Big (Green) Deal: TILT Event Educates Children on Compost

Originally written for the Watertown Daily Times by Amanda Taylor, who covered TILT’s (Com)Post-Halloween event at Zenda Farm Preserve over the weekend.

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.

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GRE(v)EN(ts): (Com)Post-Halloween November 10th with TILT


(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!


What the F: Bisso’s Claims on Land Trusts Come Under Fire


Wow. I don’t read the Watertown Daily Times every day so I’m only hearing about this now, but apparently some misinformed, tea-party affiliated politician from the 115th District named Karen M. Bisso (pictured below) is under fire for attacking land trusts. This attack oddly included TILT, despite not being in (or anywhere near) her district. I’d like to think that she just pulled our name out of the air because we’ve been doing such a good job of getting our name out there! Luckily, the staff at the Times (strong TILT supporters) essentially spanked Bisso in both Thursday’s article below and an editorial that ran on Saturday. Unfortunately, once untrue information like this gets out to the public, even if it’s immediately disproved, the integrity of an organization is already damaged. Time for some positive PR!

Bisso’s Claims on Land Trusts Come Under Fire


The campaign manager for an Assembly candidate who compared land trusts to Ponzi schemes said the claim was “factually based but off the wall.”

115th Assembly District candidate Karen M. Bisso’s political opponents, the state, the land trusts and an Adirondack Park newspaper say that campaign manager Russell Finley’s explanation for the accusation of widespread municipal scam artistry is half right.

“I think it’s safe to say that she does not understand the way the Nature Conservancy works,” said Connie Trickett, a spokeswoman for the Adirondack chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Mrs. Bisso faces off in a Sept. 13 GOP primary against Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey, R-Peru, and David J. Kimmel, a Clinton County resident. The winner will face Plattsburgh City Councilman Timothy R. Carpenter in the Nov. 6 general election. Mrs. Bisso will be on the ballot in the general election regardless of the Sept. 13 outcome, by virtue of her appearance on the Conservative Party ticket. The district spans into the four easternmost St. Lawrence County towns.

Earlier this month, Mrs. Bisso’s campaign sent out a news release that claimed land trusts use state money to buy land, and then sell the rights for the land back to the state at a profit. Land trusts are nonprofit organizations that work to place conservation restrictions on parcels of land — for example, restrictions that say subdivisions can’t be created on the land.

Mrs. Bisso’s release specifically said the Thousand Islands Land Trust, based in Clayton, and the Nature Conservancy, which is involved in more than 100,000 acres of land deals in the Adirondack Park, are participants in the “scam” that represents the “biggest Ponzi scheme in history.” The campaign also claimed that once acquired by the state, the land is taken off the tax rolls.

Neither of the claims checks out.

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Get Outdoors: A Recap of the 2012 TILT KidsTreks

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

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Ol’ Lover-Lips: The Integrity of Charles Goslin

Being an alum of the prestigious Pratt Insitute, I not only get eager young work-study interns calling to ask for donations (with what money? I ask), but the Prattfolio in the mail. The latest issue focuses on this, the institute’s 125 year anniversary. I did enjoy the history lesson of the decade-by-decade recaps of Pratt’s shining moments, and voted for the best of the top 125 designs by fellow alumni (The Chrysler Building, hands down), but most importantly I spotted a small memorial to one of my favorite teachers: Charles Goslin

I was in Goslin’s graphic design class junior year and then again for senior project. He was about 800 years old, called all the girls he liked “lover-lips” (surprisingly not creepy, coming from him) and truly believed in clear communication over fancy design tricks. “If it is not needed, take it out” he loved to say, and I tended to agree, with my stark designs, so different from the high energy, city-that-never-sleeps work of my classmates. I can’t say I was one of his prize students – I could tell before I graduated that I didn’t have the overly competitive personality required to excel in the City – but he treated every one of us with respect and led by example with his integrity. I couldn’t bring myself to behave like some of my classmates, who refused to share Photoshop techniques or contacts in the industry, and who went out drinking with certain lecherous teachers in order to raise their grades. I just worked hard for my own benefit and didn’t care if I came out on top. After reading a snippet of the 2003 commencement speech that Goslin gave, I now see that he was a strong reinforcement in my belief of art for art’s sake:

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Communal Spirit: Your Vote Can Help Create a Nature Trail!

Dear Friends of F that S,

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!

Create a Nature Trail in the Otter Creek Preserve


Get Outdoors! Kayak & Bike Treks with TILT

These outings are part of the TILTreks and Talks series, which encourages living, learning and conserving in the 1000 Islands. For a full schedule, visit