July is Dutchess Watershed Awareness Month. Are you a hiker or bird watcher? Do you enjoy hands-on activities or want to learn more about natural history and the environment? This July, the Dutchess Watershed Coalition will be sponsoring many activities and events throughout Dutchess County. Many of these activities are free and are aimed to increase the public’s awareness about watershed issues.
This year’s theme is titled “Windows On Your Watershed” and will take us into the heart of what keeps our drinking water clean. These hands-on events will bring us into remote areas to observe local wildlife. A canoe trip through lakes, rivers and swamps or a hike on the many trail systems throughout the county are geared to help us understand why it is so important to keep water sheds pristine.
A watershed is land adjacent to a stream, river or swamp. When precipitation falls the water flows through the watershed zone. If properly maintained, these areas act as a filter to insure clean drinking water. A watershed can consist of mountain areas, meadows, forests and many times our back yards. As the water continues to flow down hill it eventually ends up in the water body of the watershed. This area is found at lower elevations where the land flattens out. Think of the watershed as a giant sink or tub. The sides of this sink are the ridges or hills. The water that falls into this area will carry materials like dirt and soap. Proper land management techniques will clear many of the pollutants from the water by the time it reaches our drinking water.
In July, many watershed programs can be found throughout Dutchess County. Locally, three particular programs can be found. On Wednesday July 14th at 7:00pm there is a film screening titled “After the Storm” and “River Webs.” “After the Storm” is produced by the US EPA and describes the impact of storm water on water bodies across the country. “River Webs” is a documentary about the inspiring life of Japanese stream ecologist Dr. Shigeru Nakano.
On Tuesday July 20th at 7:00 p.m. the “Great Swamp Rain Barrel Building Workshop” will take place at the Lathrop Building, Lakeside Park on West Dover Road. A rain barrel is used to capture run off from rooftops during storms and can be used to water the garden. At the end of this workshop you’ll walk away with your own functional and ready -to-install rain barrel. Due to the cost associated with the event, there is a small $15.00 fee when signing up. Spaces are limited so please RSVP by e-mailing Vicky Buono at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 677-8223 x153.
On Saturday July 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. there is a Macro Invertebrate Workshop at Murrow Park on Old Route 55. Join Friends of the Great Swamp (FROGS) and Watershed Research Associates Senior Taxonomist J. Kelly Nolan for a stream-side macro invertebrate workshop. The workshop will provide an overview of stream bio-monitoring to assess water quality. Attendees can observe collecting data at the site, and learn about the macro life habits and how they indicate water quality. The Oblong Land Conservancy and representatives from the Pawling Conservation Advisory Board and MS4 Committee members will also attend to discuss watershed goals. Spaces are limited so please RSVP by e-mailing Vicky Buono at email@example.com or calling (845) 677-8223 x153.
For more information on all county-wide events, log on to www.dutchesswatersheds.org. Get out and enjoy these fun, family oriented programs. There is something for everyone as we celebrate and raise awareness about the land and water resources in Dutchess County.
Submitted By The Pawling Chamber Green Committee