June 2016 Newsletter 1June 2016 Newsletter 2June 2016 Newsletter 3June 2016 Newsletter 4June 2016 Newsletter 5June 2016 Newsletter 6June 2016 Newsletter 7June 2016 Newsletter 8June 2016 Newsletter 9June 2016 Newsletter 10

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Mid-Summer Update!

Infographic - 5.27-7.8

Graphic design by Jake Sporn Photography.

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Interpretive Children’s Programs at the VIC

In May of 2016, the AWI assisted in two separate interpretive sessions at the Paul Smith’s College VIC. On two separate days, fifth-grade students from Peru, New York participated in various outdoor and indoor activities, all of which revolved around a theme of wilderness knowledge. After arriving, the students were split into groups and informed of a few rules (don’t pick anything, don’t leave anything you brought with you – trash, et cetera – in the woods, please don’t throw pinecones at each other).

VIC Bridge

After being split into their groups, the students were encouraged to use their senses (primarily sight and sound) as they learned some basic identification skills of local flora and fauna. Two watershed stewards led some of the outdoor activities; namely, helping the children find several different aquatic plants and animals in the Heron Marsh with dip nets and buckets as well as taking them on a scavenger hunt on the trails.

The students rotated through the activities on a half-hour schedule. By 1:30 PM, they were headed back to Peru on their bus, having learned the difference between a fox and a coyote track, made plaster casts, played a wilderness-themed game of twister, scooped snails from a muddy marsh, and taken quite possibly thousands of iPhone photographs of everything from one another to various leaves. The day was a success.

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Stewarding at Piseco

Mike Vail Piseco Lake

Steward Mike Vail at Piseco Lake

My name is Mike and I’m a boat steward on Piseco Lake. This is my first season and I can say that it’s been great. The Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College has assembled a team of educated, sensible individuals who share the same passion and ideas as the rest of us: love and protect the Adirondack waterways.

The decision to become a boat steward was an easy one. My grandparents first started coming to the Higgins Bay area of Piseco Lake in 1929. For a long time, I assumed they only visited Piseco for a few weeks in the summer, but home movies taken in the 1930’s and 1940’s tell me otherwise. They came to camp, fish, and be adventurous during every season (with the exception of ‘mud season’). When they had children, they towed them along as well; my father spent a good portion of his childhood summers at Piseco, enjoying his youth and forging life-long friendships on the lake. When he met my mother and brought her there, she fell in love with it, too. Once my brother was born, they decided to buy their own land there.

` My parents were both teachers; thus, my brother and I spent every summer, Christmas vacation, and long weekend at camp. After we graduated from college and my parents retired, the camp at Piseco became our home. As I spent more time there, I realized how much Piseco meant to us. Now that I’ve been a resident for some time, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

I plan to write a few more of these blogs, so consider this an introduction to me and what I’m doing this summer. I’ve been spending time at Poplar Point and Point Comfort so far and boat traffic is increasing. Our weekly team meetings have been cohesive and positive. I’m confident that our group and all of the other stewards in the park will have a successful summer combatting aquatic invasive species. Have a great summer everyone!

By: Mike Vail

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Notable Catches – Week 1

Our Stewardship Program has had some great success in the early days of the 2016 boating season! From May 27th to June 4th we inspected nearly 3,500 boats at 42 locations throughout the region. Stewards removed 104 Aquatic Invasive Species from watercraft: 20 Curly-leaf pondweed, 58 Eurasian watermilfoil, 19 Variable leaf milfoil, 1 Spiny waterflea, and 6 Zebra mussels.

Our most notable catches were intercepted on watercraft launching into lakes uninfected with that particular species:

Curly-leaf pondweed at Fourth Lake on May 27th.

Curly-leaf pondweed Fourth Lake 5-27

Curly-leaf pondweed at Upper Saranac Lake on June 3rd.

Curly-lead pondweek USL 6-3

Zebra mussels at Long Lake on June 4th.

Zebra mussels Long Lake 6-4

We look forward to continued success at protecting our beautiful waters for the rest of the year!

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National Trails Day

By: Amelia McDonnell

This year for National Trails Day, the Adirondack Watershed Institute contributed to various trail work projects in the area. One group of stewards helped begin the cleanup of a trail near Cranberry Lake, collaborating with local professor and activist Jamie Savage. The path – known as the Lost Pond Loop – is poised to become a medium-distance interpretive opportunity, or a detour from the well-known Cranberry 50 trail (which it is directly connected to).

Elsewhere in the Adirondacks, another group of stewards convened at Heart Lake, camping near The Adirondack Loj for a night before working on project sites in the surrounding wilderness. Over the course of the day, the stewards – along with over a hundred and thirty other people from various organizations, most of whom were volunteers – completed many tasks necessary for trail maintenance, including alpine vegetation protection, lean-to resurrection, and strategically placing rocks to keep the trails from eroding due to overuse.

One other group set up an information table – complete with pamphlets and displays – at the National Trails Day Festival near the head of the Northville Placid Trail in Waterfront Park (which included over eighty vendors, exhibits, and attractions), where they talked to the public and handed out educational material.

Thanks in part to the AWI stewards, participants in the activities of National Trails Day helped perform labor essential for the beautification, continued utilization, and sustainability of local recreational areas.

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Small Town Revelations: Chateaugay

The town of Chateaugay, founded on March 15, 1799 in the heart of the Clinton County, is steeped in mystery and history. In 1801, its borders were extended to include lands that are the present day towns of Constable, Fort Covington, Bombay, and the northern parts of Malone, Bangor, and Moira. Shockingly, the town of Chateaugay expanded again the next year (encompassing all of Franklin County and the town of St. Armand). Three years later in 1805, the town of Malone was founded, finally shrinking the borders of Chateaugay down to present day Burke, Bellmont, Franklin, St. Armand, and two townships in Clinton County. Furthermore, between the years of 1808 and 1822, the two townships were separated. This – along with the building of other towns – left Chateaugay
one of the smallest towns in Clinton county.

chat 1

The town of Chateaugay is rich in culture. It is well known for its lake,
which is now open for both public and private use. However, the lake is not this town’s only distinguished feature. Hills, ravines, and streams cover the landscape, giving it that “countryside character.” The beautiful Bailey Brook flows through the entire town, winding its way west; a few miles north of the village, the fifty-foot tall Bailey Brook Falls cascades over the bedrock.

Fortunately, the history of Chateaugay is not without its enigmas. The town boasts the oldest settlement in the area; therefore, it has experienced its share of mysterious happenings. One tragic example of this occurred on a “Mill Pond” (the exact location of which is uncertain) in 1850. Five local young people – James Ayers, Maria Crippen, Eunice Dailey, and Garret and Sophronia Percy – were out enjoying a boat ride when their vessel hit a submerged tree and overturned, drowning all five. Hundreds gathered to search for the bodies, but over the course of two weeks, only two were recovered in shallow water. Eventually, a fortune-teller by the name of Matilda Foster was recruited to lead the search. Within a day, she had directed people to the location of the remaining three bodies.

Another strange incident occurred in 1851: the young son of a man named John Kane was reported to have wandered away from his house, disappearing into the surrounding wilderness. Since he was only four years old, the town joined the father in his search, and for two days they covered a six-mile radius from the Kane home. On the fourth day, as Kane was being tried for murdering his son, the boy returned. To make matters more mysterious, a doe deer was seen escorting the child into town. Records report that while the doe fled as the father approached, the boy remained, looking as if he had never left home. Moreover, he did not seem malnourished in any way. It is also widely reported that, upon being asked where he had been, the boy told his father that he was playing with his friends in the forest. chat 2

Chateaugay is a town with as much – if not more – history, rumors, and mystery as any other small town. It went from covering so much land that it could have been considered a large city to encompassing less than half of that. It has experienced tragedies and miracles, joys and sorrows; all of this portrays how deeply the people of this region are connected to one another. It is truly a unique place and a prime example of a close-knit, north country community.


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