Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

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Thu 28 Jul
Beautiful Butterflies
Thursday, July 28, 2016 10:00 AM
Saratoga Spa State Park
(518) 584-2535

Walk into one of nature's unique ecosystems right here in our park and learn why it's home to the Federally Endangered Karner Blue Butterfly and others.

Meet in the arcade outside the administration building, 19 Roosevelt Drive.

Fri 29 Jul
Birds of Prey
Friday, July 29, 2016 10:00 AM
Long Point State Park on Lake Chautauqua
(716) 386-2722

Jonathan Clarkson from American Hawkeye will be here with various birds to give a live demonstration of their capabilities. Please note: There will be a VUF fee collected at the tollbooth for park entry. (Still a great deal for $7!)

Meet at Overlook Gazebo

Fri 29 Jul
Water Olympics
Friday, July 29, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Jones Beach State Park
(516) 780-3295

It's hot outside, and what better way to stay cool than playing with water. Using a variety of fun experiments, we will explore the properties of water.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Fri 29 Jul
Water Olympics
Friday, July 29, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center
(516) 780-3295

It's hot outside, and what better way to stay cool than playing with water. Using a variety of fun experiments, we will explore the properties of water.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Sat 30 Jul
Butterflies & Gardens
Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Connetquot River State Park Preserve
(631) 581-1072

Explore the world of butterflies. An indoor introduction will be followed by a walk to view butterflies in the wild, finishing with a visit to the butterfly garden.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating.

Registration: Required
Sat 30 Jul
Ladybug Release
Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:00 AM
Minna Anthony Common Nature Center
(315) 482-2479

Join Leah Tyrrell from Cornell University's 'Lost Lady Bug Project' to  take part in the unique experience of helping her release nine-spotted ladybugs at the Nature Center!    
Sat 30 Jul
Berry Bonanza! Drop in Celebration at Sam’s Point
Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

In summer, wild blueberries and huckleberries can be found growing along almost every trail at Sam's Point, providing a tasty snack for both wildlife and hikers alike. Can you identify these two berries? Stop by the picnic area at Sam's Point to try the berry taste test, make your own berry holder to take with you on your hike, and play a game! Join a park educator for a short walk to see the remnants of berry picker shacks and learn about this once thriving, interesting culture. The 27 minute-long documentary, The Huckleberry Pickers: A Vanished Shawangunk Culture, will be shown in the Visitor Center throughout the day. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. This program is being offered at the Sam's Point Area in Cragsmoor. Pre-registration is NOT required.

Sat 30 Jul
Ladybug Release
Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:00 AM
Wellesley Island State Park
(315) 482-2479

Join Leah Tyrrell from Cornell University's 'Lost Lady Bug Project' to  take part in the unique experience of helping her release nine-spotted ladybugs at the Nature Center!    
Sat 30 Jul
Nature Investigators
Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Jones Beach State Park
(516) 780-3295

Calling all detectives! The Piping Plover eggs have gone missing! We have a few suspects and clues, but we need your help! Join us to solve The Case of the Missing Plover Eggs.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Sat 30 Jul
Nature Investigators
Saturday, July 30, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center
(516) 780-3295

Calling all detectives! The Piping Plover eggs have gone missing! We have a few suspects and clues, but we need your help! Join us to solve The Case of the Missing Plover Eggs.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Sat 30 Jul
Jump, Slither & Swim: Amphibians Visit the Beach
Saturday, July 30, 2016 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Grafton Lakes State Park
(518) 279-1155

Join Naturalist Jorel Spain and meet some of the local critters who call our ponds, rivers and wetlands home. These special animals require our care due to their sensitivity to the environment, but they are so well-camouflaged you may not have some of these animal ambassadors before! Free program meets at Program tent above beach.

Sat 30 Jul
Tree Wander
Saturday, July 30, 2016 02:00 PM
Saratoga Spa State Park
(518) 584-2535

Identify several key tree species that are historically significant to the park and learn why they grow where they do.

Tours will meet in the arcade outside the administration building, 19 Roosevelt Drive.

Sun 31 Jul
Turtle Crossing
Sunday, July 31, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
(631) 265-1054

There are many types of turtles that live on Long Island. We have several that live right here at the park. Through hands on games, discover where they live, what they eat and how they protect themselves. Live animals will be on display.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Sun 31 Jul
Turtle Crossing
Sunday, July 31, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve Nature Museum
(631) 265-1054

There are many types of turtles that live on Long Island. We have several that live right here at the park. Through hands on games, discover where they live, what they eat and how they protect themselves. Live animals will be on display.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Sun 31 Jul
Mid-Tide Splash
Sunday, July 31, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Jones Beach State Park
(516) 780-3295

Get ready to get wet! We are taking you down to the bay to seine, collect, and identify animals that live in the bay. Make sure you wear shoes and clothes that are good for water.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Sun 31 Jul
Mid-Tide Splash
Sunday, July 31, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center
(516) 780-3295

Get ready to get wet! We are taking you down to the bay to seine, collect, and identify animals that live in the bay. Make sure you wear shoes and clothes that are good for water.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Wed 03 Aug
21st Century Damsels & Dragons
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Olana State Historic Site
(518) 828-0135

Join Larry Federman for a fun-filled outing with dragonflies and damselflies. Larry will present an introduction to these creatures, dispel some myths, and give an overview of the New York State Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey. We will then attempt to catch these beautiful insects - catching them is as much sport as it is science! With speeds recorded at 30 mph catching the little critters can be very challenging; an expert will demonstrate. Member: Free, Non-Member: $5. All Ages.

Sat 06 Aug
Skull & Bones Nature Program
Saturday, August 6, 2016 11:00 AM
Staatsburgh State Historic Site
(845) 889-8851

A fun nature program for children ages 6-9. What can you tell by looking at a skull? Children become detectives, examining animal skulls to learn about predator and prey animals. $2 per child. Reservations required: (845) 889-8851.

Registration: Required
Sat 06 Aug
My Reptile Guys
Saturday, August 6, 2016 02:00 PM
Belmont Lake State Park
(631) 667-5055

A fun and educational, hour long interactive show with truly amazing reptiles. After the show, everyone will have the opportunity to touch or hold some of the reptiles and take photos so bring your cameras!

Sat 06 Aug
Birds and Bugs at the Battlefield
Saturday, August 6, 2016 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site
(315) 646-3634

See raptors up close; Discover 500+ bugs; 2-4pm, picnic pavilion, free

Sun 07 Aug
Fern Workshop
Sunday, August 7, 2016 02:00 PM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3600

Study the structure and form of dozens of ferns and their allies. Dried specimens will be available to contrast and compare their features. This is an excellent primer for Fern Walks on August 11 & 18.

Wed 10 Aug
Wildlife Wednesday
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 06:00 PM
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site
(518) 829-7516

Author and Educator Anita Sanchez will take you on a walk to identify both common and uncommon flowers, as well as discuss their interrelationships with wildlife, especially birds and butterflies. She will also discuss about how people have used plants throughout history, for medicine, food, and magic. There is a $3.00 Suggested Donation for this program. Contact the site for more information

Sat 13 Aug
Skull & Bones Nature Program
Saturday, August 13, 2016 11:00 AM
Staatsburgh State Historic Site
(845) 889-8851

A fun nature program for children ages 6-9. What can you tell by looking at a skull? Children become detectives, examining animal skulls to learn about predator and prey animals. $2 per child. Reservations required: (845) 889-8851.

Registration: Required
Thu 18 Aug
Birds of Prey & Reptiles Presentation
Thursday, August 18, 2016 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Taconic State Park - Copake Falls Area
(518) 329-3993

A naturalist from Robinson Wildlife will offer a series of free wildlife presentations at Taconic State Park in 2016, on June 25, July 23 and August 18, featuring birds of prey, and reptiles. Live raptors and and owl, plus various reptiles. Each bird has its own unique adaptations for survival, as do the reptiles, and we discuss their importance in the balance of nature, and with the birds, how man has helped to restore endangered species such as the peregrine falcon. A flight demonstration is given with either a hawk or an owl; there is the opportunity (usually a favorite of young attendees) to hold some of the visiting snakes.

Sun 21 Aug
Aster and Goldenrod Workshop
Sunday, August 21, 2016 02:00 PM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3600

The waning summer provides a fine assortment of fall flowers including dozens of native asters and goldenrods. More than a dozen, dried species will be available to contrast and compare the features of these diverse daisies.

Wed 24 Aug
Insect Safari
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 01:00 PM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3600

Become more familiar with the thousands of local animals. Focus on insects and spiders.

Meet at Mt. Morris Dam Snack Bar parking lot.

Sat 27 Aug
Live Birds of Prey Drop-In Program at Sam’s Point
Saturday, August 27, 2016 10:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Have you ever been so close to a hawk that you could see how sharp its talons are? Have you ever been so close to an owl that you could see what color eyes it has? Now is your chance! Join Annie Mardiney, wildlife rehabilitator for Wild Mountain Birds and Laura Davis, Sam's Point Educator, to see and learn about these fascinating raptors. Stop by the picnic area near the Visitor Center to see a variety of live education birds. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. This program is being offered at the Sam's Point Area in Cragsmoor. Pre-registration is NOT required.

Sun 28 Aug
Mobile Homes
Sunday, August 28, 2016 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
(631) 265-1054

No RVs please! Can you imagine cramming everything you own into an itty bitty space and carrying that space everywhere you go? That's what many animals have to do to survive. Join us as we pry into the cramped lifestyle of shell dwelling animals. Live animals will be on display.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Sun 28 Aug
Mobile Homes
Sunday, August 28, 2016 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve Nature Museum
(631) 265-1054

No RVs please! Can you imagine cramming everything you own into an itty bitty space and carrying that space everywhere you go? That's what many animals have to do to survive. Join us as we pry into the cramped lifestyle of shell dwelling animals. Live animals will be on display.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Sun 28 Aug
Search for Hidden Creatures
Sunday, August 28, 2016 02:30 PM - 04:00 PM
Knox Farm State Park
(716) 549-1050

Flippin' logs and lookin' for frogs! Join us on an exploratory walk as we search for the little known residents of Knox Farm. For information and registration call (716) 549-1050.

Registration: Required
Sat 03 Sep
Mid-Tide Splash
Saturday, September 3, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Jones Beach State Park
(516) 780-3295

Get ready to get wet! We are taking you down to the bay to seine, collect, and identify animals that live in the bay. Make sure you wear shoes and clothes that are good for water.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Sat 03 Sep
Mid-Tide Splash
Saturday, September 3, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center
(516) 780-3295

Get ready to get wet! We are taking you down to the bay to seine, collect, and identify animals that live in the bay. Make sure you wear shoes and clothes that are good for water.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Fri 09 Sep
Erie Bats
Friday, September 9, 2016 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
Evangola State Park
(716) 549-1050

An exhilarating evening hike to search for migrating tree bats where on a September night the highest count of migrating bats in the Great Lakes was recorded! Explore our Evangola Nature Center then try the "bat detector" over starlit Lake Erie skies. For information and registration call (716) 549-1050.

Registration: Required
Sat 10 Sep
Bird & Breakfast
Saturday, September 10, 2016 08:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Connetquot River State Park Preserve
(631) 581-1072

Enjoy a continental breakfast (courtesy of the Friends of Connetquot and the Great South Bay Audubon Society) and a presentation introducing the local and migratory birds seen in our area. Afterward, take a walk through the preserve led by experienced birders from the Great South Bay Audubon Society. Binoculars and identification books will be available for loan.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating.

Registration: Required
Sat 10 Sep
I Spy A Dragonfly
Saturday, September 10, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
(631) 265-1054

Discover the dragonfly's many beautiful colors, life-cycle and unique behaviors. Dragonflies don't sting and love to eat mosquitoes. Enjoy hands-on activities followed by outdoor capture, observation, and release of these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Sat 10 Sep
I Spy A Dragonfly
Saturday, September 10, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve Nature Museum
(631) 265-1054

Discover the dragonfly's many beautiful colors, life-cycle and unique behaviors. Dragonflies don't sting and love to eat mosquitoes. Enjoy hands-on activities followed by outdoor capture, observation, and release of these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Wed 14 Sep
Wildlife Wednesday
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 06:00 PM
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site
(518) 829-7516

Join us September 14th for the program "A Birds Life" with environmental educator George Steele. There is a $3.00 Suggested Donation for this program. Contact the site for more information

Sat 17 Sep
Biodiversity Celebration
Saturday, September 17, 2016 11:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Bear Mountain State Park
(845) 786-2701

Celebrate NYS native animals & plants! Enjoy nature crafts, games & activities. Visit the animals & museums & enjoy fall!

Sat 24 Sep
Camouflage Commandos
Saturday, September 24, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
(631) 265-104

Everyday creatures are engaged in mortal combat. Mother Nature has equipped each side with specific adaptations to help them stay alive. An indoor training session will be followed by an outdoor recon mission as we search for the highly skilled, ever elusive camouflage commandos.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Sat 24 Sep
Camouflage Commandos
Saturday, September 24, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Caleb Smith State Park Preserve Nature Museum
(631) 265-104

Everyday creatures are engaged in mortal combat. Mother Nature has equipped each side with specific adaptations to help them stay alive. An indoor training session will be followed by an outdoor recon mission as we search for the highly skilled, ever elusive camouflage commandos.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating

Registration: Required
Sun 25 Sep
Amazing Monarch
Sunday, September 25, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Jones Beach State Park
(516) 780-3295

Monarch butterflies are making their way south. They fly along the shore line this time every year; migrating thousands of miles. Come discover these amazing insects and how they make their long trip to Mexico.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Sun 25 Sep
Amazing Monarch
Sunday, September 25, 2016 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center
(516) 780-3295

Monarch butterflies are making their way south. They fly along the shore line this time every year; migrating thousands of miles. Come discover these amazing insects and how they make their long trip to Mexico.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $4.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free.

Registration: Required
Sun 25 Sep
River Walk (World River Day)
Sunday, September 25, 2016 01:30 PM - 03:30 PM
Connetquot River State Park Preserve
(631) 581-1072

Come celebrate "World River Day" with us by taking a walk discovering the Connetquot River. We will discuss the habitat and the creatures that call it home.

$4.00 per adult (18+) $3.00 for children (ages 3 - 17) Children under 3 are free unless participating.

Registration: Required
Sun 25 Sep
Visit a Beaver Pond
Sunday, September 25, 2016 05:00 PM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3600

Become more familiar with the thousands of local animals. Focus on the habitat created by beavers. Brush and mud.

Meet at Parade Grounds parking lot. Bring a supper.

Tue 25 Oct
Boo at the Zoo
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 10:30 AM - 03:00 PM
Bear Mountain State Park
(845) 786-2701

Rain date: Sunday, October 25th

Come to the Bear Den at 10:30 to make spooky snacks for the black bears. At 11:00, watch the zookeepers let the bears loose to enjoy the tasty Halloween decorations. Touch real animal skulls, see stuffed specimens in the Nature Study museums, make Autumn crafts and learn about bats and our not-so-scary owls and vultures. Lots of family-friendly fun and activities.

Sat 17 Dec
Beary Merry Holiday
Saturday, December 17, 2016 10:30 AM
Bear Mountain State Park
(845) 786-2701

Rain date Sunday, December 18th

Come to the Bear Den at 10:30 and make tasty holiday snacks for the black bears. We'll celebrate the holiday season at 11:00 when we let the bears out to unwrap their gift boxes full of delicious treats! Bundle up and come out for a festive, family-friendly winter experience.