DEC Hudson Valley, Catskill Region Celebrates Earth Day!

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Highlights include Opening of New “Green” Building, Family Day at Stony Kill

Every day is Earth Day at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. With 18 different divisions and nine regional offices, DEC is in the streams, the streets, the woods and the halls of government working to enhance the health and safety of New Yorkers as well as the state’s environment and natural resources.

Officially, Earth Day is April 22, a day to celebrate our planet and take part in activities beneficial to the environment. But Earth Day-related events will be ongoing through the month. To mark Earth Day 2008, DEC’s Hudson Valley Catskill Region (Region 3) is celebrating Earth Day at Stony Kill Environmental Education Center:

Sunday, April 27, 11 AM – 4 PM
Earth Day at Stony Kill – A fun, family-oriented day of nature, crafts and environmental games at Stony Kill in celebration of Earth Day. Environmentally focused activities for children and families will include a nature scavenger hunt in the woods, art from recycled materials, wildlife track casting, using a solar oven, and tree planting. All this plus the chance to see draft horses plowing and other demonstrations by the Hudson Valley Draft Horse Association will make this year’s Earth Day at Stony Kill a really festive and family-friendly event! For more information call 845-831-8780.

This year’s Earth Day also coincides with the opening of the doors to the public of the brand new, LEED-certified Region 3 office wing in New Paltz. Please join us on April 22nd at 9am for ceremonial opening at 21 South Putt Corner Road, New Paltz. Take a tour of our new facility, which incorporates state-of-the-art green design practices. The Building has been designed to meet the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Rating System (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
Green Building strives to balance 1) Environmental Responsibility; 2) Resource Efficiency; 3) Occupant Comfort and Well Being and; 3) Community Sensitivity.

Also, in advance of Earth Day, Region 3 director Willie Janeway will be addressing the Rockland County Business Association during their 8am breakfast meeting at the Nyack Seaport Center, 21 Burd Street, Nyack, New York on Thursday, April 17th. Janeway will be speaking to local business owners and the Rockland County Green Council on “What is Green?” in order to encourage the business community around the region to incorporate green standards in their own facilities and practices.

Below are just a few of the additional events happening around the Region:

Saturday, April 19, 11:30 AM – 3 PM
Orange Environment’s Earth Day Celebration – Warwick Middle School’s tree-planting ceremony, followed by a global warming forum, live bands, kids’ activities and exhibitions. At the same time, at Rogowski Farm in Pine Island, there will be solar presentations, local foods, cooking, book-signings, hikes, a dance company, a kids’ village and live music. Events at both locations are free and open to the public. Rogowski Farm will follow its daytime activities with a barn dance, 5-9 p.m., with “Glory Bound” and a buffet dinner. Cost: $5 for children, $12 for adults. For information, call 845-294-5852.

Saturday, April 19, 10:00 AM – 6 PM
Hudson Valley Materials Exchange Saturday – Hudson Valley Materials Exchange, 1101 First St., Stewart International Airport, New Windsor. Earth Day sale of building materials, craft and general materials rescued from the waste stream. For the day, 22 percent off sales of $22 or more. For information, call 845-567-1445.

Saturday, April 19 and Tuesday, April 22 from 11:30 AM – 3 PM
It’s Easy Being Green! – Learn how conserving resources, recycling, energy alternatives and organic gardening can make a difference at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands at the Boulevard, Cornwall. There will be crafts, information, demonstrations and guided hikes. Presentation by Shawn Dell Joyce on local solutions to global warming. Small donation. Call 845-534-7781 or 845-534-7781 for information.

Saturday, April 26, Activities start at 9:00 AM
Red Hook: Townwide Arbor Day/Earth Day celebrations
– Activities will include a trail dedication and tree planting at 9 a.m. at the Red Hook Rec Park; a talk on green incentives at 11 a.m. at the Village Building; children’s author Barbara Rush with stories and drawings at 1 p.m. at the Village Building; a variety of activities and distribution of free seedlings from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Town Hall parking lot; the Village Green Committee planting trees throughout the day; and a guided tour of the green aspects of the Red Hook Firehouse from 2 to 3:30 p.m. To volunteer to help with plantings, e-mail Jen Melitski at jmelitski [at] yahoo [dot] com. For more information, e-mail Paula Schoonmaker at pskoon1 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Sunday, April 27, 11:30 AM – 3 PM
Earth Day Fair – Greening Our Homes – Environmentally friendly individuals and groups will share healthy and sustainable ways for taking care of our earth and its inhabitants today, everyday and right now! Join the fun at the Reformed Church of New Paltz, 93 Huguenot Street. For more information call, 845-255-4170.

Earth Day History

U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson is credited with the founding of Earth Day. After years of unsuccessful attempts to persuade the federal government to add environmental concerns to its agenda, Senator Nelson announced at a conference that there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration in the spring of 1970 on behalf of the environment, and he invited everyone to participate. His call met a tremendous response.

Twenty million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities across the country participated. Environmental awareness and activism has grown in the 38 years since that first Earth Day, spawning both businesses and government agencies. Children now routinely learn about the environment in school, and colleges and universities confer degrees in environmental sciences.