Kids Activities

Kid Activities

Clarifier to be inserted????

SUBTITLE

Getting creative is a great way to engage the kids.

Look around the back yard or neighborhood and create a scavenger hunt.

Ask for some simpler finds, like pine needles or a pinecone, and then dig deeper: are there any plants with purple leaves in the neighborhood? Maybe a certain yard has a red flower (look but don’t touch!)

taking a closer look a nature
rolling out dough or clay to press leaves, sticks and natural items into

Got Playdoh?

Discover textures in nature. Compare the imprint of different trees.

Next Level: identify the trees and start a nature journal with your findings.

volunteers collecting trash

Trail, creek or neighborhood cleanup.

Put on a pair of work gloves, grab a bag, and do your part and help clean up a trail, river or creek bank, or street in your community.

Next level: Categorize what you have found in your nature journal. What is the most common material you found? What can be recycled? Composted? Put in the garbage?

a craft to indicate the day's weather
storytimekatie.com

What’s the weather today?

Create a weather wheel.

Draw or print out different types of weather and put them in a circular pattern. Use a paper clip or laundry clips to mark the days weather.

Next Level: Be more specific. Record the temperature, humidity, percent rain or sun and log it all into a nature journal.

after a snowstorm
Bev Pellegrino

Storming outside?

If there aren’t hazardous conditions, put on your raincoat and head outside to watch!

Or you can head to your window or your car and watch in a protected place, too.

Next level: Record the length of the rainstorm or snowstorm. Does how hard the rain or snow falls change? Does the rain change to hail or snow or vice versa? Write down how long the storm lasts and describe the sounds and sights you observe.

backyard birdwatch

Do you speak bird?

No? Then here is your chance.

Download a birding app, like eBird.org, and start identifying what’s in your backyard. Learn birds’ songs and characteristics.

Next level: Visit bird feeder web cams to observe birds found nearby or in different parts of the world (start here: allaboutbirds/cams). Install one or more birdfeeders and fill them with different types of seed. Keep a feeder journal, try to draw the birds you see and describe their outstanding features.

Next, next level: Become a citizen scientist! Sign up to participate in the Tug Hill Tomorrow Bird Quest at tughilltomorrowlandtrust.org/bird-quest in the spring, or sign up to collect bird sightings November through April for Cornell’s Project Feederwatch at feederwatch.org.

Create a mandala

Got Rocks?

Create a mandala.

Place the rocks in artistic circular patterns. This can be done in your backyard or with the rocks at Sandy Neck. Take pictures and share with family and friends.

Next Level: Read into the origin of a mandala. Add the information to your nature journal.

Want to explore how to do this?

Monarch butterfly on a white background

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Education – All Content

Education...ALL CONTENT

Experience Nature When We Can't Embrace Each Other
We humans are social creatures

Even our so-called “anti-social” behaviors, like staying in and getting online, are in search of a connection with others. We also have to acknowledge that humans at their core are still animals – and as animals we are all part of nature and respond to it in various ways.

Study after study shows the connection between our health and access to nature, from such obvious factors as the health effects when we lack access to clean water and fresh air, to those not so obvious factors like the connection between spending time outside and increased focus and concentration.

While social distancing may feel constraining, it also provides a great opportunity to step back and embrace our connection with nature. If we cannot seek out physical connection with other humans, what better place to seek a physical connection than in the woods, the meadows, the ponds and beaches?

preservenaturewhilehiking
Elder man fishing by a wooded pond

SUBTITLE

What do I do once I am outside?

Nothing! You can start with that. Just find a spot to sit and be comfortable, where you can take in the sights, sounds and smells of nature.

Getting outside can be as simple as stepping out onto your stoop. Take in the fresh air; look around at the change in light and moving leaves; listen for birdsong, the buzz of insects and the movement of plants in the wind.

catepillar on a white background

Okay… Well, I want to do something while I’m out here!

Here are a few suggestions

taking in nature in your neighborhood

Start with taking a short walk.

You can pay tribute to, or honor, someone special to you with a gift that will last for generations to come. We will send a card, as appropriate, to convey your appreciation…

write about or sketch nature

Start a nature journal!

Take a notebook on your walk and find a place to sit and make observations—maybe there is a rock that faces a creek, or a patch of plants just pushing through the soil. Look around and take note of everything you observe, hear and smell.

Next Level: hone in on a specific item. Perhaps there is a tree that is just getting its spring buds.

What do the buds look like? How quickly do they grow – is it a weekly change, daily, hourly? What sort of insects and animals like this tree? What kind of moss, lichen or fungus is growing on it?

walking on a trail

Take an extra-long walk…

And bring your furry pal along! What new places can you find by spending an extra ten minutes walking?

Next Level: challenge yourself to walk further. Pick a distance (maybe you walk half a mile each day) and see if you can go a little further, then a little further.

How does the extra distance feel? Have you discovered a new neighborhood? Maybe a small street you hadn’t seen before, or a cool new spot along your favorite trail?

kayaking on a river

Trails for hiking, biking, snowshoes, and paddles

Are you looking for a great place to see water falls, perhaps go a hike in a quiet woodland, or explore the wetlands and meadows when looking for amazing birds?

wildlife in the sanctuary

A Sanctuary for beaver, fox, songbirds, and more

Open year-round to the public for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and XC skiing, the Joseph A. Blake Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place to visit with kids.

Monarch butterfly on a white background

These are all great, but I have kids…how do I get them outside and interested?

Ways to explore and learn outdoors!

What are you curious about?

Getting creative is a great way to engage the kids.

Look around the back yard or neighborhood and create a scavenger hunt.

Ask for some simpler finds, like pine needles or a pinecone, and then dig deeper: are there any plants with purple leaves in the neighborhood? Maybe a certain yard has a red flower (look but don’t touch!)

taking a closer look a nature
rolling out dough or clay to press leaves, sticks and natural items into

Got Playdoh?

Discover textures in nature. Compare the imprint of different trees.

Next Level: identify the trees and start a nature journal with your findings.

volunteers collecting trash

Trail, creek or neighborhood cleanup.

Put on a pair of work gloves, grab a bag, and do your part and help clean up a trail, river or creek bank, or street in your community.

Next level: Categorize what you have found in your nature journal. What is the most common material you found? What can be recycled? Composted? Put in the garbage?

a craft to indicate the day's weather
storytimekatie.com

What’s the weather today?

Create a weather wheel.

Draw or print out different types of weather and put them in a circular pattern. Use a paper clip or laundry clips to mark the days weather.

Next Level: Be more specific. Record the temperature, humidity, percent rain or sun and log it all into a nature journal.

after a snowstorm
Bev Pellegrino

Storming outside?

If there aren’t hazardous conditions, put on your raincoat and head outside to watch!

Or you can head to your window or your car and watch in a protected place too. Describe the sounds and sights you observe. Does the way the rain or snow falls change in strength? Does rain change to snow or hail, or vice versa?

Next level: Place a measuring cup outside on a stable surface in a place where there is only open sky above it. Grab a notebook and write down how long the storm lasts. Record the amount of rain or snow that fell into the measuring cup once the storm has ended.

backyard birdwatch

Do you speak bird?

No? Then here is your chance.

Download a birding app, like eBird.org, and start identifying what’s in your backyard. Learn birds’ songs and characteristics.

Next level: Visit bird feeder web cams to observe birds found nearby or in different parts of the world (start here: allaboutbirds/cams). Install one or more birdfeeders and fill them with different types of seed. Keep a feeder journal, try to draw the birds you see and describe their outstanding features.

Next, next level: Become a citizen scientist! Sign up to participate in the Tug Hill Tomorrow Bird Quest at tughilltomorrowlandtrust.org/bird-quest in the spring, or sign up to collect bird sightings November through April for Cornell’s Project Feederwatch at feederwatch.org.

Education Pg Image

Backyard Pines?

How many different pine cones can you find?

As you explore outside, look for different sizes and shapes of pine cones. Look up! Do the pine trees still have cones on their branches? Can you find which trees the different pine cones you see on the ground came from?

Next level: Put one of each type of pine cone next to each other on the ground. How are they alike? How are they different? Why do you think each tree's cones are the way they are?

Next next level: Take three of the same kind of pine cones home with you. Gather three see-through containers. Put one cone in each container. Draw or take a photo of each cone in each container. Fill one container with cold water. What happens to the cone? How fast does the cone change? How does is change? Fill a second container with hot water. What happens to the cone? How fast does the cone change? How does is change? Compare the cones in all three containers. What is different? What is the same?

Want to explore how to do this?

Do we need a module like this?

Text to be inserted.

©

Education

Embracing Nature...

When We Can't Embrace Each Other
We humans are social creatures

Even our so-called “anti-social” behaviors, like staying in and getting online, are in search of a connection with others. We also have to acknowledge that humans at their core are still animals – and as animals we are all part of nature and respond to it in various ways.

Study after study shows the connection between our health and access to nature, from such obvious factors as the health effects when we lack access to clean water and fresh air, to those not so obvious factors like the connection between spending time outside and increased focus and concentration.

While social distancing may feel constraining, it also provides a great opportunity to step back and embrace our connection with nature. If we cannot seek out physical connection with other humans, what better place to seek a physical connection than in the woods, the meadows, the ponds and beaches?

preservenaturewhilehiking
Elder man fishing by a wooded pond

SUBTITLE

What do I do once I am outside?

Nothing! You can start with that. Just find a spot to sit and be comfortable, where you can take in the sights, sounds and smells of nature.

Getting outside can be as simple as stepping out onto your stoop. Take in the fresh air; look around at the change in light and moving leaves; listen for birdsong, the buzz of insects and the movement of plants in the wind.

catepillar on a white background

Okay… Well, I want to do something while I’m out here!

We have a plethora of suggestions for that, too.

taking in nature in your neighborhood

Start with taking a short walk.

You can pay tribute to, or honor, someone special to you with a gift that will last for generations to come. We will send a card, as appropriate, to convey your appreciation…

write about or sketch nature

Start a nature journal!

Take it on your walk and find somewhere to sit and make observations—maybe there is a rock that faces a creek, or a patch of plants just pushing through the soil. Look around and take note of everything you observe, hear and smell.

Next Level: hone in on a specific item. Perhaps there is a tree that is just getting its spring buds.

What do the buds look like? How quickly do they grow – is it a weekly change, daily, hourly? What sort of insects and animals like this tree? What kind of moss, lichen or fungus is growing on it?

walking on a trail

Take an extra-long walk…

And bring your furry pal along! What new places can you find by spending an extra ten minutes walking?

Next Level: challenge yourself to walk further. Pick a distance (maybe you walk half a mile each day) and see if you can go a little further, then a little further.

How does the extra distance feel? Have you discovered a new neighborhood? Maybe a small street you hadn’t seen before, or a cool new spot along your favorite trail?

river trail

HIT THE TRAILS

Hiking, biking, snowshoes, and paddles

Are you looking for a great place to see water falls, perhaps go a hike in a quiet woodland, or explore the wetlands and meadows when looking for amazing birds?

CONNECTING TO NATURE

A Sanctuary for beaver, fox, songbirds, and more

Open year-round to the public for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and XC skiing, the Joseph A. Blake Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place to visit with kids.

Photo by Joshua Eaves
Joshua Eaves
Monarch butterfly on a white background

These are all great, but I have kids…how do I get them outside and interested?

We have suggestions for that, as well!

Do we need a module like this?

Text to be inserted.

©

Tug Hill 10 Challenge

Hit the Trails

Join the Tug Hill 10 Challenge

Tug Hill 10 Challenge
© Charlotte Witzigman

Walk, Hike, Bike, Snowshoe, or Paddle...

The Tug Hill 10 Challenge

Join our trail challenge and explore the many, diverse landscapes and wildlife habitats in Tug Hill.

Document (with photos) or just list for us 10 trails from the Tug Hill Recreation Guide that you visit. Then fill out our Challenge form.

We'll send you our Challenge Patch or Decal, your choice, to congratulate you on meeting the achievement!

Also, upload photos documenting your experience:

  • Nature shots
  • Wildlife you've spotted
  • Fun times with your family or pet
Tug Hill 10 Challenge

Would you like to see additional trails developed?

You can create more opportunities for trails like these by donating to Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust. Any amount makes a positive difference.

Looking for a great way to engage your students?

Hitting the trails is a great opportunity to connect and engage through videos and photos of your discoveries along the trails.

Hit the Trails

With 29 Trail Maps and a lot of local community information read the Tug Hill Recreation Guide 

Introducing: new trails maps compatible with mobile devices

The Avenza Maps® app uses your mobile device’s built-in GPS, track your location, plot locations and photos, measure distance and area, and more.

Tug Hill is Wild – Be Prepared

While Tug Hill is not wilderness in a strict sense, its densely forested terrain can become confusing even to the most seasoned hiker and cross-country skier.

There are considerations you should keep in mind to make your trip safe and enjoyable. Make sure to tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Cell phone coverage is limited, especially in the core area.

Make sure you have the proper clothing, maintained equipment, and emergency and first-aid supplies. The weather in the Tug Hill region can be very unpredictable, especially with lake-effect storms in the winter. The area is wet in the spring and summer, consideration should be given for mosquitos, deer flies, ticks and other pests.

COVID-19

How to Social Distance on the Trails

Responsible, respectful, local recreation outdoors is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with immediate household and family members and friends, and reduce stress and anxiety when practicing social distancing.

STAY LOCAL
Stay close to home. Keep visits short. Avoid high-traffic destinations.

BE SAFE
Avoid crowds and groups. Recreate only with members of your immediate household. Keep a distance of 6 feet or more from others. Alert others as you're about to pass or step aside to let people pass. Wear a mask when you cannot maintain social distancing.

BE READY
Move quickly through parking lots, trailheads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit.

STAY HOME
If you're not feeling well, stay home. Anyone  with a compromised immune system should postpone their visit.

eNews

STAY CURRENT

Subscribe to eNews

I want to hear about project updates, conservation tips, breaking news, and events.

BE SOCIAL

Bird Quest Crafts

Tug Hill Bird Quest:

Arts & Crafts

An Outdoor Classroom Right in Your Backyard
bird mask

Egg Carton Bird Masks

Use something as simple and everyday as egg cartons to create these beautiful masks. They’re like a menagerie of birds.

 

Supplies Needed:

  • Egg cartons
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft paint/watercolors elastic ribbon

Steps:

  1. Cut the flaps off the carton and turn it on its side.
  2. Cut off the 2 top compartments to use as the mask. See how it resembles a bird with eyes and a beak?
  3. Use an X-acto knife to cut out holes in the center of the eyes.
  4. Now comes the fun part. Using the rest of the carton, cut out feathers and other features and hot glue them to your mask. You can also use regular paper to create a longer beak.
  5. Paint all the parts of the mask using craft paint or watercolors.
  6. Hot glue an elastic ribbon to the back of the masks.

Thank you to Sweet Paul Magazine >>

Egg Carton Owls

 

Supplies Needed:

  • Egg cartons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Optional: feathers, buttons, rick-rack

Steps:

  1. Cut off the base of the carton & cut as shown.
  2. Cut wings from the side
  3. Cut feet from the top.
  4. Glue the two pieces together.
  5. Stick on buttons for eyes.
  6. Color & decorate your owl.

Thank you to Michelle McInerney at MollyMooCrafts >>

egg carton owls

Pine Cone Owl

 

Supplies Needed:

  • Large pinecones
  • Felt (5 colors)
  • Googly eyes (I used 1/2" round eyes). You can also use felt or paper to create the eyes.
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Stapler (or tacky glue)

Steps:

First, cut out your felt. You can mix up the colors any way you want, but here is a suggestion:

rust for 2 wings in a leaf-ish shape (2 3/4" long/1 1/4" at widest point)
orange for the beak (3/4" wide x 7/8" tall)
dark brown for the face/ears (2 3/4" wide x 1 1/2" tall at highest point)
turquoise for 2 large eye circles (1 1/4" round)
mustard for 2 small eye circles (7/8" round)

(Your measurements may differ, depending on pinecone size & your preference, but I've listed them anyway, as a guideline.)

The shapes are so forgiving, & it doesn't have to be perfect.

Just get out your scissors & cut!

Snip the largest eye circles all the way around, as pictured in the slideshow.

 

Next, attach the beak to the face with hot glue.

Now, stack the pieces in this order & use a stapler to keep it all together. (I have 25 minutes to do this craft with a handful of 9 year olds. I was trying to think of the quickest way to assemble without having to use glue.) And, honestly, my stapler did give me an attitude. So, if you're not pressed for time, use the hot glue gun!

Attach the googly eyes (or felt- or paper-made eyes) with hot glue.

TIP: apply the hot glue to the felt first, & then place the googly eyes on top of the glue. The tip of the hot glue gun can melt the back of the googly eyes & cause a googly mess.

 

Finally, attach the face & wings to the pinecone with more hot glue.

Thank you to Nikki at Whimsy Love >>

Learn More... Download these activities and visit these online sites...

Want to watch birds live on camera?

The bird feeding station at Cornell University’s Sapsucker Woods facility near Ithaca, NY is live with sound!

Go see who's there now: allaboutbirds.org/cams/cornell-lab-feederwatch/

woodpecker feeding three babies

Looking for a specific bird?

Learn out more about the birds you see using the North American Bird Guide online at: www.audubon.org/bird-guide

Special thanks to these local businesses who have generously provided bird feeders and seed for the Bird Quest:

Tug Hill 10 Challenge Submission

Tug Hill 10 Challenge

Trail Submission Form

Tug Hill 10 Challenge
© Charlotte Witzigman

CONGRATULATIONS

You've met the Challenge!

We like to send you a Tug Hill 10 Challenge patch or decal to commemorate your achievement.

Please fill out the form below, including a list of the ten trails you traveled by foot, bike, snowshoe, or paddle.

Also, upload photos documenting your experience:

  • Nature shots
  • Wildlife you've spotted
  • Fun times with your family or pet
hiking with dog
Tug Hill 10 Challenge

 

Select your reward

Please choose which Tug Hill 10 Challenge reward you would like to receive:

 

Share your experience with us

Did you discover a new place or visit favorite places?

List the names of each of the 10 Trails which you visited:

 

Upload a photo from each of your trail trips. (Optional)

A portrait or an up close image of you, your pet or family, in-action or recreating.

Image size in pixels 1200 x 800, approximately 3 MB in a .JPG file format.

Maximum upload size: 4MB

May we post your photos?

I give Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust permission to post my photos on social media or on their website.

 

Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust congratulates you on meeting the Tug Hill 10 Challenge. We hope to see you on the trails again soon.

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Subscribe to eNews

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Charitable Distribution from an IRA

A gift that keeps on giving.

If you have a traditional IRA, you know that once you are 72 or older you are required to make a minimum distribution from your IRA every year. That triggers taxes.

Yet there's another way. You can make a contribution directly from your traditional IRA to a qualified charity like Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, up to $100,000, without it being considered a taxable distribution.

This year-end is a great way to make a difference and increase the pace of conservation. For more information, please contact your financial advisor, call Linda Garrett, Executive Director, at (315) 779-8240 or email her at lgarrett@tughilltomorrow.org and she will be happy to help you.

 

Land for Sale: Osceola, NY

Land for Sale: Osceola, NY

Charitable Gift Annuities

We are pleased to partner with the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc. to offer charitable gift annuities.

Many charitably-minded individuals may want to support Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust but are often concerned about having enough income in retirement. Some may worry about elderly parents or a loved one who many need their support. Fortunately, it is possible to make a gift that actually increases current or future income AND benefits our mission.

A charitable gift annuity is a simple way to generate income and support our long-term priorities. In exchange for a gift of cash, marketable securities or other assets, The Foundation will pay a fixed dollar amount, calculated as a percentage of your gift. The payment rate for a charitable gift annuity depends upon the beneficiary’s age; the older the beneficiary, the greater the payment rate and the greater the annual income.

You may be interested in a charitable gift annuity if…

  • You want to receive fixed payments for life
  • You want payments that will not fluctuate during your lifetime
  • You have assets that you are able to give away during your lifetime
  • You want to reduce your current income taxes with a charitable tax deduction

For more information, please contact your financial advisor or call Linda Garrett, Executive Director, at (315) 779-8240 or email her at lgarrett@tughilltomorrow.org and she will be happy to help you.

 

Land for Sale

Land for Sale

You can donate your house, place of business or retirement home and likely qualify for State and Federal tax benefits

Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust accepts gifts of real estate throughout our region as well as different areas of the country including, rural, suburban, urban and land parcels. Properties can include residential and businesses, specifically for the purpose of re-selling them and applying the funds to further our educational and conservation efforts.

These gifts can make a significant impact on our ability to serve our community. It could allow us to increase our free community programs for area schools and the public, it might enable us to restore and maintain a trail, or it could help provide critical outreach and support to area landowners who wish to conserve their land.

Prior to accepting such a generous gift, theTug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust’s staff would work with you to determine if the organization could accept it. If so, you would likely receive a tax deduction for the full value of your gift.

For more information please call Linda Garrett, Executive Director, at 315-779-8240 or email her at lgarrett@tughilltomorrow.org.

2019 Annual Calendar owl

Conservation Property for Sale

Are you looking for a beautiful property to build your dream getaway to relax?

A place to go fishing, hiking, or hunting? A spot to unwind. Each of these properties have a conservation easement held by Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust.

woods

Osceola, NY

Cabin with 261 acres of hunting and recreational land. The forest is a mix of hardwood, softwood, and evergreens. There are streams and beaver ponds on the property.