“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
– Maya Angelou
Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County seeks volunteers
How many ways can your family volunteer this month? Here’s an opportunity from Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County for you and your older youth. Habitat Dutchess is working on its property at 120 Thompson Street in Poughkeepsie and needs teams of volunteers to do painting. You pick the day, and Habitat will help set you up – plus, they will treat you to pizza! Younger ages can create and participate in a materials drive for the project.
Check out the Wolf Conservation Center
Puckering your lips and howling is fun – especially on a Full Moon like on November 6 – but hearing real wolves respond to your call is an incredible thrill. Looking for a quieter, heartbreakingly cuter approach to wolf appreciation? Watch this utterly charming Wolf Conservation Center wolf-pup Nikai getting hiccups: https://nywolf.org/home?p=9924.
Visiting the Wolf Conservation Center is a fantastic way to learn about wolves’ essential contributions to the ecosystem and to support the work of this organization that teams up with programs around the country to continue building the wolf population. And yes, there is a gift shop that sells adorable plush wolves.
One note: since some folks are extra-sensitive to these sights, be aware of the Deer Drop on the left side of the entrance to the Center, where donations of dead deer are collected to feed to the wolves. And leave extra time for walking up the steep hill to the meeting room.
The Wolf Conservation Center is located in South Salem in Westchester County. For more information, call (914) 763-2373 or visit https://nywolf.org.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7
Full Moon Family Hike at Esopus Bend Nature Preserve
Night hiking reminds me of local naturalist Mark DeDea’s comment during a recent morning bird walk: “Sometimes it’s not so much birdwatching as it is bird-listening.” On Friday, November 7 at 6 p.m., join the Full Moon Family Hike at Esopus Bend Nature Preserve and turn on your ears as you navigate the forest. This fun, activity-filled walk is tailored to elementary-grade children, but intended to help kids of all ages become more comfortable in the forest at night.
Preregistration is required, and flashlights are recommended. For more information or to register, call (845) 399-4245 or visit www.esopuscreekconservancy.org.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8
New kid-friendly activities at FASNY Museum of Firefighting in Hudson
I am delighted to report that the FASNY Museum of Firefighting has new elements for children that have greatly enhanced its connection with kids. If you haven’t been in a few years, definitely make a plan to go back, whether just for fun or to satisfy homeschool or Scouting fire safety requirements. FASNY hosts special programming, such as this weekend’s performance of the Airborne Jugglers on Saturday, November 8 at 10:30 a.m. This show is a combination of juggling, fire safety and fun!
Here are some of the regular goodies in store for your family. The Junior Firefighter Challenge Course is a small, new playgroundlike way to invite children to experience some of the physicality of firefighting. The virtual First Responder Firetruck Experience gives kids the feeling of action, as they sit in the driver’s seat while a video plays that makes it feel like the truck is moving through town to the scene of a fire. The Fire Safety and Prevention Discovery Room has some self-directed paper crafts, videos and a cool stop/drop/roll activity where children wear a vest complete with fabric “flames” that detach when the child rolls on the ground.
My favorite part of that room is the interactive 911 phone exhibit, where a child can safely practice holding an emergency conversation with the operator, using prerecorded questions. And of course, there’s the familiar bucket brigade, where participants race against the clock to put out a fire with buckets of beanbags. There’s so much more, including a children’s scavenger hunt with a prize for completed lists, and an exhibit about why Hudson figures so prominently in firefighting history.
Admission to FASNY costs $7 for adults, $5 for children 3 and over and a $20 family rate for two adults and two children; children under 3 get in free. FASNY is located at 117 Harry Howard Avenue in Hudson. For more information, call (518) 822-1875 or visit www.fasnyfiremuseum.com.
Native American culture workshops at Pine Hill Community Center
November seems to bring with it a heightened level of awareness about Native American culture, and here’s what sounds like the perfect event to get some hands-on experience. On Saturday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pine Hill Community Center, Jennifer Lee of Narragansett and Pequot ancestry leads a white pine berry-basket workshop for $35; preregistration is required. At 5 p.m., the festivities include traditional dancing, stories, a raffle and a Thanksgiving potluck.
The Pine Hill Community Center is located at 287 Main Street in Pine Hill. For more information, call (845) 254-4238 or visit www.facebook.com/bigindianculturalcenter.