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Please join the Friends of Dyken Pond Outdoor Explorers at meetup.com to get notifications for last minute program additions

2021 Winter Programs

To pre-register for programs, please contact us at dykenpond@gmail.com or 518 658-2055. A confirmation from us ensures your place in the program. All program fees have been waived during COVID-19, but donations of any amount are always welcome if you are able. We take your safety seriously during the COVID-19 pandemic. New safety precautions have been put into place for both your safety and the safety of our staff during our public programs. We ask for your patience and cooperation with these new requirements. All programs are by pre-registration ONLY and are limited to 9 participants. All participants, including youth and staff, must wear a mask during registration and if unable to maintain a six foot distance from others. We ask that each family unit and/or individual practice social distancing and keep six feet apart from others. With your cooperation, we can all safely enjoy guided programs in the outdoors!

January

First Day Hike: Friday, January 1: 1 - 2:30pm
Join Josh Pulito on a 2 mile easy paced hike to start the New Year off in the outdoors. For all ages who can walk 2 miles.

Wildlife Walk and Talk: Wednesday, January 6: 1pm - 2:30
Take a short hike learning about how the Center attracts wildlife to various sites through natural and ethical means. These tips will help families know where to look for wildlife and can be taken home to increase biodiversity on your property while improving your chances of viewing wildlife. For youth of all ages who can easily walk 1.5 mile.

Giving Tuesdays: Tuesday, January 12: 1-2:30pm
Build family conservation ethics by helping Dyken Pond staff improve the Center for wildlife and guests alike on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from January through March. Projects will be announced here and on Facebook based on current conditions and may include: Shoveling an ice-skating area, building brush piles for wildlife, trail camera placement and retrieval, trail maintenance, birdhouse monitoring and maintenance, trail breaking and more.

Mindful Nature Walk: Saturday, January 16: 1pm - 3pm
Join Sandy Wilson from Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC to celebrate the wonders of the outdoors! For those of you who have never experienced a Mindful Nature Walk we will be experiencing the benefits of "Forest Bathing." Don't worry, Forest Bathing requires no shower cap and involves no actual bathing in water. Called Shinrin-Yoku where it originated in Japan, it is the wellness practice of being in the present moment and opening up our senses to fully take in the forest atmosphere. This type of slow walking 'sauntering', deep breathing, present-centered awareness, and observation in nature is shown to reduce stress, boost our moods, and strengthen our immune systems. Donations accepted if you are able. Suggested donation: $10, but truly any amount is welcome.

Find and Follow a Fox : Wednesday, January 20: 1-2:30 pm
We will spend 1.5 hours attempting to find the tracks of a fox and following them to gain insight into their seasonal behavior. This is your chance to spend two hours living in the shoes (or feet) of a fox. Hike will include bushwhacking (off trail hiking). Snowshoe rentals can be reserved for $5.

Friday Family Fitness Forays : 10am-12 noon
See all of the Center's trails in seasonal splendor. Every Friday in November from 10am -12pm we will be exploring a different area of the park attempting to cover every inch of the park's many trails. Participants who attend all sessions will be awarded a handmade Dyken Pond Walking Stick to commemorate their accomplishment. These programs end at lunch time so feel free to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy following the program! Preregistration required for each weekly session. All ages welcome but must be able to hike at least 2 miles. Difficulty level varies by week. Free. Donations welcome.

Tuesday Treks : Every Tuesday 12:30 - 2:30pm
Join Len Tremblay on a moderately paced 2-3 mile hike each week exploring the wilds of Dyken Pond Center. Each week we'll discover new ground and nature. Hikes will be cancelled in bad weather. Pre-registration required. Snowshoe rentals available for $5 if needed.

February

Wildlife Tracking with Dan Yacobellis: Friday, February 28
Follow the tracks and trails of our furry and feathered forest inhabitants. Learn how to identify the tracks of animals and interpret the story of what they were doing when they left those tracks. The day will be broken into two sessions. Register for one or both.

9:00-12:00 - We'll start at the center and not wander too far afield circling back to the Center by 12pm.

12:15-3:30 - Ready to stretch your legs? We'll head out to some of the other more distant corners of the park to follow a fisher or witness the frolic of otters. Maybe just get lost on a red fox trail!

Fee: $20 per person per session. Limited to 10 people. Pre-registration required. Register early as space is very limited. Masks required. Tracking involves a lot of stillness while discussing the tracks and can be a bit boring for young children. They are welcome, but just be prepared to have their interest stray away from the tracks.

Wildlife Tracking 9am - 12pm
Standard Rate: Member Rate:

Wildlife Tracking 12:15 - 3:30pm
Standard Rate: Member Rate:

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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 a Natural Resources Educator for both Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H and 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.