Official Publication of the New York State Outdoor Education Association • 6 0 7 . 5 9 1 . 6 4 2 2 • Winter 2017
photo by: Sarah Capen
NYSOEA Executive Board
President – Eric Powers
VP Administration – Elizabeth Young
VP Communication – Jessica Kratz
VP Human Resources – Kathryn Brill
VP Program – Jolene Thompson
VP Program-Elect – Megan Hoffman
Secretary – Sunny Corrao
Treasurer – Elizabeth Van Acker
Office - Darleen Lieber

Regional Directors Pathways
Eastern – Rebecca Shultz
Issue Editors Webmaster
Metro – Jonathan Billig
Jill Eisenstein Vacant
Northern – Brian DeGroat
Jessica Kratz Communications &
Western – Shannon Morley
Technology Committee
Central – Josh Teeter Graphic Designer
Tim Stanley, Interim Chair
Matthew Fraher
2017 Conference Chair Content Editors Members at Large
Jill Eisenstein Sarah Conley
John Stowell
Frank Knight Margaret Maruschak

2016 Conference Chairs Darleen Lieber Carol Guerreri Rogers
Katie Finch
Meghan Boice-Green Shannon Morley
Carol Guerreri Rogers

Invitation for Articles and News Advertising in Pathways
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(ISSN 1077-5100) PATHWAYS is published four times
a year by the New York State Outdoor Education
Association and is emailed to NYSOEA members.
Opinions expressed by contributors are theirs solely
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of the product(s) by NYSOEA.

2 Pathways Winter 2017
A Message from the Animals
My personal inclination is to hibernate as these days get The new White House has promised financial cuts and
short, nights linger forever, and temperatures drop. Don’t political gutting of our Parks and environmental regulation.
get me wrong, I need my daily dose of nature. I’m grateful Short-term economic growth has always been the inverse
for the twice daily dog walks as a minimum standard. of long-term environmental protection. Outdoor and
But, the collection of bodily injuries over 47 years has environmental education is a prime target, too, since we
turned me into a sort of barometer, hygrometer, and advocate for conservation and protection of our natural
otherwise storm predictor. However, I seem to be on my resources. Yet, we are strong. We have embraced this
own with this attitude. down time. We have our eyes on the rains to come. We are
planning for the flush of spring.
My animal menagerie has a different attitude. The
stick bugs are sensing the drop in humidity due to the Now, more than ever, we must come together and speak
baseboard heating system, triggering their dry season as one voice. We are the Lorax. We each hold the last
behavior: feast voraciously on what’s left, and feverishly seed. And in this time of need, please renew your NYSOEA
lay eggs! They are dropping an egg about every 15 membership. Ask your employer to join as an Affiliate. We
minutes. Use this time to prepare for the coming rains!! are hundreds strong, and every O/EE educator needs to join
our choir so that our collective chorus is heard all the way to
The Chinchillas are dashing and hopping about all night. the next generation.
This cold air seems to invigorate their spirits! Even
though they are three boys, I’m seeing signs of nesting, We stand united against the coming storm. Join our Legacy!
calling and territorial disputes. Prepare for the flush of

And the dogs are in their element in the snow, cold, and
icy waters. Rottweilers from Germany and Labs from,
well, Labrador thrive in these polar blasts. “What?!?!”,
their facial expressions exclaim, “only two walks per
day? We need ten!” Watching them enjoy the first snow
of the year is like watching two puppies discovering the
outdoors for the first time! Embrace the winter!!

As always, I seek answers from nature – often hidden
in plain sight in the behavior of all living things. Silly
humans, oblivious to such things with all of our
distractions, but the predictions are out there — a long,
cold winter with some deep snows. We’ve prepared for
it. Embrace it. Love it. Let it inspire you. But prepare
for the coming rains, and the flush of spring, because it
Eric Powers
promises to be a spring like no other in our lifetime!
President, NYSOEA

3 Winter 2017 3
The Gifts We Give Each Other – Impressions
from the 2016 Conference
Writing and Photos by Pathways Editor Jessica Kratz

“That is the fundamental nature of gifts: they move, and their Even though it was rather early Sunday morning, the
value increases with their passage… The more something is Make-And-Take Fair was sunny and cheerful. We shared
shared, the greater its value becomes.” our crafting supplies, our best practices, and the best of
– Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass ourselves. I was relieved to be able to borrow scissors and
happy to loan out markers. While I was facilitating the
I ended the 2016 NYSOEA Conference at Watson Homestead Happiness Jar station, equally pleased with the use of washi
the way I started it, back in a room equipped with dozens of tape (high-quality masking tape made of rice paper) and the
outlets for hot glue guns and endless possibilities for crafts. success of my staff’s suggestion of using contact paper over
And as the glue creates a stronger bond between the natural pressed ferns and leaves, I was able to observe and learn
materials, it also creates a stronger bond within our outdoor from the other craft activities buzzing through our human
education community. The first activity I took part in at hive. From embroidering rose petal stationery, to making
the conference was Advanced Fairy Houses, during which I tree cookie ornaments, to creating gift boxes and bows out of
created a rudimentary fairy who climbed a wooden ladder, old calendars, the crafts were diverse and interesting. They
slid down a bark slide, and had acorn cap plates of berries were ready to use, incorporate into a workshop, or give as a
and a fried egg (made of aster). My final activity at the gift upon returning home.
conference was the Make-and-Take-Fair.

4 Pathways Winter 2017
Having joined the “Winter Weekend Book Club, 2017!” (a
Facebook book organized by Jonathan Billig, Metro Region
Chair), I started reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall
Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions, 2013). The third chapter, “The
Gift of Strawberries,” got me thinking about the difference
between a gift and a commodity exchange. According to
Kimmerer, “A gift creates an ongoing relationship.” Jonathan
has given us the gift of time, structure, and organization to
help us move through this amazing book. We give ourselves
the gift of time and quiet reflection by reading the book.
And, similar to the Make-and-Take-Fair, we give the gift of
community by sharing our reflections and perspectives.

May we continue to find the time to give the best of
ourselves and strengthen our community as we approach
NYSOEA’s 50th anniversary in 2018.

Pathways Winter 2017 5
Solid Roots
About fifty years ago, a few educators realized that
outdoor experiences had been gradually eroding from our
NYS educational system. Not only students but the entire
culture would suffer if something did not change!

The roots of our organization are the educators that got it
started and the ones that continue to nourish its growth.
Like a tree, NYSOEA can only grow as large and healthy
as its roots grow deep and wide. For nearly 50 years,
our roots have kept us anchored in the richness of the
outdoors and helped us stay strong. We continue to draw
inspiration from this commitment, tenacity, and vision.

In light of the upcoming 50th anniversary, we have
decided to reprint a few articles from NYSOEA’s very own
publication dating back to March of 1969-- once known
as the The Outdoor Communicator and later renamed
Pathways to Outdoor Communication-- to help us learn
from, appreciate, and continue to be strengthened by our
solid roots as we continue to grow.

6 Pathways Winter 2017
Where Did All the Hemlocks Go?
by William Devlin
Director, Frost Valley Center, Outdoor Communicator, Fall 1973

The old tannery chimneys that dot the Catskills stand as In about 30 years, from 1840-1870, these mountains
tombstones of the old leather industry and of countless were made barren. A seemingly inexhaustible supply of
majestic Hemlocks which fell to man’s inadvertency more unbelievably huge Hemlocks had fallen to the greed of men
than a century ago. with everything but the bark being wasted. It was felt that
bark was cheap, as well as labor, while leather was dear. The
Looking at the deciduous Catskill forests of maple, birch and statement that “bark was cheap” might well be revised by
beech, it is difficult to imagine that vast areas were once taking into account the value of a forest of Hemlock timber
almost totally Hemlock. skinned of its bark and left to rot on the disgracefully wasted
The site that greeted the first European’s eyes here from a
high vantage point was an unbroken carpet of blue green, Since the raw hides were less bulky to transport than bark,
interspersed with shadows of black. This was the view that hides were shipped to where the bark was plentiful and
the vast uninhabited areas of Hemlock gave to the entire factories for the tanning of leather sprung up wherever
countryside. The immense spreads of Hemlock timber made there was bark to feed them. Roads suitable for heavy loads
the Catskills an island in the midst of the westward push of pushed up every timbered valley. Peelers, with spuds in
civilization. hand, went into the woods about May 1, peeling the Hemlock
as long as it would peel, and stacking the bark in cord piles
But around 1817, upon the discovery of improved ways to
to dry and be drawn to the tanneries. It was skidded out
tan leather using the bark from the Hemlock, tanners rushed
summer and fall when the season was dry, or on winter
to the Catskills, purchased large tracts of land covered with
snow if necessary.
Hemlock, and erected extensive tanneries. Then came the
sawmills and the villages, followed by the wooden turnpikes, The tan bark was ground in a water-powered mill, then
canals, and railroads; those inevitable transportation routes taken to a leach house, mixed with boiling water and left
to link them to market. to steep for about a week. The liquid was then ready to be
drawn off for the tanyard vats as needed.

Pathways Winter 2017 Ruin of Hemlock Tannery was taken from the original article “Where Did all the Hemlocks Go?” 7
Where Did All the Hemlocks Go? continued

Hides were first put in vats in the beamhouse and soaked Frost Valley YMCA Environmental Center, “the grounds about
for about a week. They were taken out, pounded till soft, and the buildings are well wooded, an unusual thing to find in
split down the middle. These sides were taken to sweat pits this part of the country.” Thanks to someone who refused to
and left for 5 to 8 days. To know when the hides were ready sell out to the tanning bonanza, Frost Valley today boasts a
to be taken from the sweat pits, workmen rubbed them over few virgin Hemlock trees.
them. If hair could be rubbed off with a thumb, the sides
were ready to be milled or pounded to remove the bulk of Had the heavy exploitation of the Hemlock been postponed
the hair. The odor on opening these pits was terrible, and some twenty years modern technology might well have
made the eyes run. Beam hands went to work to scrape and prevented the complete disappearance of the Catskill
clean any remaining hair or flesh from the hides. tanneries; because new tanning compounds and labor-
saving machinery were finding their way into American
Next they were treated to plump them, opening the pores manufacturing. But the mountains ran out of Hemlocks
so the leather would take the tan. Handlers put them one before this happened and no amount of enlightenment can
by one flat into a vat of weak liquor solution. A shovel full of now restore these tanneries or the great Hemlock forests
tanbark was scattered on each side as it sank. This kept the that played such a brief and dramatic role in the history of
sides from settling too close together. After three weeks, the the Catskills.
sides were turned over and the liquor was made stronger.
Again, at the end of three weeks the hides were changed and On the other hand, it has been said that the Civil War was
again laid down in strong liquor for three months. won with leather from Sullivan County, New York, so that
one could imagine that had the exploitation of the Hemlock
This ended tanning, and the hides were put in a loft to dry. been postponed by only one year, it might have affected the
When dry, they were scrubbed and treated with fish oil and outcome of the Civil War.
hung up again for a short time; they were taken down for
the last time and treated with tanners oil and rolled for The evergreen cemetery at Bethel, New York, was named
easier shipment to market. for one of the Catskill’s last documented virgin Hemlock
trees, which now stands over the grave of the man who was
When you think of the thousands of untreated raw hides clearing the land for a cemetery. He was killed by a limb
that had traveled from the ends of the earth, slowly and which fell from the tree in 1813. Imagine its age today if it
without refrigeration, you may imagine the stench that hung had a limb large enough to kill a man 160 years ago. On the
over the tanneries. slopes toward Doubletop Mountain one can still find the
remains of logs wasted by this industry of the last century.
Tanneries varied in size from very small establishments I am also told that there are still to be found a few piles of
employing three or four workers to large week-planned forgotten Hemlock bark, green with moss, just as they were
operations such as the Palen Tannery built in the year 1832 peeled over a hundred years ago.
on the falls of the Neversink Creek in Sullivan County. Its
main building measured 40’ by 350’ and contained 160 There is a bridge across the Neversink Creek at Frost Valley
tanning vats capable of holding 25,000 sides of leather. In whose main beam is the trunk of a 300 year old Hemlock.
operation, the business required 4,000 cords of Hemlock The stump on the far bank still documents its age. Had the
bark yearly (a cord is equivalent to about 1 ton of bark). sawyer realized that he was cutting into a virgin Hemlock I
About 40 workers earned their living under the roof of this would hope that he would not have cut it and the tree would
one building while more men were needed to harvest the still stand today. The stump is being preserved as a reminder
huge amount of bark. of our lack of awareness.

The Claryville Tannery, built in 1848, was even larger. The Hemlocks are almost gone, but I hope the old chimneys
It employed 50 men and tanned 30,000 sides of leather stand forever. As long as they stand others will ask as I
annually. did, “What were they?” As a result many will learn a new
appreciation for life. Maybe if they stand and continue to
During this period, the Catskills produced the finest leather tell their story the Hemlock will be allowed to return to
in the world, but by 1870, leather production was declining something of its original magnificence. It will take many
in the Catskills and the population declined with it. In 1860, centuries -- but if people understand, and care, there is hope.
the town of Neversink had a population of 2,180 people
compared to 1,555 a hundred years later. Credit for the information in this article goes to the book, Brass
Buttons and Leather Boots, published by the Sullivan County Civil
The effect of the leather industry upon the forests in this War Centennial Commission of the Sullivan County New York
area is related in the book Picturesque Ulster County (1896) Historical Society in 1963.
which comments about a photo at the site now occupied the

8 Pathways Winter 2017
Dead Hemlock forest photo and Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) photo were taken at Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY.
Photos are an example of widespread hemlock destruction of both Woolly Adelgid and Hemlock Scale Disease. Dec. 2016.

Woolly Adelgid, Adelges tsugae Dead Hemlock forest Dec 2016

Hemlocks Under Assault
Writing and Photos by Tim Stanley
Cornell Master Naturalist and currently serves as the Assistant Director at the Fresh Air Fund’s Sharpe Reservation
where he has witnessed the long decline of hemlocks. He formerly served as a Maryland Forest Ranger.

The eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) has come under The culprits responsible for all this destruction are the size
attack, this time not by man’s appetite for tannic acids but of sesame seeds. The all-female cast annually produces
a tiny aphid-like insect called the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid two generations asexually (the host spruce tree needed
(HWA). This Asian insect introduced to the eastern United for sexual reproduction is absent in North America) with
States in 1951 near Richmond, Virginia, has since traveled a single female laying 50 to 175 eggs in the first generation
north and west and is prevalent in New York’s Hudson Valley and 25 to 125 eggs in the second generation, leading to an
and Southern Tier. The Adirondacks, currently adelgid-free, explosive population growth. The telltale evidence indicating
provides the hemlock a “temporary” refuge where we may an infestation is the white cottony material on the underside
witness its former iconic glory. of the needles that serves to protect the eggs and the
growing insects. The first generation of eggs are laid in March
The loss of this climax species could have detrimental and the emerging larvae, called crawlers, quickly spread to
effects on our forests. In some areas of its range, it is one of find a place to feed. This generation quickly grows through
the few evergreen trees among a deciduous forest, providing four instars and by June lays eggs of the second generation.
shelter to animals during the winter and breeding grounds The second generation crawlers find a good spot to feed,
to birds during the summer. These slow-growing, long-lived insert their piercing/sucking mouth parts into a needle, and
trees often grow in valleys and ravines alongside streams, lay dormant during the summer months. They awaken in
cooling the water, an essential ecosystem service for the the fall, feeding and slowly growing throughout the winter.
survival of native brook trout during the hot summer This unique advantage helps them avoid predation with
months. only a few overwintering birds looking for a meal. Once

Pathways Winter 2017 9
Hemlocks Under Assault continued

Healthy Hemlock needles and Healthy Hemlocks Foundation Species photos are
both taken at the Roosevelt Forest in Hyde Park, NY. November 2016.

Healthy hemlock needles Hyde Park
Nov 2016

Healthy hemlocks foundation species
Hyde Park Nov 2016

weakened by HWA, trees are susceptible to other pests such
as the elongate hemlock scale, an armored scale insect pest
first introduced to Long Island in 1908. With HWA and the
elongate scale working together, the trees have little chance and treatments are taking place in New York at places like
of survival. Watkins Glen State Park. It is hoped these predatory insects
will become naturalized and will help restore balance to the
In the Hudson Highlands, I have watched the hemlocks ecosystem before the eastern hemlock disappears from the
fall to the destructive force of these tiny insects that can landscape forever.
kill a tree in 4-10 years of infestation and as quickly as 3-6
years in the southern range. Forests that appeared healthy Resources:
but exhibited signs of HWA at the turn of the century Cheah, C., M. E. Montgomery, S. Salom, B. L. Parker, S. Costa, and
have succumbed to the onslaught. Many of these ancient M. Skinner, 2004. Biological control of hemlock woolly adelgid.
hemlocks stand as skeletons of a more glorious past... yet USDA For. Serv. FHTET-2004-04, Reardon, R. and B. Onken
other areas in the Hudson Valley seem less affected by the (Tech. Coordinators), 22pp. (
HWA. From a naturalist’s observations, it is evident that the files/6231.pdf)
impact of the HWA is not uniform, perhaps due to differing
environmental factors as well as the fact that an estimated Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. DEC Fact Sheet. March 8th, 2016.
1% of hemlocks have a natural resistance to the insects.

Whitmore, M., 2014. Invasives and Cold. Cornell University,
Researchers have found some promising biological controls Department of Natural Resources.
including an insect dubbed the “Larry” beetle (Laricobius uploads/files/Invasives%20and%20cold%20Feb%202014.pdf
nigrinus), a ladybird beetle (Scymnus coniferarum) and one
species of fly called the silver fly (Leucosis argenticollis). All Video: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid -
native to the Pacific Northwest, they are natural predators foresthealth/nys-hemlock-initiative/
to woolly adelgids in hemlocks of that region. Releases

10 Pathways Winter 2017
Kimberly at 716-825-6397 x200 or kadriaansen@ sciencebuff.
org and provide your name, title, organization, and phone

Please submit to kadriaansen@sciencebuff.
org  your activity lesson plan and resources to be shared,
by Wednesday, February 1. Be sure to specify if any
particular materials are needed, what length of time is
needed to show the activity (approximately 10-15 minutes),
if you have a time preference, and whether the activity will
be shared inside or outside. 

After the workshop, lesson plan PDF’s will be posted on
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 under “Member Resources”. Although it is
10:00am-3:30pm preferred if participants share an activity and attend the
Tifft Nature Preserve whole workshop, neither are required. Please bring your own
1200 Fuhrmann Blvd bag lunch if attending the whole event. Light refreshments
Buffalo, NY 14203 will be offered. If you have any questions or suggestions
please contact Tifft Nature Preserve Program Coordinator
Environmental and outdoor educators of the Western Kimberly Adriaansen at  or
Region are invited to “show and share” one of their 716-825-6397 x200. 
favorite program activities with colleagues during this fun
and FREE casual professional development event. Socialize Last year’s attendees included: Beaver Meadow Audubon,
with other educators (experienced, retired, and new to the Tifft Nature Preserve, Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve,
field!) and swop strategies, stories, and your spirit for the Mama Earth Kitchen Band, NY Sea Grant, NY State
outdoors and education! Parks Niagara Region Interpretive Programs, Montezuma
Audubon Center, Jamestown Audubon Center, Penn Dixie
 This event is created for you, by you, and is sponsored by Paleontological Center, Erie County Department of Parks and
the New York State Outdoor Education Association www. Recreation, and WNY Herpetological Society. Don’t miss out - THE professional membership organization this year!
supporting outdoor and environmental education and
interpretive services in New York State since 1968. Please PLEASE PASS THIS INVITATION ON TO ANYONE YOU KNOW
pre-register by Wednesday, January 25 by contacting WHO MAY BE INTERESTED - Thank you and see you there!

Winter Weekend 2017
February 10-12, 2017
Taconic Outdoor Education Center, Cold Spring, NY

For information and to register:

Questions? Email Jonathan at
or Kate at

Pathways Winter 2017 11
Bike tour sponsored by Niagara River Keepers

Celebrating Our Nation’s Greatest Gifts
Writing and Photos by Sara Capen
Executive Director, Niagra Falls National Heritage Area

The year 2016 marked the wonderful Centennial of the songbirds, and to breathe deeply. It asks us to register the
National Park Service, a 100th birthday celebration of seasons not by a flip of a calendar page, but by the changes
Theodore Roosevelt’s vision to preserve iconic American we see, hear, and feel within its world. When we witness the
landscapes for generations of people to experience for years bare trees of winter and their glorious symphony of color
to come. in autumn, we appreciate that we, too, are part of nature’s
cycle. It is as simple as recognizing spring is here just
Visionaries, like Theodore Roosevelt and Frederick Law because we hear the song of Baltimore orioles as they build
Olmsted, recognized that parks and large landscape their unique hanging nests in the long, thin limbs of the
preservation were vital to what resonates at the very core of willow tree.
humanity. At the heart of establishing parks and preserving
the wild is the simple understanding that a connection to Whether it is staring at a spectacular sunset along the
nature nourishes us; it feeds our soul. Through their own shores of Lake Ontario or being surrounded by an old-growth
avid love for the outdoors, Roosevelt and Olmsted recognized forest alive with the sounds of summer, human beings need
the need for people to connect to nature and the need for a type of nourishment that only nature can provide.
places like the Adirondacks and Denali to be preserved
forever. In our world today, where screens chain us like anchors
to a constant stream of information, updates and images,
Nature engages all of our senses and, without formality, the need for nature is greater than ever. We need to step
makes us witnesses to its incredible gift. It gently urges us away from the news cycle and feel fresh snowflakes fall on
to explore, to tune in our ears to the sounds of migrating our face. We need to step away from the demands of our

12 Pathways Winter 2017
Celebrating Our Nation’s Greatest Gifts continued

jobs and daily life and hear the sounds of water. Being in
nature allows us the temporary respite we need from these
seemingly urgent demands and provides us a therapeutic
calm and perspective that we desperately seek but all too
often cannot find.

In this season of winter wonder and holiday preparation,
close your eyes and pause for a moment. Think about a
park or a place in nature that connects to your soul. Is it a
park from your past where you gathered with generations
of your family to celebrate a summer holiday or birthday?
Perhaps it is a park that is as beloved as a best friend, one
where the trail greets you and the trees surround you in
comfort. Maybe it is a park whose beauty and areas of
quiet contemplation fill your heart with the peace it needs,
or one that took your breath away by the sheer majesty of
the landscape. Whether it is a park of soaring heights or a
park hidden in a city, each place connects us to a universal
quality we all need.

In these final days of the National Park Service’s Centennial,
we should celebrate all parks and places that connect us
to nature and recognize that establishing parks for all to
enjoy may be one of the greatest gifts our democracy has

The intention, whether it was the establishment of Yosemite, A Trail in Kenai-Turnagain Arms National
Heritage Area Alaska
Yellowstone or Niagara Falls State Park, was to preserve for
perpetuity places where all citizens can witness nature’s
glory, contemplate its gift, and find meaning within its realm.
Like many gifts, including democracy, it requires a dedicated
stewardship that must be shared with future generations to
be preserved.

What Theodore Roosevelt knew 100 years ago resonates
deeply today: humans need nature and the gifts it bears.
This incredible legacy urges us to get outdoors, unite to
keep our parks preserved in perpetuity and to always bring
a member of the next generation along to enjoy one of our
nation’s greatest gifts. Go find your park today!

Blacksmith at Old Fort Niagara Sara Capen just outside of Zion National Park

Pathways Winter 2017 13
NYSOEA Gives Back: Kids’ Winter Gear Drive
by Carol Rogers, NYSOEA 2016 Conference Chair

NYSOEA members pride themselves on encouraging all
children to experience nature outdoors. In an effort to
support children in the community hosting our conference,
the Conference Committee held a “Kids Winter Gear Drive”
to benefit a local organization, Family Service Society. The
Society operates youth programs for underserved children
in the Corning area. Children in their programs benefit
from outdoor recreation and education activities, but those
activities are often limited to warmer months due to a lack
of cold weather gear.

NYSOEA members certainly answered the call to donate
winter gear items at the conference, donating over 50 winter
gear items. As you can see, a “giving tree” was covered
with children’s hats, scarves, and gloves, providing warm
winter wishes- and another “portal to the outdoors”– for the
children of the Laura Richardson Houghton Corning Youth

Editor’s Note: Carol Rogers and Meghan Boice-Green chaired the
2016 conference. Susan Diachun was a hardworking member of
the 2016 conference committee. Harmony Ayers-Friedlander is the
executive director of Family Service Society of Steuben County.

Visit the following for more information about the Laura
Richardson Houghton Corning Youth Center:
Richardson%20Houghton%20Corning%20Youth%20 From left: Susan Diachun, Carol Rogers, Harmony Ayers-Friedlander, and
Meghan Boice-Green proudly display winter gear, which is testament to the
Center%20Brochure.pdf generosity of NYSOEA members. Courtesy of Carol Rogers

14 children photos by: Adam Judd, Program Coordinator, Corning Youth Center Pathways Winter 2017

Harlan “Gold” Metcalf Award
Marty Strong
The highest honor presented to a member of the Association.
Candidates must have made valuable professional contributions
in New York State, demonstrated outstanding leadership,
contributed to, and made significant achievements in the field of
outdoor education. Recipients must have 10 years of professional
experience and be a current NYSOEA member.

Marty has spent decades as an educator, in both formal
and non-formal education.   He worked at Ashokan,
Nassau BOCES, and for the Horseheads School District.
He is comfortable in the field or on water. He has been
consistently committed to NYSOEA throughout the
decades, having been a past President, past Conference
Chair. Though retired from teaching, his commitment
to NYSOEA remains strong. He has served for more than
a decade on the awards committee. Of course, he is
known for his signature sense of style: bright shirts with
sunglasses and matching bandannas. This, along with
his after hours hospitality, has earned him the nickname
“Party Marty.” For consistent commitment to Outdoor
Education, and for showing us how fun educating,
mentoring, and serving others can be, Marty was
awarded the Harlan “Gold” Metcalf Award.

Pathways Winter 2017 15
Outdoor Educator Award
Tom Smith
This honor recognizes the outstanding classroom teacher,
Leadership Award environmental educator or interpreter in the Association who has
used the outdoors to enrich curriculum and/or interpret the natural
MaryLynne Malone world in a way that has expanded the environmental appreciation
Presented to candidates who are responsible for the growth of of children or adults.  Candidates must be active in the field for five
professionals in the field, who created innovative programs, and/or years and a NYSOEA member for two years.
provided the management support that expanded outdoor educa-
Tom has taught outdoors for over three decades. His career
tion at the local, state, or national level. Recipient does not have to
has led him to teach outdoors in New York for the DEC, the
be a member of the Association.
YMCA, and Fresh Air Fund, all while staying continuously
involved in NYSOEA. Having recently left Sharpe
MaryLynne has provided dynamic leadership to the Associa-
Reservation, after a long tenure, to pursue his business,
tion for well over a decade. A past president of the NYSOEA,
Smitty’s Taxidermy, Tom now enjoys sharing his skill with
she has chaired several conferences, including the 2013
younger educators when he can.
conference in Albany and was a tri-chair for the 2010 NAAEE
conference in Buffalo-Niagara. She previously chaired the It was at Greenkill almost 30 years ago where we met when
Auction and Communications committees and currently he came to work as an outdoor educator—enthusiastic,
chairs the Awards and Diversity Committees. She works ready to teach,…young--someone anxious to learn and be
extensively with other groups like Girl Scouts in their use mentored and grow as an outdoor educator. Grow he did.
of camps in Harriman State Park, does extensive work on His love for the outdoors and tramping through the woods
water conservation and done extensive work in coordinating with whatever group he led, and his desire to learn made
volunteers for the NYS Envirothon Competition. She is hard- him a leader among the staff. He was what I might call a
working, energetic, and her contagious enthusiasm encour- ‘natural’ naturalist---his rapport with students was easy and
ages others to give devote more to NYSOEA and to Outdoor engaging, his joy to be leading them evident, and his ability
Education. For these reasons (and more), MaryLynne was to interpret what was around him impressive. After about
nominated by George Steele for the Leadership Award. 5 years he moved on from Greenkill, but a quarter century
later, he would be called back, not just as an extra per
diem Naturalist, but also someone who could energize the
young staff in their chosen career and exemplify Outdoor
Education as a professional career choice.

Tom showed up as he had so long ago—enthusiastic, ready
to teach…and believe it or not…still young (at least in spirit).
His knowledge, ongoing humor, and instructional style were
contagious. His impact on the staff was instantly noticeable,
and their respect for his experience obvious. Nominated by
Nancy Reichert, Alumni & Development Specialist, YMCA
of Greater NY, Greenkill OE Center, Tom’s long career and
dedication as an outdoor educator has touched literally

16 Pathways Winter 2017
Volunteer Educator Award
Dr. Alan Fiero
Awarded to an exemplary volunteer whose dedication and
commitment of personal time and energy has significantly
contributed to the goals of outdoor/environmental education in a
school, park, museum, nature center or residential setting. Service Award
In addition to teaching full-time at Farnsworth Middle Kate Brill
School, Alan has worked tirelessly for 20 years, volunteering
his time and energy to the Pine Bush Preserve. His dedication Presented for outstanding support of Association goals by contribu-
to education, science and the Pine Bush is exemplary. He tion of personal time and energy. Recipient must be a member for
incorporated the Albany Pine Bush Preserve into the student three years.
curriculum, incorporating data from Pine Bush research into
his lesson plans, immersing students in authentic research Serving as Eastern Region Rep, a 2015 Conference Co-Chair,
in the Pine Bush and helping to develop a sense of place. and then assuming the role of VP Human Resources, Kate
has been a consistent contributor and enthusiastic leader-
His hands-on, immersive approach included projects ship presence in NYSOEA for the past several years. From
such as: Winter Weekend to EE Week to the conference, Kate has
been busy behind the scenes and on the front lines, often
–– Karner Blue Butterfly habitat restoration and taking photos and composing Pathways articles to share
captive rearing what is happening. Leading workshops such as Making
–– Raising native wild blue lupine for sale and Place Based Jewelry, creating hand-printed greeting cards as
restoration purposes presenter gifts, Kate has also made NYSOEA a craftier place.
–– Constructing deer exclosures and monitored wild Nominated by Jessica Kratz, this award for consistent service
blue lupine inside was presented in a series of haikus.

–– 2003 – “Garden from the Stars Program” – PB seeds were
sent up in Columbia Space shuttle as part of research.
After Columbia explosion, controlled seeds on earth
were used for a memorial garden at their school.

He has also continually written grants to bring students to
the Albany Pine Bush and bring research into the classroom,
and even took a sabbatical to work with the APB to write and
display curriculum on the APB website.

For two decades of consistent commitment that inspires
the efforts of others, Dr. Alan Fiero received the Volunteer
Educator Award.

Pathways Winter 2017 17
Stay tuned for the spring issue
Julian Smith Award of Pathways!
Joanne Zhao, SUNY New Paltz

Presented to deserving undergraduate or graduate students who

For Jennifer Pharr-Davis’ reflections
have shown a commitment to outdoor education through study,
leadership, volunteer work and seasonal employment. The student
must been enrolled full-time (12 hours) and have a grade point
average of 2.5 in a program of study related to outdoor education. 
Applicant must submit a statement of interest and highlight
on the 2016 conference
experiences and/or contributions to the field.

Joanne spent the spring semester of her senior year at SUNY
New Paltz as a NYSOEA intern. She worked with Libby Also, be on the lookout for:
Young and Susan Hereth to create and distribute a survey
of SUNY New Paltz students’ relationship with the natural
environment. Her survey garnered over 300 responses. – Articles based on the conference strand
She also completed a research paper analyzing the survey “The Waters that Connect Us”
responses, which was published in Pathways. She also took
on some additional tasks, such as attending NYSOEA’s – EE Week events
Winter Weekend, and reaching out to/collecting information
from NYSOEA’s affiliates.
and more…
Nominated by Libby Young, VP Administration, Joanne will
inevitably follow a career path that aligns with her passion
for social justice, and she will absolutely have a positive
impact wherever she goes!

18 Pathways Winter 2017
Roughy in flight
photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service

photo ourtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service

Nature Times Spotlight:
Can You Guess What the
Name of This Winter
Guest Is?
by Greta Alvarado, State Parks Roughy in flight – notice the dark feathers in the middle
Article reprinted with permission from Nature Times of the wings and the white feathers on the chest.
photo courtesy of Tom Koerner, US Fish and Wildlife Service
December 6, 2016 New York State Parks

Good news, bird lovers! Not all birds are leaving New York Some characteristics to look for when identifying a Rough-
for the winter. This beautiful bird, the Rough-legged hawk legged hawk are the dark patches at the bend of the wing
or “roughy,” spends its summers in the Arctic tundra, but and a dark bellyband and a white bib around the throat (and
when winter comes along, he or she takes up residence in no red tail like one of its cousins). There are light and dark
Southern Canada and the Northern United States, including color varieties of this species, so a bird book should always
New York State. So this winter you might see them circling be on hand when searching for this and other birds of prey!
high above or sitting at the highest point on a tree scanning
an open grassy field for a rodent meal. These birds prefer Roughys search for food from utility poles or while hovering
to hunt on open grasslands, farmland, and large open over the ground. They use their powerful eyesight to spot
wetlands, as this type of habitat is similar to the grassy small mammals like mice and voles far below in grassy
tundra of their summer homes. State Parks you may see fields. Then they swoop down to catch this meal in their
a Rough-legged hawk are Jones Beach State Park, Golden talons.
Hill State Park, Chimney Bluffs State Park, Point au Roche
Don’t be surprised if you look up and see one (or two) of
State Park, and Clermont State Historic Site. Other northern
these high flyers in the next few months.
visitors that you may encounter while looking for roughys
are Snow buntings and Short-eared owls – they also prefer Original Article
the same type of open land to find food.
Roughy in flight – notice the dark feathers in the middle of
the wings and the white feathers on the chest. Photo by US
Fish and Wildlife Service

Pathways Winter 2017 19