Little People Walk at the Kent Library

Little people are part of the folklore of many cultures around the world. Whether leprechauns, fairies, trolls or gnomes, stories of the teeny-tiny abound. Youngsters are invited to look for evidence of little people right here in Kent, as part of the Halloween Extravaganza at the Kent Public Library on Saturday, October 29 at 12:15. After a short walk in the forest, families are invited to construct their own fairy house using natural materials.

Photo of a house that little people in the woods might be living in
I wonder if they’re home. Photo: Beth Herr

The walk is sponsored by the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee. Local artist, Lisa Amejide, will share stories about her miniature haunted houses. Families with little children are welcome to this free program. Meet in front of the library.

Kent Recycling at the Firehouse

The Kent Recycling Center started out as a weekly event that was set up and torn down each week in the parking lot of the Kent Firehouse. In this video by Jeff Hodges, footage from 1991 shows us just how much work it was – and how much fun people had – as some of the folks who got this wonderful community institution up and running explain what we’re seeing.

Thanks, Jeff, for putting this video together and for sharing it with us!

Citizen Scientists Test Local Waters

Join members of the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee to collect water quality data from a local stream on Saturday, August 13, at 11am. As part of the NYSDEC’s WAVE program – Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators – we’ll collect samples with a drift net and prescribed protocol. After collection, we’ll send the samples to the NYSDEC who will evaluate them and return the results to us.

Meet at the corner of Route 301 and East Boyd’s Road to sample water draining from Seven Hills Lake into the West Branch of the Croton River. Be prepared to get wet feet and find some interesting creatures with amazing adaptations. Learn about how stream assessments are done and how organisms indicate differences in water quality. If bad weather forces us to postpone this event, we’ll post a notice on our home page and send an email to people who subscribe to the CAC programs list.

If you’re interested in testing other stream sites training is available and equipment is available for loan. For more about WAVE click here.

Star Party Postponed

Well, it’s happened again. The astronomer’s curse. The weather is forcing us to postpone Kent’s first Star Party for a second time.

After consulting with our friends and cosponsors the Westchester Amateur Astronomers, we’ve reluctantly concluded that the likelihood of substantial cloud cover and lots of humidity in the air will make for poor viewing conditions tonight. But we’re not giving up! We’ll be working with the WAA folks looking for a weekend when the weather is predicted to be good, the phase of the moon is right and there are interesting things to see in the early night sky. When we hit on a winning combination, we’ll let you know.

Hike to Hawk Rock and the Mead Farm Ruins

Join members of the Kent CAC on Sunday, May 22, 2016 from 11am to 2pm for our annual hike to two of the Town of Kent’s most interesting landmarks. We’ll meet at the DEP parking area at the end of Whangtown Road.

If you haven’t been to Hawk Rock, you’re in for a treat. When the glaciers retreated northward at the end of the last ice age, they were carrying some really big rocks that sometimes ended up in odd positions when the ice melted. One of these so-called “erratics” is Hawk Rock. Local lore has it that long ago the Native Americans named it and used the site as a meeting place. It is certainly a believable story; the setting is beautiful and it’s one impressive rock.

Photo of Hawk Rock with Beth Herr standing in front of it
Hawk Rock. Photo: Dave Ehnebuske

The Mead Farm, like the rest of this hike, is on land that was originally part of the hunting grounds for the Nochpeem tribe of native Americans, a part of the Wappinger Confederacy. After passing through various people’s hands, sometime in the 1860s Moses F. Mead purchased the eastern part of the farm where the ruins are today. The site includes a number of interesting features, including the foundations of the house, the stone portions of a cow barn and one of the most beautiful corbelled stone chambers anywhere.

This is a moderate hike that takes three hours or so round trip including stops for lunch and to look around the farm site. If weather forces us to cancel or postpone the hike, we’ll let everyone who subscribes to our hikes list know by email and post the news here. For further information contact Dave Ehnebuske, or call him at 878-7592.

Wildflower Walk

Spring has sprung! All the wee little native spring flowers are reaching for the sun before trees’ leaves shade them. Join the CAC for a wildflower ramble at Clough Preserve in Patterson at 1pm this Sunday, April 17. Meet at the Brewster High School parking lot to car pool a short distance to the preserve.

Photo of purple trillium (Trillium erectum) and yellow trout lily (Erythronium americanum)

While it has been cool, and wildflowers slow to waken, the preserve offers an easy walk through hemlock forests, along a swamp, to Ice Pond. Ramblers will enjoy the return of bird song, frogs calling and other spring delights.

The forecast is for terrific weather for this walk, but you never know. If the weather suddenly turns rotten, we’ll post a message to the CAC website and an email alert to CAC hikes subscribers (click here to subscribe) by 11am the day of the hike. Or, if in doubt, call (845) 228-5635.

The Nature of Kent

The Town of Kent is rich in natural wonders, and at 7pm on Tuesday, April 12, attendees will have a chance to learn about them at a presentation at the Kent Public Library in the downstairs program room.

Our town has thousands of acres of protected open space that provide habitats and corridors for a variety of animals and plants, some rare. Miles of hiking trails offer residents the opportunity to explore the woods and enjoy a variety natural treasures that are within our very own borders. But for many residents, these natural wonders are as yet undiscovered.

Join Beth Herr, chair of the Kent Conservation Advisory Council (KCAC), and Dave Ehnebuske, president of the newly-formed Kent Conservation Foundation (KCF) on an armchair tour of the many places people can enjoy hiking, fishing, kayaking, hunting, photography, mountain-biking, bird-watching, and sketching–all within the 43 square miles that comprise Kent. The program will feature local favorites such as the Mount Nimham Fire Tower and Hawk Rock, as well as the wildlife found there. But lesser known treasures will be highlighted as well.

The KCF carries out necessary projects as identified by the KCAC. State law prohibits the Town of Kent from funding many of them, so the KCF is charged with raising the necessary funds. All of the projects help protect, preserve and promote Kent’s natural areas.

The Kent Public Library is located at 17 Sybil’s Crossing in the Kent Town Square complex.

Valentine’s Day Hike for Nature Lovers

Sunday, February 14, 1pm
Lake Gleneida Trail

Sorry folks, this hike has been canceled due to the frigid weather!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day out in nature. Bring your sweetheart, bring a friend, or just bring yourself. Join the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee for a pleasant walk around this glacial lake right in the middle of Carmel. Meet at 1pm at the NYCDEP kiosk. Park along Route 301 near the historic courthouse.

It is extraordinarily beautiful right here where we live. Come join this excursion through the winter world and learn about old Carmel, too. Historian Judy Kelley-Moberg will share stories about the old houses around the lake, the cholera outbreak and other tidbits of history. Along the trail we’ll try doing a hug-a-tree with one of the biggest oak trees in our area!

Wear good hiking boots. A light snowfall would provide a canvas for animal tracks, but deep snow or an icy coating would postpone the hike with an alert on by 11am that day. Or call 228-5635 for the latest status. Co-sponsored with Friends of the Great Swamp.

Kent CAC New Year’s Day Hike

Friday January 1, 2016, 11am
Fred Dill Wildlife Sanctuary

Start the new year with nature and neighbors! Join members of the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee for their annual walk on the first day of January. Meet at 11am in the parking lot at Putnam Family and Community Services, 1808 Route 6 (map), to enter the preserve on the south end.

Photo of hikers on New Year's Day 2012
Hikers explore the Fred Dill Wildlife Sanctuary on New Year’s Day 2012
Photo: Dave Ehnebuske

It is extraordinarily beautiful right here in our own backyard, even in the midst of winter. Come join this excursion through the winter world and learn some history too. We will be walking over the old Putnam County Fairgrounds, by the railroad that never was, and under the “wolf” oak trees.

Wear warm clothes and good hiking shoes for a few rock scrambles, and bring water, too. A light snowfall would provide a canvas for animal tracks, but deep snow or an icy coating would postpone the hike with a posting to the CAC website and an email alert to CAC hikes subscribers (click here to subscribe) by 10am that day. Or, if in doubt, call 228-5635.

Walk Off the Turkey Hike

Hike with us to see Wonder Lake and burn off some calories.

The Kent CAC is sponsoring a hike to Wonder Lake on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Hikers will meet at 11 AM at the Wonder Lake State Park parking area (map) on Ludingtonville Road. The trail is easy-to-moderate and the hike will last about 3 hours, including a short break for lunch.

It’s late fall and hunting season, so wear warm, bright clothing. Because the trails will by covered in spots with slippery leaves, comfortable hiking boots are a must. Bring lunch and a beverage.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate, but if it turns miserable we’ll have to cancel the hike. In that case, I’ll send you an e-mail and post the news on the home page about an hour before the scheduled start. For further details contact hike leader David Ehnebuske by phone at 878-7592 or by e-mail.