District updates, highlights from recent events, and more news.
View this email in your browser


  • Round 20 SMIP Grant Applications are due September 15, 2019. The GCSWCD and Schoharie Watershed Advisory Committee (SWAC), in conjunction with NYCDEP, are seeking qualified applications for stream management implementation projects in the following categories: Education & Outreach, Highway & Infrastructure, Landowner Stream Assistance, Recreation & Habitat Enhancements, Planning & Assessment, and Flood Hazard Mitigation. For more information about this opportunity, click here or contact 518-622-3620.
  • Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative (CSBI) is accepting applications. Schoharie Watershed landowners with property within a riparian buffer (streamside) area may be eligible to participate in the CSBI program. Participants of this program work with GCSWCD to develop a planting plan for native trees and flowering shrubs along the stream to improve wildlife habitat and help protect streambanks from erosion during future storm events. For more information, click here or contact Laura by e-mail or phone (518-622-3620).


Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook
Go to our Website Go to our Website

10th Annual Schoharie Watershed Month Highlights

Group photo from the "Spring in Spruceton Photography Walk" during Schoharie Watershed Month in May 2019. (Photo Credit: Francis X. Driscoll)
Schoharie Watershed—This May, GCSWCD celebrated the 10th Annual Schoharie Watershed Month. Throughout the month, GCSWCD partnered with local organizations to host a variety of free public activities and events focused on watershed protection and appreciation. Schoharie Watershed Month featured community– and family-oriented events that provided a host of fun educational activities on water quality.
May 4th—GCSWCD partnered with local photographer, Francis X. Driscoll, for the “Spring in Spruceton Photography Walk” along the West Kill in the Spruceton Valley area of Lexington. Participants learned tips on how to take beautiful macro and landscape photos, while enjoying the pristine environment of the surroundings.
May 4th—GCSWCD partnered with the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville for the “Arresting the Floodwaters: Hold your Ground with Native Plants” event. Author and landscape designer, Carolyn Summers, came to the library to give a presentation about how native plants can be used in stormwater control. Participants learned about native plant species suitable for the Catskills and saw examples of rain gardens and other stormwater practices.
May 9th—GCSWCD partnered with the Windham Public Library for the “Planting Hope: The Work of the CCC in the Catskills” event. This was an illustrated talk by Diane Galusha, author of several books of regional history and president of the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown. The talk focused on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the Catskills. Participants learned about the local projects, parks, and trails that were built or improved by the CCC in the Catskills area.
May 11th—GCSWCD partnered with the Mountain Top Arboretum in Tannersville for the “Becoming a Citizen Scientist with iNaturalist” event. This event featured two presentations, beginning with an overview of the iNaturalist mobile app and website and concluding with a slideshow showing information on some of the common invasive species in the Catskills. Following the presentations, participants had a chance to explore the Arboretum and see some examples of species shown in the slideshow.

May 11th—GCSWCD partnered with Robert and Johanna Titus for the “Glacial Geology of the Schoharie Creek Valley” lecture at the Zadock Pratt Museum and hike up nearby Pratt Rock in Prattsville. Participants learned about the history of the glacial geology in the region and how to identify some typical ice age features.
May 18th—GCSWCD partnered with the Mountain Top Arboretum in Tannersville for the “Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Primer: What’s Happening with Hemlocks in New York?” event. Participants learned about the invasive forest pest known as the hemlock woolly adelgid and how to identify the pest as well as hemlock trees.

For more information on Schoharie Watershed Month, or to inquire about partnering on an event in May 2020, call 518-622-3620.

13th Annual Schoharie Watershed Summit Highlights

Windham, NY—On Saturday, April 27th, the GCSWCD’s Schoharie Watershed Program held its 13th Annual Schoharie Watershed Summit with 82 attendees. This year’s theme, “Digging Deeper: Understanding how geology affects the Schoharie Basin,” took the audience on a journey through geologic history, focusing on both bedrock and glacial geology, and concluding with information about how the geology affects modern streams and our stream management strategies.

This year’s program featured the following morning presentations: “Beneath It All: Bedrock Geology of the Upper Schoharie Watershed” by Dr. Charles Ver Straeten (New York State Museum), “Dammed Terrain: The Glacial Geology of the Schoharie Watershed and Adjacent Areas” by Dr. Andrew Kozlowski (New York State Museum), and “Reading the River’s Geologic Story” by Dany Davis (New York City Department of Environmental Protection). Afternoon workshop sessions included a choice of three workshops intended to provide two hours of municipal credits for planning and zoning board members.

This annual program is suitable for all water resource stakeholders (e.g., municipal officials, planners, engineers, watershed managers, regulators, and property owners) who are interested in learning more about water quality in the region. Planning for the 2020 Schoharie Watershed Summit will commence this fall. Please contact 518-622-3620 with ideas for future summits or to be added to the planning committee for this annual event.

GCSWCD Celebrates Earth Day and Arbor Day with Hunter-Tannersville and Coxsackie-Athens Schools

Hunter, NY—On April 24th, the GCSWCD partnered with the 2nd grade team at the Hunter Elementary School to plant a red maple tree on school property.
Coxsackie, NY—On May 3rd, the GCSWCD partnered with the 4th grade students at the Coxsackie Elementary School to plant a new sugar maple tree on the school playground. The goal for the tree is to provide shade for the playground area in future years. River birch seedlings were distributed to 2nd grade and 4th grade students to take home for planting.

The GCSWCD also partnered with the Garden Club at the Coxsackie Middle School on May 3rd to plant a flowering white dogwood tree in the middle school courtyard. River birch seedlings were distributed to the middle school garden club students to take home for planting.
Athens, NY—On June 4th, the GCSWCD partnered with the 3rd grade at the Edward J. Arthur Elementary School in Athens to plant a new sugar maple near the school playground. Wildflower seed packets were distributed to the 3rd grade students to take home for planting.

Sawmill Creek and East Kill Stream Feature Inventories (SFIs) Finishing Up for Summer 2019

Michelle McDonough (GCSWCD Conservation District Program Technician) recording stream features using a GPS unit during a previous SFI on the West Kill in 2018.
Beginning in mid-June 2019, GCSWCD staff and interns have been conducting stream feature inventories (SFIs) on the Sawmill Creek and East Kill.

A stream feature inventory (SFI) is one of the first steps in a watershed assessment and it increases our understanding of the current condition of a stream corridor and its surrounding watershed. A GPS is used to record and map the locations of important features in a stream, such as conditions which impact sediment transport and water quality, bank erosion, infrastructure, invasive species (such as Japanese knotweed), and other features (tributary confluences, wells, diversions, etc.).

This is the first SFI to be conducted on the Sawmill Creek. East Kill’s SFI was previously performed in 2007. The findings of the SFIs will be compiled into reports that classifies areas which will require continued evaluation or issues that must be addressed. Stream trends for the East Kill can be identified by comparing the findings of the 2007 SFI to the 2019 SFI.

Invasive Species Spotlight: Spotted Lanternfly

Clockwise from Top Left:
1) Early Nymph (Photo Credit: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University,
2) Late Nymph (Photo Credit: Richard Gardner,
3) Adult (Photo Credit: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,
4) Egg Masses (Photo Credit: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ,
A new invasive species was discovered in western Pennsylvania in 2014, and now has the potential to threaten New York’s forest health and agricultural industry. The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an approximately 1-inch long leaf hopper native to parts of Asia. While the SLF does not sting or bite, it uses its sucking mouth parts to drink the sap of more than 70 plant species. The SLF primarily feeds on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but can also feed on a variety of hops, grapevines, fruit trees, and other plants. While drinking the sap does not result in the death of the plant itself, it severely hinders plant growth. The SLF also excretes a sticky “honeydew” which attracts sooty mold, further stunting plant growth.

Thankfully, with continued early detection, there is still a chance of controlling SLF in our region. Since its initial discovery in Pennsylvania, infestations have also been reported in New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia. As of spring 2019, only single insects have been found in New York State, with no reported infestations. However, given the proximity of SLF infestations in nearby states, the potential for spread to New York is still substantial. SLF is unable to travel long distances by itself. This insect is a hitchhiker that typically spreads by humans unaware of its presence.

Therefore, it is extremely important to be on the lookout for SLF egg masses, nymphs, and adults and to report any findings to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Send a photo with the location (e.g., GPS coordinates, intersecting roads, or street address) and something for scale (e.g., ruler or coin) to or fill out the online reporting form at

There is a quarantine in place in areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey in an effort to contain SLF, and it is important for anyone traveling through those areas to check their cars, trailers, and anything that has spent time outside for insects and egg masses. The egg masses are usually about 1- inch long, and are brown in color. They sometimes have a mud-like substance on top of them, and are lain on any hard, flat surface. These surfaces include cars, trailers, metal, stone, and wood. If found, the egg masses should be scraped into a bag containing alcohol or hand sanitizer to destroy them, and they should be reported to NYSDEC as mentioned previously. The egg masses are usually found anytime between September and May, with the nymphs being found April-October, and the adults being found July-December.

Since early detection is the key to controlling this invasive species, public awareness and the timely reporting of SLF sightings is very important. For more information, visit the NYSDEC’s Spotted Lanternfly webpage at, or visit the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) website at

Meet our 2019 Interns

This year's interns at GCSWCD include Nathan Horstman (left), Shane Stevens (middle), and Greg Carlson (right).
Nathan Horstman
SCA Stream Stewardship Assistant
Nathan graduated from The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agriculture, and Biological Engineering in spring of 2018. Since January, he has been serving his 10-month SCA internship with GCSWCD, helping to create maps for permits, designing and constructing experimental deer fencing for CSBI projects, and assisting with education programs. In the coming months, he will be helping with the SFIs of the Sawmill Creek and the East Kill, and participating in stream restoration projects.
Shane Stevens
GCSWCD Summer Intern
Shane was born and raised in Greene County and spent two years working as a program assistant for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties while attending SUNY Cobleskill College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is currently studying Environmental Management BT and is looking forward to graduating in the spring of 2020. His goals during the internship include developing hydrologic survey skills while learning how to successfully identify and stabilize streambank concerns.
Greg Carlson
GCSWCD Summer Intern
Greg was born and raised in Greene County. After attending Catskill Senior High School and graduating in the spring of 2018, he spent a year at Columbia-Greene Community College before graduating in the spring of 2019. He plans to continue his education by finishing his BA in environmental science. His goals for the internship are to learn more about the environmental field to help narrow down what type of job to look for after college.
Share Share
Forward Forward
Copyright © 2019 Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp