Christopher A. Nevala, 7, smashes leftover Halloween pumpkins with a mallet during the (Com)Post Halloween event at Zenda Farms in Clayton on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Amanda Morrison for the Watertown Daily Times.
TILT Event Educates Children on Compost
CLAYTON — Creating a manageable compost heap is not as difficult as many may believe.
“It’s quite simple and should not be intimidating to anyone,” Corinne M. Mockler said.
Ms. Mockler is the coordinator of education and outreach for the Thousand Islands Land Trust. The group organized a (Com)post Halloween on Saturday to educate children and their families on maintaining a compost heap.
“A lot of families have gardens, but we’re not sure how much kids are involved in the gardening or if they are aware of the fact that anything can be composted,” Ms. Mockler said.
People were invited to bring their leftover pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns to Zenda Farms at 38973 Zenda Road and smash them up in a wooden box with a shovel. The pumpkin pieces were combined with old leaves to create compost that will be used in the spring on TILT’s Community Garden.
“Who can resist? You get rid of grass, old jack-o’-lanterns and kids get to go around and smash stuff,” she said.
(Com)Post-Halloween is based on an annual event my Permaculture teacher, Claudia Joseph, hosts at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. This will be my first time hosting it through TILT and in this community, but based on what I’ve heard so far, the buzz is abuzz and I should expect a good turnout. I mean, kids get to smash pumpkins into pulp and parents get rid of the rotting Jack-o-lanterns from their front porches – everybody wins!
Now that my first summer with TILT is winding to a close, I thought I would post a quick recap of my favorite part – the KidsTreks! While only part of my job as Coordinator of Education & Outreach, developing, organizing and then experiencing the KidsTreks was a major highlight. The participants’ enthusiasm was infectious and the parents were happy for fun and informative (and free) activities for their kid(s) to do outdoors. All four KidsTreks were booked weeks before they began, which confirmed that there is a major need for this sort of thing along the river. I also got to stretch my graphic design muscles by designing four distinct activity booklets as a keepsake from each trek. I’m not going to show the whole booklets here (stay tuned for the upcoming TILTKids section on the TILT website…), I will show the cover and a sample page. So now, without further ado:
WEEK 1: Art from Nature at the Zenda Farm Preserve
The problem with environmental education by David Sobel
THE KIDS HAVE BEEN UP since seven-thirty playing computer games and watching cartoons. What a travesty for them to be inside on such a beautiful day, you harrumph to yourself. On the refrigerator, you notice the schedule of events from the nearby nature center. “Let’s Get Face to Face with Flowers,” it beckons. Just the thing! It’s a sparkly May morning. Buds are bursting. There’s a warm breeze full of the aromatic scent of the woods just waking up.You trundle the kids into the minivan. They despondently consent. “Do we have to do a program? Programs are boring,” the older one complains. But as soon as you pull into the parking lot at Happy Hills Nature Center, their faces brighten. They fling the sliding door open and scamper down through the blossom-filled meadow to the shore of the pond. Ross, age seven, pulls off his sneakers and wades in, bent over searching for frogs. Amanda, age ten, plops down and starts making a dandelion tiara. What a good decision, you think to yourself.
Terri, the smiley naturalist wearing the official Happy Hills insigniaed staff shirt, saunters over. “Here for the flower program?” she chirps. “We’re meeting up in the Cozy Corner room to get started.”Ross asks, “Can Freddie come too?” holding up the fat green frog he has befriended.Terri’s bright face darkens a bit. “Sorry. Freddie needs to stay in the pond. Did you know the oils from your hands can make Freddie sick?” Continue reading →
I’ve entered TILT in an online contest to win a $5,000 grant to help create a nature trail in our Otter Creek Preserve in Alexandria Bay, NY. The contest is sponsored by GOOD magazine and the voting period runs until August 3rd. So please vote here and then forward to anyone you think might be interested supporting land conservation and family nature outings!
Spotted this classic idea over atPacifiers and Fruit Loops: Summer Activity Jar! While the idea seems to be all over the mommy-blogs, a summer activity jar could work for “big kids” as well! In fact, you could make one for every season…