IMG_0440

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

2020 Fall Programs

To pre-register for programs, please contact us at dykenpond@gmail.com or 518 658-2055. 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 10-15 participants depending on the program. Pre-registration ends the day before the program starts. 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. Any equipment used during a program will be disinfected before and after each program. With your cooperation, we can all safely enjoy guided programs in the outdoors!

September

Make a Journey Stick: Saturday, September 12 10-11:30pm
Explore the forest while creating a journey stick. Create your own journey stick by collecting interesting natural objects while you investigate the woods and attach them to your stick. Take home your souvenir to remember the day and the adventure. For preschool aged youth and above. Preregistration required.

Mindful Nature Walk: Saturday, September 12 2pm - 4pm
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 celebrating International Forest Bathing Day with a Mindful walk in nature while 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. What's more, these results are shown to last for weeks, or even months, after only one Forest Bathing outing. Our positive natural response to being outdoors shows our undeniable connection--and that's something to celebrate! One of our past participants said "I walked trails all over the world many times over the years and never took the time to actually 'experience' nature while enjoying the trails. There are so many things that I never noticed before. This was just fabulous." Masks are required when we arrive and when we gather but may be removed while we are walking or sitting during the outing when participants can maintain 6 feet distance from one another. Please bring water, a mat to sit on (there are six available), comfortable clothing, and a snack if you would like. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear shoes for walking in the woods. Donations welcome if you are able. $10 suggested donation, but truly any amount welcome.

Family Field Trip Series: Wednesdays 10 am - noon
Take learning outdoors one day at a time and return home refreshed and with new ideas for activities and topics to explore at your own pace. Field trips are a key component to the school experience. They allow youth to explore the real world first hand providing a foundation for further in depth discussions and activities. No learning experience is complete without hands on experience! Join us to learn about the natural world through hands on activities in an outdoor setting. The series is geared towards kids aged 5 - 10. Fee: $5 for adult and child. Fee can be waived for those with special circumstances. Pre-registration is required. Sign up for one program or the series.

Family Field Trip Series: Wednesday, September 16 10am-12 MicroWorlds
Use magnification to explore the habitats of some of nature's smallest creatures. We will use hand lenses to explore and compare different habitats and make a booklet for recording our drawings, poems and stories.

Staying on Track: Navigation Skills Class: Saturday, September 26 1-2:30 pm
This beginner navigation class will build your skills using a compass and trail map and cover methods of finding your way when you are without traditional tools. Feel more comfortable hiking in the woods and exploring new areas. Know what you would do if you ever find yourself confused in the forest. For families and youth aged 10 and up. Preregistration required.

Boots to the Ground Volunteer Day: Saturday, September 26 9am- noon
We missed our Spring Volunteer Days and now could use just a little bit of help. So, come on out, get your hands dirty, breath the fresh air and help us out by putting in a brand new trail on new property owned by The Friends of Dyken Pond, splitting and stacking firewood, creating a new bridge by a beaver dam and clearing the remaining six miles of trails. We'll provide water and snacks for the trail. Volunteers will work in small groups and keep socially distant from others. Pre-registration required for planning.

Family Field Trip Series: Wednesday, September 30 10am - noon Build a Bug
Catch and examine insects in a pollinator garden, field and forest before building your own model insect complete with the adaptations of your choice. We will then play hide and seek with our model insects allowing youth to share their choices of camouflage and other adaptations. Fee: $5 for adult and child.

Tuesday Treks: Every Tuesday 1 -3 pm
Join Leonard Tremblay on a 2-3 mile hike at a moderate pace exploring the wilds of Dyken Pond Center. Each week we'll discover new ground and nature. Hikes will be cancelled in bad weather.

October

Finding Fish: Saturday, October 3: 9-10:30am
Find out who lives in Dyken Pond and how best to catch them. Fishing poles and tackle provided. For beginners. Preregistration required.

Mindful Nature Walk: Saturday, October 3 1:30 -3:30
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 celebrating International Forest Bathing Day with a Mindful walk in nature while 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. What's more, these results are shown to last for weeks, or even months, after only one Forest Bathing outing. Our positive natural response to being outdoors shows our undeniable connection--and that's something to celebrate! One of our past participants said "I walked trails all over the world many times over the years and never took the time to actually 'experience' nature while enjoying the trails. There are so many things that I never noticed before. This was just fabulous." Masks are required when we arrive and when we gather but may be removed while we are walking or sitting during the outing when participants can maintain 6 feet distance from one another. Please bring water, a mat to sit on (there are six available), comfortable clothing, and a snack if you would like. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear shoes for walking in the woods. Donations welcome if you are able. $10 suggested donation, but truly any amount welcome.

Family Field Trip Series: Wednesday, October 14 10am - noon Family Tree Day
Get to know the trees of the Rensselaer Plateau. Make a tree identification booklet, learn how to age trees, why they change colors, grow in so many different shapes and hike to the oldest/largest tree at Dyken Pond EEC. Fee: $5 adult and child

Aquatic Mammal Walk: Saturday, October 17: 1pm-3pm
Hike 2.5 miles to Newcomb Pond, one of Dyken Pond’s prettiest and most secluded wetlands. Learn about the otters and beavers who live in this special area. Youth must be able to hike the 2.5 mile distance.

Family Field Trip Series: Wednesday, October 28: 10am - noon Fall Birding
Learn how to set up and monitor a bird feeding area at home. Leave with the confidence and curriculum to engage youth in the observation and study of birds. Learn what makes a bird a bird, how to identify common birds and how to design experiments leading to hours of home engagement. Fee: $5 adult and child

November

Mindful Nature Walk: November 7 1:30 -3:30
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. What's more, these results are shown to last for weeks, or even months, after only one Forest Bathing outing. Our positive natural response to being outdoors shows our undeniable connection--and that's something to celebrate! One of our past participants said "I walked trails all over the world many times over the years and never took the time to actually 'experience' nature while enjoying the trails. There are so many things that I never noticed before. This was just fabulous." Masks are required when we arrive and when we gather but may be removed while we are walking or sitting during the outing when participants can maintain 6 feet distance from one another. Please bring water, a mat to sit on (there are six available), comfortable clothing, and a snack if you would like. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear shoes for walking in the woods. Donations accepted if you are able. Suggested donation: $10, but truly any amount is welcome.

________________________________________________________

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.