R GERS CENTER Newsletter

APRIL 2015 Vol. 4, Issue 1
R GERS CENTER
Newsletter
[ EXCITE | INSPIRE | MOTIVATE ]
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« INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
• Director’s Message
New growth of spring
• Ask Friends of Rogers
“Going Nuts” over squirrels
• Earth Fest
Give ‘Mother Nature’ a big hug
• Easy Experiment
Seasonal treat with a twist
• Calendar of Events
www.FriendsofRogers.org
2 www.FriendsOfRogers.org
ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER APRIL 2015
DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
New growth of spring
W
elcome to the inaugural issue
of our redesigned newsletter! In an effort to better inform
our community about the exciting
programs
we offer,
Friends of
Rogers is
launching
this new
monthly epublication.
We hope
that more
frequent
communication from
us allows
you to
take full advantage of our programs.
Friends of Rogers offer a wide
range of educational and recreational programs for the nature enthusiast during every season. Our staff
dedicate themselves to our mission
in providing Central New Yorker’s
with outstanding educational opportunities that excite and inspire
people of all ages to appreciate and
protect our natural environment.
We fulfill this mission by hosting
roundtable discussions on important
environmental topics, facilitating
classroom program lectures with
local area schools, and by partnering with our local area resources to
offer community members opportu-
nities they may not otherwise have
within arm’s reach.
This past winter was one for the
record books indeed with February
being one of the coldest on record,
not to mention the amount of snowpack we’ve experienced so late into
March. Our calendar says spring is
here, has anyone seen it?
If it’s been awhile since you
visited us, please don’t let the
weather get you down! We still have
snowshoes and cross-country skis
available to rent if you would like to
explore our more than 600 acres of
property.
The Cush Hill trail network
is sure to have endless amounts
of snow, especially the Conifer &
Hillside Trails - you may even get a
glimpse of one of our bald eagle or
red-tailed hawk feathered friends.
Treat yourself to a springtime
bluebird day and stop by the Center
to inquire further about the endless
possibilities to become one with
nature.
Join us in saying ‘Hello’ to spring
at Rogers Center!
See you soon,
Simon M. Solomon
Executive Director
Friends of Rogers
Friends of Rogers
Environmental Education Center, Inc.
Board of Directors
President: Sharon Pelosi
Vice President: Adam Schoonmaker, Ph.D.
Secretary: T. J. Moorehead
Treasurer: Rose Cole
Frank Busce
Marsha Guzewich
Paula Howard
Thurston Packer
John Pumilio
Chris Rossi
Bruce Selleck
Carol Smith
Laurie Trotta
Fred von Mechow
Staff
Simon Solomon,
Executive Director
Sarah Freedman,
Environmental Educator
Jessica Moquin,
Fundraising & Marketing Coordinator
Brandon Episcopo,
Spring Naturalist Intern
Valerie Mitchell,
Spring Naturalist Intern
Friends of Rogers, Inc.
P.O. Box 932
2721 State Route 80
Sherburne, NY 13460
607-674-4733
www.FriendsofRogers.org
Email: [email protected]
Friends of Rogers (F.O.R) is a non-profit
organization composed of dedicated supporters
of the Rogers Environmental Education Center
located in Sherburne, NY.
ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER APRIL 2015
www.FriendsOfRogers.org 3
Ask Friends of Rogers
Dear Friends of Rogers,
Sometimes I see a squirrel eat half an acorn and then discard the rest. Why don’t they eat all of it? Also, how do they find
acorns after they’ve buried them?
Sincerely,
Going Nuts
Dear Going Nuts,
As simple minded as they may seem, squirrels are actually quite intelligent when it comes to their food. To begin
with, there are two main groups of oak trees that acorns fall from-- white oaks and red oaks. While their acorns
may look strikingly similar to us, squirrels are able to tell the difference. It’s important to know which acorn is which,
because their chemical makeup allows them to be stored for different periods of time. As squirrels build up food reserves for the winter, they want to make sure the acorns they are storing will last all season without germinating.
Red acorns are full of a compound called tannins, which slow down and delay the process of germination. A
seed full of tannins allows the acorn to germinate later on when conditions are more favorable, rather than soon after
it hits the ground. The large amount of tannins present in red acorns makes them an ideal food source to store during
winter because they won’t germinate into a seedling.
In addition to delaying germination, tannins also make the acorn slightly bitter. Squirrels prefer sweet acorns over
bitter ones, but bitter acorns last throughout the winter. In order to get a better tasting acorn, squirrels will often eat
the top half of a red acorn then discard the rest. The top half is much sweeter than the bottom half, which contains
the tannins. By doing this, the squirrel is able to have a sweet treat all winter long.
White acorns, on the other hand, have a very low concentration of tannins. This not only makes the acorns
much sweeter, but also means that it will germinate soon after falling from the tree. For these reasons, squirrels eat
white acorns shortly after finding them.
A group of researchers conducted an experiment with squirrels and found that 85% of white acorns were
eaten immediately, whereas 60% of red acorns found were stored for winter. This group also found the distribution of
white and red acorns varied from one another. By inserting a small piece of metal into thousands of acorns and using a
metal detector, these researchers were able to locate
both white and red acorns after they’d been hidden
by squirrels. They found that red acorns tended to be
more widely distributed across a larger area, while
white acorns were stored fairly close to the tree they
fell from. This has strong implications for the successional growth of forests -researchers believe that
because red acorns are distributed more widely, they
would likely begin colonizing new forests before white
oaks.
Generally, squirrels like to scatter acorns in an
area up to roughly seven acres. This technique helps
oaks to distribute seed, but more importantly, it
helps squirrels prevent other animals from finding
food reserves. Additionally, squirrels will dig false
holes to confuse other animals about where they may
have actually hidden their food. Squirrels also relocate hidden food reserves every couple of days. This
helps them better keep track of food and reduces
their chances of forgetting where an acorn is hidden
because they are constantly going back to find it.
Sincerely,
Friends of Rogers
This “Ask Friends of Rogers” was written by Amanda Philips, former Naturalist Intern for Friends of
Rogers. If you any questions, please direct them to Friends of Rogers. Your inquiry may be answered in
next month’s issue!
Sources for this article include:
Baffling the Bandits
Researchers Tackle The Nutty Truth On Acorns And Squirrels
Red vs white oak groups: more tree identification tips, courtesy of the squirrels
ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER APRIL 2015
Easy Experiment
Growing Chicks
S
pring is the time when birds return from their southern vacations to build nests and raise their young. It is
also the season that marshmallow chicks return to grocery stores. Using marshmallows and a microwave, this
experiment allows you to “grow” your own chicks!
Marshmallows consist of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin...
and air! The fluffy texture of marshmallow chicks is
partly caused by the air mixed into the marshmallow. The
microwave oven provides energy to heat the water in
the corn syrup, expanding the air in the marshmallow to
make the chicks grow.
How to grow a marshmallow chick:
1.) Place one marshmallow chick on a paper plate.
2.) Put the plate and chick into the microwave oven.
3.) Start the microwave and watch the chick carefully.
Within 15 to 20 seconds the chick will become huge.
4.) Quickly turn off the oven.
The chick will slowly deflate.
After microwaving, the chick can be eaten once it
cools down. Otherwise, the heat that caused the chick to
grow could burn you.
www.FriendsOfRogers.org 4
BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!
MEMBER BENEFITS
Member benefits vary by level, but all members will:
Pay a special member rate for program fees
Receive a 10% discount on
all purchases at the bookstore
Attend special member-only events
Receive Rogers’ monthly e-newsletter
Students and Seniors (65+)... $15
All of the above benefits
Individual... $25
All of the above benefits
Family... $35
All of the above, plus two free snowshoe rentals
Affiliate... $50
All of the above, plus a FOR t-shirt
Contributor... $100
All of the above, plus a FOR 18 oz. BPA-free water bottle
Organizations... $100
One free guided walk for organization members
Name
Address
Phone
Email
Thanks to TJ Moorehead for sharing this experiment!
Approaching Coffee Deadline
Orders for Friends of Roger’s quarterly coffee fundraiser
are due Tuesday, May 5. Place your order today!
Additional Donation
Total Amount Enclosed
Send to: Friends of Rogers, Inc.
PO Box 932
Sherburne, NY 13460
Check made
payable to
Friends of Rogers, Inc.
Cash
Credit Card #
Card Type
Signature
Amount
Credit Card
Expiration
5 www.FriendsOfRogers.org
ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER APRIL 2015
T
here are many items and services that will allow us to
continue fulfilling our mission. If you have access to any
of the following items and are willing to donate, we would
be extremely grateful!
Batteries, large 6 Volt and D for flashlights
HP Ink cartridges - 56 & 57
Large paint brushes for big projects
Postage Stamps
Printer paper, both white and other colors
Small paint brushes for kids programs
Spade shovel
In Kind Services
Saws & hedge clipper sharpening
Any of these items can be dropped off during regular
Visitor Center hours. To make special arrangements,
please contact Friends of Rogers via email at [email protected]
FriendsofRogers.org
6 www.FriendsOfRogers.org
ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER APRIL 2015
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
SATURDAY, April 4 • 10:30 a.m.
Family Fun Program:
SATURDAY, April 18 • 10:30 a.m.
Family Fun Program:
Egg-cellent Camouflage!
Decomposers and Compost
Why are some eggs covered in speckles? How do
mother birds protect their eggs when they aren’t
guarding them? Join Friends of Rogers in an exciting
program about how birds, such as quail, use camouflage to hide their multi-colored eggs. Try your hand
at disguising your own egg to mimic your surroundings. (Free, all ages)
Plants need nutrient rich soil in order to grow. Learn
how to incorporate food scraps and garden waste
into nutrient rich compost to help your garden
flourish! We will explore how to start and maintain
your own compost bin, as well as the important role
our wiggly worm friends play in helping renew the
soil. (Free, ages 5+)
April 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 • 10 a.m.
April 19-25
Storytime & Hike
National Environmental Education Week
Every Wednesday, Jenni Larchar leads young children
and caregivers in songs, stories and a walk on the
trails. Storytime & Hike
takes place
rain or shine;
participants
should wear
appropriate
clothing and
footwear.
On Sunday, April 19,
join Friend of Rogers to
“kick-off” National
Environmental Education
Week. Help us prepare
for another busy summer
season as we spruce up
our six miles of trails
across 600 acres.
Annual Property Clean Up
For more information about upcoming events,
visit www.FriendsofRogers.org or call (607) 674-4733.
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