As we begin National Environmental Education Week and recognize the 50th year of Earth Day on April 22nd and Arbor Day on April 24th, Senator Pam Helming is encouraging residents to celebrate our environment this week.
“While we are all going through challenging times in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still many ways to celebrate our environment and learn and explore all that it has to offer. Whether you decide to plant a tree or start your own garden, or take a bike ride while practicing safe social distancing, or you choose to stay indoors and take a virtual nature walk or tour one of our state parks in the Finger Lakes, there is something for everyone,” Senator Helming said.
Some ideas for protecting and celebrating our environment and the Earth:
Go for a walk or bike ride along the Erie Canal;
Download the free #TrailsRoc Map app and go for a hike in the Finger Lakes;
Scoop the poop! Dog waste can spread viruses and bacteria and have a negative impact on water quality. Bag it and properly dispose of it to protect everyone;
Practice healthy lawn care to protect our watersheds and our lakes;
Unplug appliances while not in use;
Make your own bird feeder;
Support your local tree grower and nursery by purchasing flowers to start your own garden or tree seedlings to grow a tree;
Can’t get out to purchase seeds? Have some fun and consider regrowing food from your kitchen scraps (https://www.ruralsprout.com/regrow-vegetables/);
Purchase local produce or dairy products from your neighborhood farmers’ market or farm stand;
Explore Lake Ontario beaches for unique finds like sea glass, shells and driftwood;
Get your feet wet! Search the shorelines and tributaries of the Finger Lakes for fossils, tadpoles and other aquatic life;
Take a virtual tour of a state park in the Finger Lakes right from your home (www.nystateparktours.com); or
Solve a virtual nature mystery (https://parks.ny.gov/environment/nature-nearby.aspx).
For more great ideas on how to protect our environment, check out the websites and facebook pages of our local watershed associations, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the National Sea Grant and Finger Lakes Land Trust!
For those planning to go outside and/or visit a park, helpful tips and safety guidelines have been issued to prevent the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19. These guidelines can be found here: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/
“Wherever you may venture on Earth Day and every day, be a great environmental steward. Remember every action we take goes a long way in protecting and preserving our natural resources and our Earth,” said Senator Helming.