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District updates, upcoming community events, spring education program highlights, and projects we're working on this summer.
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DISTRICT REMINDERS

  • July 28th-31st - Come to the Angelo Canna Town Park in Cairo for the Annual Greene County Youth Fair. We'll be there with our stream table on display. Stop by to see the simulated streams in action and learn more about our restoration and conservation work.
  • Round 14 Stream Management Implementation Program (SMIP) Grant Applications are due September 15, 2016. Municipalities, landowners, schools, and not-for-profit organizations that promote watershed programming in the Schoharie Watershed are encouraged to visit the website or contact Abbe at 518-622-3620 for more information.
  • Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative (CSBI) is Accepting Grant Applications - Schoharie Watershed landownders with property within a riparian buffer (streamside) area may be eligible. For more information visit the website or contact Laura at 518-622-3620.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

  • Saturday, June 11th - Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) is hosting a free science of nesting birds program in Athens for families with children ages 8-13. Build a birdhouse and NestWatch your birds from eggs to fledge! Call 518-622-9820 ext. 0 to register or for more information.
  • Thursday, June 16th - CCE is hosting a free Invasive Species Primer in Acra with the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) and NYSDEC. Pre-register by calling 518-622-9820 ext. 0.
  • Saturday, August 20th - Mountain Top Arboretum in Tannersville is hosting a Mushroom Walk with John Michelotti, owner of Catskill Fungi in Big Indian. For more information, click here or call 518-589-3903.

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Schoharie Watershed Month Highlighs

EDUCATION & OUTREACH UPDATE

Schoharie Reservoir Bus Tour participants at Snyder's Cove.
Schoharie Watershed - This May, we celebrated the 7th Annual Schoharie Watershed Month. Throughout the month, we hosted 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. From student art exhibits to educational guided walks, Schoharie Watershed Month activities and events offered something for everyone.

May 1st - Opening Student Art Exhibit at the Doctorow Center in Hunter, NY. Students from schools around the mountaintop displayed their films, sculptures, photographs, and other artwork for the "Now Streaming: Life in the Schoharie Watershed" art show. Exhibit ran through the month of May.

May 7th - We had a full bus for the guided bus tour of the Schoharie Reservoir with historian Gerry Stoner. Participants learned about the history of the reservoir, the building of the Gilboa Dam, the Gilboa ancient forest fossils, and more! We made a stop at the Gilboa Museum to see the ancient forest fossils and learn about their history with Kristen Wyckoff. Participants received a 50-page tour booklet with historical photos and information about the building of the Gilboa Dam and the Schoharie Reservoir.

May 7th - We partnered with Riverkeeper for the 5th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep. Our staff and volunteers planted over 600 trees and shrubs along the Batavia Kill in Windham to restore a riparian buffer to the area and improve water quality and streamside habitat. This was the first phase of a project that we will be working on this summer.

May 12th - We led riparian buffer tours for third grade students from Hunter Elementary School, as part of their Trout in the Classroom Release. The students released nine fingerling brown trout that they raised into the Schoharie Creek near Dolan's Lake in Hunter. We were joined by volunteers from Trout Unlimited, who taught fly casting and tying to the students.

May 14th - We had three speakers for the Local Stewardship Lectures event at the Platte Clove Neighborhood Center in Elka Park, NY. Speakers included: Dr. AJ Reisinger (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies), Ingrid Haeckel (NYSDEC's Hudson River Estuary Program), and Ron Urban (NY Trout Unlimited). Speakers discussed how pharmaceuticals and personal care products, such as soaps, end up in our streams and rivers and how to create a natural resources inventory.

May 15th - GCSWCD's Laura Weyeneth led the Guided Walk & Riparian Buffer Discussion at the Windham Path. Participants learned about the significance of riparian buffers, native plants, and healthy aquatic ecosystems. Participants also got to see a newly installed riparian buffer along the path.

May 21st - We held the "Hemlocks through History" lecture and guided walk at the Mountain Top Arboretum in Tannersville, NY. Mike Kudish (Catskills forest historian and author) discussed the history of hemlocks and their significance to the Schoharie Watershed. Dan Snider (CRISP) discussed the biology of hemlocks and their current threats, including: the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid, the elongate hemlock scale, and the hemlock borer. Mike Kudish will be presenting at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper, NY on June 11th from 1pm-3pm, in case you missed this event (click here for info).

May 21st - Arm-of-the-Sea Theater performed the "Rejuvenary River Circus" show at the Red Barn across from the Doctorow Center in Hunter, NY. Participants learned about the story of a river through an amazing mask-puppet-music show. Sponsored by the Catskill Watershed Corporation.

 

10th Annual Schoharie Watershed Summit Draws Over 100 Attendees

EDUCATION & OUTREACH UPDATE

One of the afternoon session included this Forest Management "Ask the Experts" Panel Discussion
Hunter, NY - On Saturday, April 2nd, the GCSWCD's Watershed Assistance Program held it's 10th Annual Schoharie Watershed Summit. This year's theme,"Streams to Tunnel: Watershed Management in the Schoharie Basin," covered a variety of topics, including: reflecting on the Stream Management Program, understanding the NYC Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD), learning about two current invasive pests threatening our forests and waters, and continuing the tradition of providing a forum for discussion about water quality.

This year's program featured Rene Van Schaack with the keynote address, "Then and Now: Vision of the Schoharie Watershed." Additional morning presentations included "Filtration Avoidance Determination: The Driving Force Behind NYC's West-of-Hudson Watershed Management" by NYCDEP's Deputy Commissioner, Paul Rush, and "Two Current Threats to Water Quality: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Emerald Ash Borer" by Cornell University's Forest Entomologist, Mark Whitmore. Afternoon sessions included a choice of four workshops that gave two hours of municipal credits for planning and zoning board members.

This annual program is suitable for all water resource stakeholders who are interested in learning more about water quality in the region. Planning for the 2017 Schoharie Watershed Summit will commence this fall.

What are we working on this summer?

GREENE COUNTY SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Summer is here, which means time to dust off the work boots and get outside for our restoration and conservation projects. Below are a few of the projects that we have planned for the coming months.

Streambank Stabilization Project in Hunter

SUMMER 2016

Excessive sediment deposition into the Schoharie Creek due to bank instability. This slope will be restored and stabilized to prevent further erosion.
Hunter, NY - This summer, GCSWCD will begin a streambank stabilization project on the Schoharie Creek in the Town of Hunter. The project will use a combination of structural and bioengineering methods to restore an eroding streambank and prevent excessive sediment deposition into the Schoharie Creek.

In order to stablize the eroding slope streambank, we will use slope grading and live revetment, which involves stone placed on the toe of the slope with live plant cuttings placed in the openings. This will restructure the shape of the bank to provide stablization.

Streamside vegetation, including live willow stakes and fascines, native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants will then be planted along the stream in the area known as the "riparian corridor." The root growth from the new plantings will act as armor against instability, while also creating habitat to animals and adding aesthetic value to the site.

Streambank Stabilization Project in Windham

SUMMER 2016

Unstable, eroding streambank along the Batavia Kill. This slope will be regraded to provide stability so the bank can be vegetated to prevent future erosion.
Windham, NY - A Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative (CSBI) project on the bank of the Batavia Kill, in the Town of Windham, will be graded and replanted this summer.

The first phase of this work was completed by a volunteer planting on May 7th during Schoharie Watershed Month, which involved planting 600 native trees and shrubs to enhance the riparian buffer area along the stream.

Next, a 140 foot by 30 foot area nearby along the Batavia Kill will be regraded to create a gradual, stable slope from the existing unstable bank. The area will be seeded, mulched, and a riparian buffer will be developed that will connect to the May 7th volunteer planting. The buffer will contain native trees and shrubs, such as potted willows and dogwood shrubs.

This project will provide enhanced streambank stability, improved water quality on the Batavia Kill, added flood control, and increased habitat for animals.

Huntersfield Creek and Little West Kill Stream Feature Inventories (SFIs) to be Conducted

SUMMER 2016

Carrie Miles, former Conservation Technician at GCSWCD, conducting a Stream Feature Inventory (SFI) on North Settlement Creek in summer 2009.
Beginning in mid-to-late June 2016, Michelle McDonough, SCA Stream Stewardship Intern, will be conducting two stream feature inventories (SFIs) on Huntersfield Creek and Little West Kill, tributaries of the Schoharie Creek.

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 will be 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 monitoring sites, infrastructure, invasive species (such as Japanese Knotweed), and other features (tributary confluences, wells, diversions, etc.).

The findings of the Huntersfield Creek and Little West Kill SFIs will be compiled into a report that classifies areas which will require continued evaluation or issues that must be addressed. For more information, please contact us at 518-622-3620.

 
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