Fairgrounds hosts Conservation Field Days for 6th graders from throughout Orleans

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 19 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski – Sixth graders from Holley Central School learn about water and boating safety from members of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Dept. and the NYSDEC Environmental Conservation Police.

KNOWLESVILLE – Sixth graders from around Orleans County traveled to the 4-H Fairgrounds Tuesday and Wednesday for the 48th annual Conservation Field Days. The event provides students with hands-on learning about the environment, wildlife conservation, safety, healthy eating and more.

This year, educational stations included a habitat walk with exploration of a variety of animal habitats;  composting with Orleans County Master Gardeners;  the use of hunting and trapping in wildlife management with the Gregoire family of Murray; how pesticides, herbicides and other wastes affect local watersheds with the Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District;  green power with Scott Dean of the NYS Public Service Commission;  Rabies with Nola Goodrich-Kresse of the Orleans County Health Department.

Other stations included Mammal ID with staff from the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge; the tree factory with staff from the NYSDEC’s Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center in Depew; Heritage Sheep with Orleans County 4-Her Andrew Dreschel of Holley; dog agility with members of the Orleans County 4-H dog program; water and boat safety with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department and the NYSDEC Environmental Conservation Police; and Natalie Heller, nutrition

educator, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension, with information on healthy and fluid-replenishing drinks for the summer.

Students prepare for a “drag race” of tiny solar-powered cars with Scott Dean of the NYS Public Service Commission, who talked to them about green energy.

Products and items on the table overseen by staff from the NYSDEC’s Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center are all made from trees.

Students were able to explore varieties of local wildlife as well as hunting and trapping equipment with Mark Gregoire, who explained why wildlife management is necessary and how it helps the environment.

Orleans County Master Gardeners explain the process and benefits of composting yard and kitchen waste to students from Lyndonville Central School.

Kim Hazel of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County, tells students about wildlife habitat, including habitat created by garbage cans like the ones stored under the trees in the background of the photo.