You Can Help with Wappinger Creek Stream Bank Assessment

Learn the ways of a Citizen Scientist and find out what makes a stream stay alive and thrive. 

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A stream bank assessment of most of the Wappinger Creek has just started under at the initiation of Mayor Matt Alexander of the Village of Wappingers Falls. This is a part of the Village’s waterfront revitalization program. The purpose is to study the causes of sedimentation and pollution and to improve the health of the creek and lake.

Spend a relaxing couple of hours paddling the creek, investigating and observing the native plants, shrubs, wildlife and surrounding topographic features along the banks of the stream. You will also learn to identify invasive species as you search them out.

Get hands-on experience with real-world scientific field work. You will be trained in how to conduct a stream bank assessment by a Marist College student working under the supervision of a professor in the Environmental Studies program. Once you feel confident, you may choose to complete your own assessment of you favorite place along the creek. Or just tag along helping out if you prefer.

If you would like to come out just to see what we’re doing, contact Scott Williams, Village of Wappingers Falls, at 845-297-8773 x9 or swilliams@wappingersfallsny.gov or Russ Faller, Mid-Hudson Adirondack Mtn. Club (MH-ADK), at 845-297-5126 or russoutdoors@yahoo.com. Tell them you heard about this from MH-ADK.

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Have Paddle, Will Volunteer

Community Service

Paddle Chair Russ Faller leads our creek cleanups.

Mark Your Calendar and Join ADK for Riverkeeper’s 5th Annual Hudson River Sweep, Sat., May 7, 2016
 If you have a boat of any kind, please come out and join Mid-Hudson Chapter (Adirondack Mtn. Club) members clean-up the lower Wappinger Creek.  Spend as much time as you are able.  We’ll pick up litter from the falls to the Hudson.  If you boat on the lower Wappinger Creek, it’s your creek.  Who else will keep it clean if you do not?  
The annual River Sweep does much more than remove trash from the waterways that give us so much pleasure and recreation – it connects people to the river and its tributaries that we love.  Bring boat and gear.  Wear shoes that can get wet and clothing that can get wet and dirty.  Don’t forget the sunscreen and hat.  Trash bags provided.  
Meet at 8 AM at the boat launch at 117 Market St. in the Village of Wappingers Falls. Please contact the leader if you’re coming.  Leader: Russ Faller 845-297-5126 (before 9:30 PM) or russoutdoors@yahoo.com.

Be a Campground Host at ADK’s Heart Lake

Waiting for you at Heart Lake. Photo by J-C Fouere

Waiting for you at Heart Lake. Photo by J-C Fouere

An experienced campground host describes a week as a host at Heart Lake

by Jon Bowen

My wife, Kathy, and I have been campground hosts at Heart Lake for 8-9 weeks during the past 8 years.  Our week at Heart Lake is always enjoyable and we look forward to it each year.  The campground host program is available to all ADK members by contacting the coordinator.  This past year Doug Paquette, the coordinator of the program “retired” and I was asked to coordinate the host program for this summer.

The week begins at 12 noon on a Sunday and ends a week later at 12 noon.  A typical day for us begins early when we walk from the campground to the Loj to check our email using the Loj’s wifi.  This is followed by breakfast in the dining room where we interact with the Loj guests and some campers who sign up for breakfast.  Experiences hiking the High Peaks are exchanged; “newbies” are given advice; when asked, we suggest trails and hikes to inexperienced hikers, etc.  At 8am, we check in at the front desk and provide with a list of late camping arrivals to contact about registering at the Loj.  Sometimes there are other messages to transmit to campers.  We make a circuit of all the campsites picking up litter as we go.  We check the washroom to ensure both have necessary supplies.  Usually  we finish our loop between 9 and 9:30am and again check in at the front desk to let them know of any problems.

At that point, we are free for a few hours.  We walk to the Loj kitchen to make our trail lunch then we usually hike somewhere that’s not too long—Rocky Falls, Marcy Dam, Mt. Jo, Mt Van Hoevenburg from Heart Lake or other trails in the vicinity such as Owl Head Lookout, Blueberry Cobbles, Rooster Comb, Baxter Mtn,  Cooper Kiln Pond, Haystack Mtn (Saranac Lake), etc.  With the campground responsibilities, there isn’t enough time to hike the longer High peak trails, although a few times I have climbed a high  peak while Kathy did the host duties.

Later in the afternoon, we make another circuit of the campground.  This time, we check to see if campers who should have checked out actually left.  We enter unoccupied campsites and pick up litter or other items that should not be there.  We also check  occupied sites where no one is around for food left out that bears and other animals would be attracted to.  Since we are both musicians (hammered dulcimer, flute, pennywhistle) late afternoon is a good time for us to practice at our campsite.

Dinner at the Loj is next with people extolling the day’s exploits and planning the following day’s hikes.  After dinner we return to our site where we sell firewood after the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) is closed. We usually sit around a fire reading between sales.  Quiet hours are at 10pm and a staff member walks the campground at that time and speaks with groups who are too loud.  Prior to the 10am quiet time, Usually 9:30-9:45 we make a loop in the campground to warn people of the impending quiet time.

The campground has a short list of rules that we remind campers of during our interactions with them on each of our “walk-throughs”.

If the above appeals to you, perhaps you’re interested in learning MORE ABOUT THE Campground Host Program.  If so, email ADK.CGH@gmail.com.  This email address can also be accessed through ADK’s website.

Jon Bowen is Campground Host Program Coordinator, 2014