Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
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March 2018
March 2018

March 3, 2018

Winter Snowshoe/Hike Series–Grafton Forest (March 3, 2018 10:00 am - 2:00 pm)

RLT and Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) have teamed up to offer a winter snowshoe/hiking series. Stay warm this winter by getting out with others who love the outdoors as much as you do. Join us! 

Snowshoe or hike through the Grafton Forest. A serious snowshoe or hike through different places in this 1,000 plus acre, recent RPA acquisition. We’ll snowshoe on old log skidder roads, bushwhack along a cascade to wetlands, and take in a spectacular view north and west over the Tomhannock Reservoir. A serious snowshoe/hike, 5-6 miles, up and down, brush, rocks, roots, maybe mud. Not for the faint of heart or hamstring.

To Register:
E-mail Peter Wood

For additional questions or if you don’t have access to email, call Fran Egbert at 518-674-3214 or the RPA office at 518-712-9211.

$5 donation collected the day of the outing.

Important: Winter hiking requires proper equipment and gear for conditions: warm layered clothing, spikes/cleats/snowshoes for ice or snow, the willingness and ability to climb steep slopes and negotiate uneven, rocky, icy, wet, or muddy terrain. Please read the full description before joining an outing and contact the trip leader to register.

March 8, 2018

Sap to Syrup — A Family Tradition of Maple Syruping Presented by Kent Goodermote (March 8, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm)

Kent Goodermote from Kent's Sugar House will talk about the process of making maple syrup, from tree sap collection to boiling into the finished table product.

Kent learned the skill of sugarmaking from his grandfather, Al Goodermote.  Kent has been boiling sap at his shack on Plank Road for some 43 years.  In that time his passion for syruping has turned into a seasonal business with his partner, Todd Hewitt.

$5 donation.

Visit Kent’s Sugarhouse, on one of two Maple Weekends at 2529 Plank Road in Berlin.   (March 17th, 18th, and 24th, 25th) There you will see how the old timers used to gather and make syrup and how the production process has changed today to a computerized system.  Samples of syrup and the famous Maple Popcorn will be available for purchase. In addition to syrup, there is maple cream, sugar and candy, as well as many other maple items for sale. 

March 10, 2018

Visit and Tour of Skinner’s Sugarbush (March 10, 2018 9:30 am - 10:30 am)

Program starts with short lecture by Larry Skinner on his experiences in collecting and boiling sap starting with simple buckets and spiles, to vacuum tubing in use today. Tour will include walk in the bush with a forester discussing sugarbush forest management. Tour will conclude with visit to Larry’s nearby evaporation and final process system.  Maple products will be available.

Children are especially welcome.

Questions? E-mail Dick Gibbs


Skinner's Sugarbush
245 Hidley Rd.
Wynantskill, NY


March 29, 2018

Stream Sampling Results:  Will Wading in This Stream Make Me Sick?- (March 29, 2018 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm)

Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA) and Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) have teamed up to share opportunities for you to unplug, connect with nature, and experience what Rensselaer County has to offer. Join us!

RLTl Basin Map large copyThe Rensselaer Land Trust will share results of data collected by citizen science volunteers from 18 stream sites in Rensselaer County.  The presentation intends to improve community knowledge, awareness and stewardship about local water resources.  Find out if you should be letting your kids (or your pet dog) wade in local streams, and learn how you can make a difference in your watershed.

In 2017 the Rensselaer Land Trust's Citizen Science Volunteers collected water samples from streams in Rensselaer County communities. These efforts were a component of the RLTs Hudson River Estuary Grant Project: “Will Wading in This Stream Make Me Sick?" As part of this project RLT recruited and trained citizen scientists to collect water samples from 18 sites along five tributaries of the Hudson River for enterococcus levels. A sub-set of sampling determined levels of emergent compounds at sites with high enterococcus levels.

Enterococcus is a fecal-indicating bacterium in which studies conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed to be a very good predictor of illness in all waters (marine and fresh waters. Our study design also includes a sub-set of samples to be analyzed for the presence of emergent compounds such as pharmaceuticals, hormones, endocrine disrupters where high levels of enterococcus is found.

We are working to characterize existing conditions, identify and prioritize problems, and further assist municipalities in identifying specific water quality problems for targeted monitoring and analysis. The data recently collected on enterococcus bacteria levels and emergent compounds found at locations throughout the watershed is intended to increase public awareness of water quality conditions.


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