New York’s Outdoors Are Open! Message from NYS DEC

Williamson Town Park Loop Trail

a message from NYS DEC:

During the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors and connecting with nature is a way to help maintain our mental and physical health. Scientific studies show that time outside in nature, especially among trees, significantly reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, energy, and sleep, and boosts the immune system.


While indoor spaces and restrooms at NYSDEC environmental education centers, hatcheries, and other public facilities are closed out of an abundance of caution to prevent community spread of COVID-19, the grounds and trails are open to welcome visitors during daylight hours, seven days a week. Any entry fees are waived. Public trails in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks and State Forests throughout the state are also always open (please note: there is still snow in many areas, please check local conditions). Find a location near you on the DEC’s website. As always, State Lands and facilities are being monitored by DEC Forest Rangers and other staff, though interactions with visitors will incorporate social distancing to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.

Families with children at home during this time are encouraged to visit DEC’s education webpage to find activities to help explore nature and fun outdoor activities under “Kids G.O (Get Outside)” and “Nature Activities,” plus lesson plans on a variety of topics for different grade levels in “Educator Lesson Plans” and “Hudson River Lesson Plans.” In addition, students can read about nature in “Conservationist for Kids.”

In addition, New York State sporting licenses for anglers and hunters are available on DEC’s sporting license webpage.

DEC will provide updates periodically via email, social media, and at We will also be available to respond to questions or concerns regarding visitation opportunities at

While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the CDC/NYSDOH’s guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

  • Try to keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others.
  • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.
  • Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.

The NYSDEC recommends avoiding busy trailheads. Find the trails less traveled and visit when trails may not be as busy during daylight hours. Remember to always be safe and sustainable when recreating outdoors. Learn more about how you can protect natural spaces when exploring outdoors by following the seven principles of Leave no Trace. Please note that campgrounds, boat launches, and other gated facilities that do not typically open until late spring or early summer will open and operate as usual. Visit the campground and day-use area webpage for more information.

Please visit nature and the outdoors responsibly and stay safe.

Thank you.

Invasive Species Workshop for Middle School Educators – CANCELED

Unfortunately we are forced to cancel this workshop.


The Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District and Finger Lakes – Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISM) would like to invite Middle School educators to an “Invasive Species Activities Workshop” in Newark, NY at the Conference Center @ Wayne – Finger Lakes BOCES. The workshop is from 4:00 – 6:30 pm on Monday, March 16th. Refreshments and subs will be served. Registration is required.

This FREE program will provide middle school
educators a basic introduction to invasive species
ecology along with hands-on activities and
resource materials for the classroom.

The Wayne County SWCD and FL-PRISM have worked together extensively to provide both formal and informal educational materials for schools, municipalities, and residents of Wayne County.

Teachers will receive 2.5 hours of CTLE credit for attending. Space is limited to 12. To register and to review the tentative program agenda, please visit

Registration closes on Thursday March 12th, 2020.

2020 New York Farm Show – Syracuse NY

Photo courtesy of

The 2020 New York Farm Show dates are February 27th – 29th, 2020. Show hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The New York Farm Show is open to the public. Complimentary – Free tickets are available from your Northeast Equipment Dealers or by writing to New York Farm Show, P.O. Box 3470, Syracuse, NY 13220.  Make sure a self-addressed stamped envelope is included with your request by February 15, 2020.

The Farm Show hosts more than 400 exhibitors displaying the latest in farm equipment, tractors, combines and farm implements; seed and crop protection products; farm supplies and services, dairy and beef production, woodlot and related industry supplies, covering more than 300,000 square feet in five buildings of exhibits.

The latest technologies and equipment will be showcased along with educational seminars and presentations. This is an excellent opportunity for producers to access information and keep up to date with the latest innovations in the agriculture industry.

The show is located in Syracuse at the NYS Fairgrounds. Be sure to visit the Arts & Homes building where visitors can view and purchase toys from the toy show. Friday evening the popular Robert Watson Memorial Toy Auction bidding will start at 5:00 P.M.

Addmission is $ 5.00 at the door and children under 18 are free. Free parking and bus shuttles are available. For additional information visit New York Farm Show is co-sponsored by the Northeast Equipment Dealers Association and American Agriculturist Magazine.

2020 WINTER NOFA- NY CONFERENCE January 17-19, 2020

The  38th Annual Winter NOFA-NY Organic Farming and Gardening Conference will be held January 17-19, 2020 at the Oncenter in Syracuse, NY. The conference is an opportunity to connect with sustainability-minded farmers, gardeners, and consumers. Billed as one of the largest in the region, with more than 1,100 attendees annually and more than 100 educational workshops and an approximate 80 trade show vendors. This year, NOFA-NY is combining two events – the Winter Conference and the 9th Annual Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference into one weekend. The 2020 theme is Extending the Table. View the conference schedule here.

Peter Jemison is the keynote speaker. Peter is the site manager of Ganondagan State Historic Site which houses the Iroquois White Corn Project that currently yields an average of 5,000 pounds of corn per year. He is a Heron Clan member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. Each year at the Winter Conference, NOFA-NY presents the Farmer of the Year award to someone who has gone above and beyond to advance organic agriculture in New York State.  For More Information and Registration

Whether you are a farmer, gardener, homesteader or eater, NOFA-NY welcomes you to join them as they extend the table!

Audubon’s 120th Christmas Bird Count December 14, 2019 through Sunday, January 5, 2020.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program. of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds.  As the CBC enters its 119th year, join us as we count the birds wintering throughout the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.  For more information, please call Chris Lajewski at (315) 365-3588 or email

Space is limited. Registration required.  Call 315-365-3588 or e-mail

iMapInvasives Webinar on October 30th 2019

The NYSDEC and iMapInvasives team are holding a training webinar for people interested in becoming Certified iMapInvasives Trainers on October 30th, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Join the iMapInvasives Certified Trainers Network! Are you interested in training others to report invasive species to the New York invasive species database, iMapInvasives? Each training webinar will last approximately two hours with time for discussion throughout. The training will include a walk-through of the iMapInvasives website, observation database and steps for hosting a training. Registration is required. Webinar registration is limited to create a more inclusive environment.

For more information and to register, email

More information can be found at the Certified Trainers Network at

Tire Recycling Event October

Pre-Registration is Required – Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District and Ontario Wayne Stormwater Coalition are providing a tire recycling event at no charge for Wayne County residents. You must register by calling 315-946-7200 or at the website below.

Participants may drop off tires on Thursday, October 24th 2019, from 8 am to noon at the Wayne County Highway Barn, 1700 Daansen Road Macedon, NY 14522.

There is a limit of 4 tires per drop-off. This is an opportunity for people to remove used tires from their property and help to eliminate potential disease-causing mosquito breeding sites.

Event restrictions:
• Sign-up is required by contacting WCSWCD at 315-946-7200. Be prepared to provide your name, residence address and the number and type of tires you plan to recycle
• Only tires from Wayne County residents will be accepted.¬
• Tires must be removed from the metal rim and free of water, mud and other debris.
• Tires accepted are limited to light truck, passenger and smaller sized tires.
• 4 tires per drop-off.
• Other types of recyclable materials will not be accepted.

Visit the District’s website at to view the event flyer and register, or call 315-946-7200.

Holiday Greens Workshop

Presented by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County Master Gardeners

What could be better than spending a Saturday morning creating wonderful holiday decorations out of evergreen boughs? Start the holiday season off with our workshop on selection and use of holiday greens to decorate your home! During the three hour session, participants make a fresh wreath, an evergreen swag, and a tabletop centerpiece to take home and enjoy through the holiday season. Please bring small pruners & gloves.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7th from 9:00 AM – Noon at the Town of Ontario Recreation Lodge, Casey Park, and Knickerbocker Road, Ontario.

Attendees: Bring garden gloves and hand pruners if you have them and plan to arrive around 8:30 so you are ready to start at 9 am.

A registration fee of $40.00, to cover materials, is required. This class fills up fast and class size is limited to first 45 paid participants. Registration opens October 1st.

Cornell can not accept any early registrations. To register mail your payment to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County, 1581 Rte. 88 North, Newark, NY 14513 or bring it to  their offices between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. M-F.

Please include your phone number and e-mail address, if you have one, with your payment. If you have any questions please contact Cornell Cooperative Extension 315-331-8415.

For special needs please contact us two weeks prior to this event. Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.

SUNY Morrisville Hosts 4R Nutrient Management Field Day!

You are cordially invited to attend the 2019 4R Technical Field Day at SUNY Morrisville.

4R is an approach to agricultural nutrient management and soil and water stewardship that emphasizes using the Right Source of Nutrients at the Right Rate and Right Time in the Right Place for the protection of New York’s waterways

But it’s more than just a catchy buzz phrase. The approach provides a science-based framework for plant nutrition management and sustained crop production while considering specific individual farms’ needs.

The 2019 4R Field Tech Day will highlight existing 4R Programs and technologies. The 4R Field day counts towards required 4R Training as required by 4R NY Nutrient Stewardship Certification and offers 5.5 hard-to-find CCA credits. Plus Free lunch!

Date: October 15, 2019
Location: SUNY Morrisville Campus, Morrisville, NY
Address: 80 Eaton St, Morrisville, NY 13408


All morning sessions will take place in Charlton Hall

* 8 a.m. Registration and coffee
* 9:00 a.m. Welcome, Jen Gilbert Jenkins SUNY Morrisville
* 9:15 The 4R Program, Sally Flis, TFI Director of Agronomy, NYSABA Pres.
* 9:45 NRCS programs available to support the implementation of 4R strategies, NRCS speaker
* 10:10 TNC, 4R, and Conservation, Gregg Sargis, TNC
* 10:35 Precision Ag Map- Extracting value from different map layers- Avery DeGolyer, WNY Crop Management, CCA
* 11:00 COFFEE BREAK and transportation to demo 1
* 11:30 Environmental Tillage Systems- Soil Warrior- demo
* 12:15 Lunch (including transportation to lunch and then back to demo sites after lunch)

* Afternoon Demonstrations will take place in fields around the Morrisville Dairy Complex
* 1:30 – 3:00 Rotating 20-minute demonstrations including soil sampling technology from Western New York Crop Management and Growmark FS, Sprayer Calibration and Drone imaging demonstrations by Cazenovia Equipment Company, INC, Cover Crop roller demonstration by SUNY Morrisville and more!
* 3:00 Transportation back to an original parking lot

CCA Credits- 1.5 NM, 3.0 SW

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register:

NYSDAM Farmland Protection Implementation Grant Information Sessions

NYSDAM Farmland Protection Implementation Grant
2019 Genesee Land Trust Information Sessions
For Farmers and Farmland Owners

Wednesday, September 11: Williamson Town Hall, 6380 State Route 21, Williamson

Tuesday, September 17: Palmyra Town Hall, 1180 Canandaigua Rd, Palmyra

Monday, September 23: Chili Town Hall, 3333 Chili Avenue, Rochester

Tuesday, October 1: Town of Parma VFW Post 6105, 550 Peck Road, Hilton

All sessions start at 6:30 PM. Attendance at one of the informational sessions is highly recommended for applicants interested in participating in this grant round.

New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Farmland Protection Implementation Grant Round is anticipated in Spring 2020. The Farmland Protection Program protects agricultural land through Conservation Easements with the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR). Conservation Easements allow landowners to prevent productive farmland from being lost to development, receive payment for their land’s development value, while still maintaining ownership of their land.


For information contact Liz Sheehan:


Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District
7312 RT 31 Lyons, NY 14489
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