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Explore Your Watershed!

Explore Your Watershed: The Natural History of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area

A series of walks sponsored by the Friends of Six Mile Creek and the City of Ithaca Natural Areas Commission

Meet in the parking lot of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve off Giles St.

Spring Wildflower Walk. Saturday, May 13.  1 – 2:30 pm.  Led by botanist Robert Wesley.

Watershed Walk.  Saturday, May 20.  9 am – 12 pm. A walk along the woodland trails that parallel Six Mile Creek, the source of Ithaca’s drinking water, followed by a tour of Ithaca’s new water plant! Led by Watershed Coordinator Roxy Johnston Preregistration required: rjohnston@cityofithaca.org.

BIG TREES! Saturday, May 27.  9:30 – 11:30 am. Some of the largest local specimens of red and white oak, tulip poplar, and hemlock can be found in the city’s Natural Area surrounding Six Mile Creek.  Come see these large and interesting trees in the forest on the south side of the creek. Be prepared for some steep trails, just over two miles, lasting about two hours. Led by Joe McMahon.

Butterflies and Dragonflies. Saturday, June 17.  9:30-11 am. Led by Meena Haribal. Author of a field guide to damselflies and dragonflies of the region, Meena will lead a search for butterflies and dragonflies (and whatever birds happen by) of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area. Don’t forget your binoculars!

Questions? Contact Anna: ithacanna@gmail.com

Nature Journaling 2017

Nature Journaling For Kids At Six Mile Creek

The Friends of Six Mile Creek and the Natural Areas Commission of the City of Ithaca announce the fifth annual educational series for children age 7-12. Nature Journaling for Kids will introduce children to the natural history of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area. Facilitated by Laurie Rubin, participants will observe and learn about animals and plants while they record their impressions in words and pictures.

Rubin, retired Ithaca City School District teacher, demonstrates how nature study helped her students become stronger scientists, readers, writers, and mathematicians in her book, To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World. Her experience complements the expertise of five naturalists who will each lead one themed workshop: Animal Tracking, Tree Detectives, Stream Safari, Wonderful Wild Flowers, and Creepy Crawlies. Kids (accompanied by a parent) can participate in one or more of these fun, educational, and free activities in 2017.

Each session will start at the parking area of the Mullholland Wildflower Preserve just off Giles Street on Saturdays at 1:00PM and run until 2:30PM. Bring a journal or notebook. No signup required. Contact Laurie (607-272-8491) or Anna (607-379-0924) for more information.

The schedule is as follows:

February 4 – Animal Tracking with Linda Spielman

There’s lots going on outside in winter, but it takes a detective’s mind to find and understand the clues. We’ll look for tracks, chews, scat, and other kinds of evidence to help us figure out what kinds of wild animals live near us and what they are doing.

March 18 – Tree Detectives with Jeanne Grace

How can you identify a dogwood tree? By it’s bark. Arf! Arf! But seriously, the bark of different tree species is as distinct as their leaves and there is more to tree ID then just comparing leaf shape. Come for an early spring walk and learn to identify Ithaca’s native trees by their distinct bark, scent and even taste! We will search for animal signs on trees, and you can hug your favorite tree.

April 8 – Stream Safari with Phil Koons and Jamie Lovette

Did you ever wonder what kinds of critters live in our local streams? Join us on a Stream Safari to learn about the insects, fish and other organisms that live beneath the water’s surface. We’ll collect live samples and explore an exciting new world! We’ll be wading in shallow waters so bring boots or appropriate water shoes.

May 6 – Wonderful Wild Flowers with Betsy Darlington

Spring wildflowers seem to magically rise from the forest floor and then, almost as quickly, disappear, not to be seen again until the next spring. Join us to learn the names (and secrets) of these fleeting flowers of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve.

June 17 – Creepy Crawlies with Jason Hamilton

Have you ever looked under a rock or rolled over a log? There’s a whole world of invertebrate life waiting for you to discover. We’ll learn about the insects, worms, centipedes and other creepy crawlies that live in the forest as we search for their hiding places.

Explore Your Watershed 2016

Walks and Talks in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area

Ithaca, New York – January 18, 2016 The Friends of Six Mile Creek and the Natural Areas Commission of the City of Ithaca announce the fourth annual educational series for children age 7-12. Nature Journaling for Kids will introduce children to the natural history of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area. Facilitated by Laurie Rubin, participants will observe and learn about animals and plants while they record their impressions in words and pictures.

Rubin, retired Ithaca City School District teacher, demonstrates how nature study helped her students become stronger scientists, readers, writers, and mathematicians in her book, To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World. Her experience complements the expertise of five naturalists who will each lead one themed workshop: Animal Tracking, Stream Safari, Wonderful Wild Flowers, Native Trees and Creepy Crawlies. Kids (accompanied by a parent) can participate in one or more of these fun, educational, and free activities in 2016.

Each session will start at the parking area of the Mullholland Wildflower Preserve just off Giles Street on Saturdays at 1:00PM and run until 2:30PM. Bring a journal or notebook. No signup required. Contact Laurie (272-8491) or Anna (379-0924) for more information.

The schedule is as follows:

February 13 – Animal Tracking with Linda Spielman

There’s lots going on outside in winter, but it takes a detective’s mind to find and understand the clues. We’ll look for tracks, chews, scat, and other kinds of evidence to help us figure out what kinds of wild animals live near us and what they are doing.

April 16 – Stream Safari with Phil Koons and Jamie Lovett

Did you ever wonder what kinds of critters live in our local streams? Join us on a Stream Safari to learn about the insects, fish and other organisms that live beneath the water’s surface. We’ll collect live samples and explore an exciting new world!

May 7 – Wonderful Wild Flowers with Betsy Darlington

Spring wildflowers seem to magically rise from the forest floor and then, almost as quickly, disappear, not to be seen again until the next spring. Join us to learn the names (and secrets) of these fleeting flowers of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve.

June 4 – Gentle Giants with Jeanne Grace

Trees are the tallest plants on the planet. They provide animals with clean air, shade, food, and habitat. Come meet the native trees that live in Ithaca and learn how to identify them by their flowers, leaves, and bark. Eat a tree flower, search for animal signs, and hug your favorite tree.

June 18 – Creepy Crawlies with Jason Hamilton (new this year)

Have you ever looked under a rock or rolled over a log? There’s a whole world of invertebrate life waiting for you to discover. We’ll learn about the insects, worms, centipedes and other creepy crawlies that live in the forest as we search for their hiding places.

Nature Journaling 2015

Nature Journaling for Kids At Six Mile Creek

Ithaca, New York – January 28, 2015 The Friends of Six Mile Creek and the Natural Areas Commission of the City of Ithaca announce the third annual educational series for children aged 7-12. Nature Journaling for Kids will introduce children to the natural history of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area. Facilitated by Laurie Rubin, participants will observe and learn about animals and plants while they record their impressions in words and pictures.

Rubin, retired Ithaca City School District teacher, demonstrates how nature study helped her students become stronger scientists, readers, writers, and mathematicians in her book, To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World. Her experience complements the expertise of five naturalists who will each lead one themed workshop: Animal Tracking, Stream Safari, Wonderful Wild Flowers, Native Trees and Land Snails and Slugs. Kids (accompanied by a parent) can participate in one or more of these fun, educational, and free activities in 2015.

Each session will start at the parking area of the Mullholland Wildflower Preserve just off Giles Street on Saturdays at 1:00PM and run until 2:30PM. Journals will be provided or bring your own. No signup required. Contact Laurie (272-8491) or Anna (379-0924) for more information.

The schedule is as follows:

February 14 – Animal Tracking with Linda Spielman

There’s lots going on outside in winter, but it takes a detective’s mind to find and understand the clues. We’ll look for tracks, chews, scat, and other kinds of evidence to help us figure out what kinds of wild animals live near us and what they are doing.

April 11 – Stream Safari with Phil Koons

Did you ever wonder what kinds of critters live in our local streams? Join us on a Stream Safari to learn about the insects, fish and other organisms that live beneath the water’s surface. We’ll collect live samples and explore an exciting new world!

May 9 – Wonderful Wild Flowers with Betsy Darlington

Spring wildflowers seem to magically rise from the forest floor and then, almost as quickly, disappear, not to be seen again until the next spring. Join us to learn the names (and secrets) of these fleeting flowers of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve.

May 30 – Native Trees with Jeanne Grace

Trees are an important part of the environment around us; they provide us with clean air, shade, food, and materials. We’ll learn about some of the trees in our local forests, how to identify them and what they can tell us about the greater environment.

June 20 – Land Snails and Slugs (new this year) with Marla Coppolino

Though often overlooked, land snails and slugs play an important role in the health of the ecosystem. We’ll discover their secret hiding places and learn about the different kinds of snails and slugs that live practically under our feet, and why they are a vital part of the food web.

Explore Your Watershed 2015

Walks and Talks in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area

Meet in the parking lot of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve

Spring Wildflower Walk. Sunday, May 10. 1 pm. Led by Robert Wesley.

BIG TREES! Saturday, May 23. 9 – 11 am. Some of the largest local specimens of red and white oak, tulip poplar, and hemlock can be found in the city’s Natural Area surrounding Six Mile Creek.  Come see these large and interesting trees in the forest on the south side of the creek. Be prepared for some steep trails, just over two miles, lasting about two hours. Led by Joe McMahon.

Birds (and other beautiful flying things). Saturday, June 6.  8 – 11 am. Led by Meena Haribal. A fine birder and author of a field guide to damselflies and dragonflies of the region, Meena will lead a search for birds, butterflies and dragonflies of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area.
Don’t forget your  binoculars!

Ithaca’s Water Supply: Past, Present, and Future.  Saturday, July 11. 9 – 11 am. A walk along the woodland trails that parallel Six Mile Creek, the source of Ithaca’s drinking water, led by Watershed Coordinator Roxy Johnston. For details, contact Roxy: rjohnston@cityofithaca.org.

 

 

Explore Your Watershed 2014

 

Please join us for a series of walks and talks in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area, sponsored by the Friends of Six Mile Creek and the Natural Areas Commission. Meet in the parking area of the Wildflower Preserve off Giles St.
  • Plants of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve – May 10 – 1 pm: Look for spring flowers in the floodplain and old growth forests along Six Mile Creek. Led by Robert Wesley.
  • Geology of Six Mile Creek – May 18 – 9:30 am : Walk along Six Mile Creek with geologist Dan Karig and learn about the forces that have shaped the the course of this water way in both ancient and modern times.
  • Bird Watching – May 31 – 7 am: An early morning bird watching walk along Six Mile Creek led by birder and naturalist Meena Haribal. Bring your binoculars!
  • Big Trees – June 7 – 9 am : Joe McMahon will lead a walk to some of the biggest and oldest trees in the Six MIle Creek Natural Area. Prepare to be amazed!
  • Watershed Walk – July 12 – 9 am: Do you know where your water comes from? Join Roxy Johnston, Ithaca’s Watershed Coordinator, for a walk along Six Mile Creek, source of the city water supply, and learn how the current rebuild of this important system is progressing.

Reports from 2014 Nature Journaling Workshops

Animal Tracking –  Five eager young naturalists, journals in hand, explored the wilds of the Mulholland Preserve on a wintry day and, with the guidance of Linda Spielman, observed tracks of dog, deer, mouse, and fox. Most exciting was sign of a ruffed grouse bed. In the photo below, note the wing prints that were made as the bird rose from it’s nap!.

Stream Safari – A warm, sunny Saturday set the stage for the 2014 Stream Safari, which was attended by 18 kids and their parents. Phil Koons and his able assistant, Jamie Lovett, showed the group the critters they’d already collected and after the kids did some journaling, they went off with nets to see what they could find!

Ruffed grouse bed
Example page of a young naturalist journal

Nature Journaling 2014

Nature Journaling for Kids at Six Mile Creek 2014

Ithaca, New York – The Friends of Six Mile Creek and the Natural Areas Commission of the City of Ithaca announce the second annual educational series for children aged 7-12. Nature Journaling for Kids will introduce children to the natural history of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area. Facilitated by Laurie Rubin, participants will observe and learn about animals and plants while they record their impressions in words and pictures.

Rubin, retired Ithaca City School District teacher, demonstrates how nature study helped her students become stronger scientists, readers, writers, and mathematicians in her recently published book, To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World. Her experience complements the expertise of five naturalists who will each lead one themed workshop: Animal Tracking, Stream Safari, Wonderful Wild Flowers, Native Trees and Land Snails and Slugs. Kids (accompanied by a parent) can participate in one or more of these fun, educational, and free activities in 2014.

Each session will start at the parking area of the Mullholland Wildflower Preserve just off Giles Street on Saturdays at 1:00PM and run until 2:30PM. Journals will be provided or bring your own. Contact Laurie (272-8491) or Anna (379-0924) for more information.

The 2014 schedule is as follows:
February 15-Animal Tracking with Linda Spielman
There’s lots going on outside in winter, but it takes a detective’s mind to find and understand the clues. We’ll look for tracks, chews, scat, and other kinds of evidence to help us figure out what kinds of wild animals live near us and what they are doing.

April 12-Stream Safari with Phil Koons
Did you ever wonder what kinds of critters live in our local streams? Join us on a Stream Safari to learn about the insects, fish and other organisms that live beneath the water’s surface. We’ll collect live samples and explore an exciting new world!

May 3-Wonderful Wild Flowers with Betsy Darlington
Spring wildflowers seem to magically rise from the forest floor and then, almost as quickly, disappear, not to be seen again until the next spring. Join us to learn the names (and secrets) of these fleeting flowers of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve.

June 14-Native Trees with Brett Schneiderman
Trees are an important part of the environment around us; they provide us with clean air, shade, food, and materials. We’ll learn about some of the trees in our local forests, how to identify them and what they can tell us about the greater environment.

June 28 Land Snails and Slugs (new this year) with Marla Coppolino
Though often overlooked, land snails and slugs play an important role in the health of the ecosystem. We’ll discover their secret hiding places and learn about the different kinds of snails and slugs that live practically under our feet, and why they are a vital part of the food web.

First Installment of our Nature Journaling Workshop a Success!

Five eager young participants and their parents attended the first Nature Journaling workshop, Animal Tracking, on February 9. Despite the few inches of new snow, our guide, Linda Spielman, was able to point out some interesting features of canine footprints, and interpret other signs and patterns in the snow that indicated that deer and a fox had been active in the Wildflower Preserve not long before.  Laurie Rubin shared her nature journal with the kids, and they paused often to draw what they observed and make notes in their own!

A great time was had by all. Bring your own 7-12 year old to one or more of these upcoming workshops!!
Riley Taylor (age 7) enjoying the journaling workshop
Hannah Kraus keeping track

Nature Journaling 2013

The Friends of Six Mile Creek and the Natural Areas Commission of the City of Ithaca announce an exciting new educational series in 2013 for children aged 7-12. Nature Journaling for Kids will introduce children to the natural history of the Six Mile Creek Natural Area.  Facilitated by Laurie Rubin, participants will observe and learn about animals and plants while they record their impressions in words and pictures.

Rubin has introduced second and third graders to nature journaling as a teacher at BJM and Cayuga Heights schools. Her experience complements the expertise of the four naturalists and teachers who will each lead one themed workshop: Animal Tracking, Stream Safari, Wonderful Wild Flowers, and Native Trees.  Kids (accompanied by a parent) can participate in one or more of these fun, educational and free activities in 2013.

We’ll meet at the parking area of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve just off Giles Street. Journals will be provided or bring your own. Contact Laurie (592-0835) or Anna (379-0924) for more information.

The 2013 schedule is as follows:

April 131 – 2:30 pm   Stream Safari with Phil Koons
Did you ever wonder what kinds of critters live in our local streams? Join us on a Stream Safari to learn about the insects, fish and other organisms that live beneath the water’s surface. We’ll collect live samples and explore an exciting new world!

May 41 – 2:30 pm   Wonderful Wild Flowers with Betsy Darlington
Spring wildflowers seem to magically rise from the forest floor and then, almost as quickly, disappear, not to be
seen again until the next spring. Join us to learn the names (and secrets) of these fleeting flowers of the
Mulholland Wildflower Preserve.

June 11 – 2:30 pm   Native Trees with Ethan Dropkin
Trees are an important part of the environment around us; they provide us with clean air, shade, food, and lumber. We’ll learn about some of the trees in our local forests, how to identify them and what they can tell us about the greater environment.