plan.

Partial Solar Eclipse: Monday, August 21, 2017: 1pm -4pm
A total solar eclipse is occurring in the southern US for the first time since 1979. A partial solar eclipse will be visible in Grafton, NY between 1:23pm and 3:56 pm with maximum coverage occurring at 2:42pm. If you would like to view this historic eclipse from the serenity of a Rensselaer County Park please join us at the Center. We will provide a brief explanation of how and why eclipses occur before splitting up to find the perfect viewing location of your choice. The best and safest way to view an eclipse is through “eclipse glasses” which will be available to those who pre-register for this event for $3. An eclipse can only be viewed using proper eye protection. Remember to never look directly at the sun. Pre-registration required.

Music Under the Trees: Saturday, August 26 6:00pm Jack Empie and Friends
Music that touches the heart, makes your feet move and just feels good. An exceptional songwriter and guitarist, Jack sings and plays original songs with flavor, zest, and an outpouring of notes. This concert is free and is co-sponsored by the Friends of Dyken Pond. Donations always welcome.


Bird of Prey Program with Geoff Ford: Saturday, September 9 4pm -6pm
See living birds of prey with Master Falconer, Geoff Ford. Geoff will give an inspiring presentation and you'll be able to get a close look at these magnificent birds. $3 suggested donation.


Instructor Bio's for Various Programs

Lisa Hoyt: Lisa is the Director at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center and has taught environmental education programs for over 25 years. She received a BS degree in Natural Resources Management from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Lisa shares her love of the outdoors with youth, their families and adults in a variety of outdoor education programs for the public, outreach programs and a summer nature camp for youth. Her biggest passion is to connect children to nature "in their own backyards" so they can become knowledgeable adults who care for the land and the environment.

Josh Pulito: Josh is an Environmental Educator at the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center. He has a background in Childhood Education and received his MS in Education from the Russell Sage College. Josh has over 10 years of experience working with children, teens and adults in outdoor settings with an extensive background in working with at risk youth. He enjoys working with people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of outdoor experience and sharing his love for nature with others.

Brian Melick: Brian Melick, drummer and multi-hand percussionist, has taught workshops and masterclasses throughout the Northeast and Canada. He has been a featured facilitator at Music Therapists International Conferences and serves on the World Percussive Committee for the Percussive Arts Society. He has taught people of all ages, from pre-schoolers to senior citizens, whose musical education ranged from none to years of study. Much-demanded, highly participatory workshops include Introduction to the World of Percussion and Rhythm, The World of Udu Drums, and Making and Playing Percussion Instruments out of Found Objects. Educators have used Brian\'s workshops as illustrations in such diverse fields as physics, social studies, art, history, environmentalism and religion, as well as music. Creating music from found objects reinforces curricula about recycling, stressing the interconnectedness of the natural and man-made worlds. Visit his website at:

Joseph Brushac: For over thirty years Joseph Bruchac has been creating poetry, short stories, novels, anthologies and music that reflect his Native American heritage and traditions. He is the author of more than 120 books for children and adults. The best selling Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children and others of his “Keepers” series, with its remarkable integration of science and folklore, continue to receive critical acclaim and to be used in classrooms throughout the country. Visit his website at:

Geoff Ford: Geoff has been a hunter and fisherman for 40 years and lives in southern Albany County. He has been a falconer for the last 14 years and received his master falconry license in 2015. He has flown several Red-tailed hawks, 2 Coopers Hawks and presently possesses 2 Harris Hawks and a Finnish Goshawk. He is also presently Director of the New York State Falconry Association. His wife Richele is also a Falconer and possesses an educational license and has been giving talks on birds of prey and falconry for the past ten years.