JUNE 2015 Vol. 4, Issue 3 R GERS CENTER Newsletter [ EXCITE | INSPIRE | MOTIVATE ] d e d n a Exp mer Sum Series Camnps more mea entures! adv « INSIDE THIS ISSUE: • 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 www.FriendsofRogers.org 2 www.FriendsofRogers.org ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER MAY 2015 Friends of Rogers DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE Summer at Rogers T he warm and vibrant days of summer are soon to arrive; my how time flies! Rogers Center is already in full bloom with families, foliage, and wildlife. 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 Department, 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! [ [ ...remember 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 Staff 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 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 JUNE 2015 www.FriendsofRogers.org 3 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. Sincerely, 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 ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER JUNE 2015 EDUCATOR’S MESSAGE 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, 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 Sarah Freedman Environmental Educator Phone Email 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 JUNE 2015 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. Ages June 29-July 3 July 6-10 5-7 July 13-17 Junior Adventures 7-9 8-12 All About Animals Hours Camp 9 am - 4 pm Early Care* 8-9 am After Care* 4-5:30 pm Growing Green July 20-24 July 27-31 Buzz Buzz Bugs Growing Green Wilderness Explorer Weekly Rates Member: $120 Not-Yet-Member: $145 *Additional fee for extra care Aug. 3-7 Junior Adventures Aug. 10-14 Aug. 17-21 All About Animals Wilderness Explorer Buzz Buzz Bugs Daily Rates Member: $30 Not-Yet-Member: $35 *Additional fee for extra care Discounts Multi-Child Register by June 15, save $5/session To register, download forms at www.FriendsofRogers.org, call (607) 674-4733, or e-mail [email protected] 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 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] FriendsofRogers.org 6 www.FriendsofRogers.org ROGERS CENTER NEWSLETTER JUNE 2015 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 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 not-yet-members 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 www.FriendsofRogers.org or call (607) 674-4733 for more details!
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