Newsletter - Friends of Rogers

JUNE 2015 Vol. 4, Issue 3
Exp mer
Sum Series
Camnps more
mea entures!
• Director’s Message
Summer at Rogers
• Ask Friends of Rogers
Zoo defector?
• Educator’s Message
See Rogers Grow
• Summer Camp Series
Go on an adventure!
• Calendar of Events
Friends of Rogers
Summer at Rogers
he warm
vibrant days
of summer
are soon to
arrive; my
how time
flies! Rogers
Center is
already in
full bloom
foliage, and
All of us with Friends of Rogers
are very excited to announce
several new and exciting initiatives.
Our staff has worked diligently
over the past couple of years to
provide summer opportunities for
our local area youth; however, there
were certain restrictions in place
preventing us from reaching full
potential. This spring, we finalized
and submitted our application to
become a certified children’s camp
and received our official permit
from the Chenango County Health
allowing us
to expand
our Summer
Camp Series.
So this year,
we are offering
camps for
children ages
5 through 12
beginning June
29 and continuing until August
21. Check page 5 of this issue for
more details. The expansion of our
Summer Camp Series ensures that
we continue to provide outstanding
opportunities year round, while
growing our current program
offerings. Some of the exciting
opportunities offered at camp this
year will include kayak and canoe
trips on the Rogers Center marsh,
weekly fishing for campers onproperty, and exciting adventures
searching for turtles, snakes
and bugs. (Note that our permit
allows only officially registered
camp participants the option to
fish on the immediate grounds.)
Summer Camp is just one of the
many things happening at Rogers
Center. This month, we will again
host our popular Free Family
Fishing program during Father’s
Day weekend. We also have a
wide variety of distinctive seasonal
offerings scheduled to satisfy the
entire family – from Batty for Bats
to our Paleontological Fossil Dig
and from I LOVE Pollinators to
Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds.
Adult learners will especially enjoy
our experiential Photography of
Brookfield with Wells Horton and
Vernal Ponds with Bob Benton.
We continue to be your local
outlet for exploration, recreation
and relaxation with trails open
and accessible from dawn to dusk.
Barbecue grills located at the main
parking lot entry are available for
cooking outdoor meals, along with
picnic tables and a covered shelter.
Rogers Center trout are
always happy to be fed
in our designated Trout
Ponds, so remember to
bring a quarter for fish
food! Take in wildlife
displays and interactive
exhibits, enjoy the beauty
of bird watching in our
viewing room, and finish
with a stop in our gift
shop. Keep Rogers Center in mind
as you plan your busy summer
schedule…your local non-profit
nature center awaits your visit!
[ [
to bring a
quarter for
fish food!
See you on the trails,
Simon M. Solomon
Executive Director
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
Fred von Mechow
Simon Solomon
Executive Director
Sarah Freedman
Environmental Educator
Jenni Larchar
Children’s Program Coordinator
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
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.
Ask Friends of Rogers
Dear Friends of Rogers,
I was recently outside in my backyard and saw a small dark snake with three yellow lines down its back. Did this reptile
escape from the zoo? Why is it in my backyard?
Sincerely, Ophie D. O’Phobia
Dear Ophie,
What you most likely found is a common garter snake. No need to worry, your slithering friend is native to New
York and did not escape from a zoo. This reptile is New York state’s most common snake. Garters have a variety of
color patterns, but they are usually dark greenish, with three lighter stripes and their sides sometimes appears to have
a checkered pattern. These snakes can be found in a wide range
of habitats including marshes, fields, forests, and can even co-exist
with humans in urban and suburban areas.
Common garters are harmless to humans and are a vital part
of the ecosystem by controlling populations of insects and other
pests. They eat insects, slugs, worms, amphibians and occasionally
small mice. Snakes can unhinge their jaws which allows them eat
larger pray. In addition to sight, snakes use the sense of smell to
help them hunt. Their forked tongues allow them to sample the
chemicals in the air to figure out what direction their pray is. The
Jacobson organ, a part of the olfactory system, relays the chemical
signature from the tongue to the brain.
Garter snakes have many natural predators which include, but
are not limited to, snapping turtles, larger snakes, crows, hawks,
great blue herons, and foxes.
Like all snakes, the common garter is ectothermic, or coldblooded. Animals that are ectothermic cannot internally regulate
body temperature. Rather, their body temperature is dependent
on the surroundings. For example, to increase body temperature,
a snake would bask in the sun; to cool off, it would get move to
water, a burrow, or a shaded area.
Over winter, garter snakes hibernate in natural cavities or
image from Wikimedia Commons
burrows (such as vacated rodent burrows), under rock piles, or in
stumps. Garter snakes cannot dig their own burrows so they usually take over abandoned burrows of other animals.
All reptiles, including the common garter snake, shed their skin. Snake skin does not continually grow as the body
grows, so snakes must shed, or molt, in order to grow larger and replace old and worn out scales. If you look along
rocks you might find a shed snake skin.
Friends of Rogers
This Ask Friends of Rogers was written by
Brandon Episcopo, 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:
Kids’ Inquiry of Diverse Species - Critter Catalog
NYS DEC snakes of New York pamphlet by Richard Bothner and Alvin Breisch 2001
See Rogers Grow
I am excited to share
the growth in attendance
Friends of Rogers has had
at programs, events, school
groups and with drop-in
visitation. This year, Friends
of Rogers set record
attendance at both Winter
Living Celebration and Earth
Fest. It’s a true testament of
the vital role we play as a part
of the community.
As the environmental
educator, I see almost every
student that visits Rogers
Environmental Education Center; in 2014 that was
949 students, an increase of nearly 32% from 2013!
This year, we have already surpassed 325 students at
Rogers, and we have over a dozen school visitation
days scheduled through June.
In addition to the field trips we host, we travel
directly to schools and work with teachers and
students in the classroom. Last year, we visited more
than 1,000 students in our eight-county service area.
In 2014, we came very close to reaching our 10,000
visitors. This year, our goal has increased…you can
help us reach this new milestone by attending one of
our many programs, or by simply stopping in to say
“hello” when you’re walking the trails.
Hope to see you soon at Rogers, 4
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
Sarah Freedman
Environmental Educator
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.
Credit Card #
Card Type
Credit Card
Rogers Environmental Education Center
2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne, NY 13460
Buzz Buzz Bugs
Growing Green
Bugs are buzzing all around us!
Join fellow campers in the quest
for insect identification and
discovery! Roll logs, search
streams, and uncover the amazing
abundance of insects all around.
Living in harmony with Mother Earth
is both easy and fun! Throughout this
adventure, we will learn about the
gifts our planet has to give
us and discover creative ways
we can give back in return.
All About Animals
Wilderness Explorer
Join us in a search for the animals
that make our backyards special.
From painted turtles to pumpkin
seeds to garter snakes, there is a
lot to be discovered.
Every naturalist knows that
all organisms are important,
no matter how small! Join us as we analyze,
interact, and explore the different ecosystems in
our backyards.
Junior Adventures
Enjoy exploring, creating, singing, storytelling, playing games and
learning about how we fit into the natural world around us.
June 29-July 3
July 6-10
July 13-17
All About
Camp 9 am - 4 pm
Early Care* 8-9 am
After Care* 4-5:30 pm
July 20-24
July 27-31
Buzz Buzz
Weekly Rates
Member: $120
Not-Yet-Member: $145
*Additional fee for extra care
Aug. 3-7
Aug. 10-14
Aug. 17-21
All About
Buzz Buzz
Daily Rates
Member: $30
Not-Yet-Member: $35
*Additional fee for extra care
Register by June 15,
save $5/session
To register, download forms at, call (607) 674-4733,
or e-mail [email protected]
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
Fishing poles
Gently-used board games
HP Ink cartridges - 56 & 57
Large paint brushes for big projects
Postage Stamps
Printer paper, both white and other colors
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]
TUESDAY, June 2 • 6:30 pm
Batty For Bats
Val Mitchell, naturalist intern and bat technician, will
share fun facts about bats, how important they are
to us and our environment, and what we can do to
help them! Guests have the opportunity to build and
take home their own bat house. ($15 per bat house)
WEDNESDAY, June 3,10, 17, 24 • 10 am
Storytime & Hike
Every Wednesday, Jenni Larchar leads young children
and caregivers in songs, stories and a walk on the
trails. Takes place rain or shine; participants should
wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
WEDNESDAY, June 3 • 6 pm
Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds
Learn to grow a variety of vegetables in a raised bed
garden. Consider watering needs, spacing, feeding
and the many advantages: reduced weed, no bending,
and easy harvest. Program will be led by Stacie
Edick, Community Gardens Coordinator at Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Chenango County.
SATURDAY, June 6 • 10:30 am
Family Fun Program:
What’s Bugging You?
They’re in the grass and in the air...they’re in your
clothes and in your hair...they’re everywhere...bugs!
Challenge your inner entomologist to investigate
tiny critters all around us.
SATURDAY, June 6 • 6 pm
E. Baker State Forest, known
by locals as “Brookfield.”
Registration: $15 members/$18
SATURDAY, June 13 • 9 am
Paleontological Fossil Dig
Uncover treasures buried beneath your feet.
Participants should bring a lunch/snack, a drink
and sun screen. A limited number of tools (sample
bags, hammers, safety goggles, field guide) available.
Registration: $6 members/$9 not-yet-members
TUESDAY, June 16 • 6:30 pm
I LOVE Pollinators
How we manage our landscape can impact local
native pollinators. Learn more about the gardens
that Friends of Rogers is building to bring attention
to these often-overlooked, yet vital, organisms.
SATURDAY, June 20 • 9 am
Free Family Fishing Day
Catch and release fishing plus an
up-close view of pond life beneath
microscopes. Bait and a limited
number of poles will be available.
SATURDAY, June 27 • 10 am
Vernal Ponds
Ephemeral pools are temporary bodies of water
that provide habitat for a wide variety of organisms.
Local herpetologist Bob Benton shares about the
plants and animals asssociated with vernal pools.
Photography of Brookfield
Join landscape photographer Wells Horton in
uncovering beauty and mystery within Charles
Visit or
call (607) 674-4733 for more details!