Civilian Conservation Corps in the Finger Lakes, Part 1

Civilian Conservation Corps, CCC, at Enfield Glen State Park, now Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, NY in the Finger Lakes.

A young CCC worker poses at the camp at Enfield Glen State Park, now Robert H. Treman State Park.

The Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park offered this public presentation at Kendal of Ithaca, NY on March 30, 2014, by Josh Teeter, environmental educator for the Finger Lakes State Parks region. Mr. Teeter explains what CCC camps were in our area parks and what they accomplished. This is the first part of his talk, in episode 72 of Walk in the Park, a public access TV series in Ithaca, NY provided by Owl Gorge Productions. See more of our episodes of Walk in the Park. In this part, Josh takes us to Robert H. Treman, Watkins Glen, and Buttermilk Falls State Parks. In part 2 next week, we’ll go to Taughannock Falls and other state parks in the Finger Lakes region.

This episode is showing on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable channels 13 & 97.3 beginning Thursday, April 17, 2014, at 9:00 p.m., and showing again on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and finally next Tuesday, April 22 (Earth Day!), at 8:00 p.m.

Or, watch it online here anytime!



Park Minute: Buttermilk Flows While Ice Holds On


Ice on Gorge Trail Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY

Even after snow has melted from the woods, ice still covers the trails in the gorge at Buttermilk Falls State Park and other gorges around Ithaca and the Finger Lakes.

Park Minute 17, from March 30, 2014.  As early spring broke up the ice that entombed Buttermilk Falls during this very cold winter (Park Minute 14: Frozen Buttermilk Falls ), hazard remains in the gorge of Buttermilk Glen where thick lingering ice threatens to thrust an early hiker into icy Buttermilk Creek. The Gorge Trail remains closed until the ice is out, winter damage is repaired, and overhanging cliffs are “scaled” of dangerous frost-loosened chunks of rock. See more Park Minutes.

Filmed at Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, NY. Produced by Owl Gorge Productions, publisher of two local books about Ithaca and Watkins Glen. ITHACA: the CITY, GORGES, and COLLEGES; and A WALK THROUGH WATKINS GLEN: Water’s Sculpture in Stone.





Trees, Falls, and Trails

Episode 71 of Walk in the Park, our Ithaca, NY public access cable TV series, begins showing this evening at 9:00 p.m. on Ithaca cable channels 13 and 97.3. More showings will take place this weekend (10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday) and next Tuesday, April 1, at 8:00 p.m. Or you can watch it here ONLINE! (see below)


MrHeli4444′s view over the lip of Taughannock Falls from his remote controlled aerial device, featured in this episode of Walk in the Park.

This time, we learn about the coming assault on ash trees in our forests by the invasive beetle, the emerald ash borer, and what we can do to insure the long-term survival of ash tree species. You can watch this short segment separately at “Responding to the Emerald Ash Borer Invasion.”

Then we look at Taughannock Falls State Park in different times in history through photographs. This is followed by a spectacular aerial video around the top of the great falls itself. Thanks to Steve Knapp of Keuka View Photography and Bill Hecht for some of the photos in this segment, and to MrHeli4444 for the video.

Finally, we look at the dangers involved in hiking on closed trails in our state parks this spring before residual winter ice conditions and rockfall hazards have been dealt with and the trails declared open.

Watch the show now here!

Walk in the Park is a public access TV series in Ithaca, NY. Check for times and channels.

Saving Our Hemlock Forests

In episode 70 of Walk in the Park, we look at the attack by an invasive insect on our eastern hemlock trees in our forests and gorges and we find out what is being done in response. The schedule for cablecasts is below, along with the show online. And see the appeal for volunteers below!

This eastern hemlock tree at Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, NY is infested with the hemlock woolly adelgid and has been marked for possible treatment. The needles on the branches in the canopy of the tree are already heavily thinned.  If all the needles and twigs die, the tree will die. Hemlock trees are an important ecological and aesthetic component in our forests, particularly in our gorges.

This eastern hemlock tree at Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, NY is infested with the hemlock woolly adelgid and has been marked for possible treatment. The needles on the branches in the canopy of the tree are already heavily thinned. If all the needles and twigs die, the tree will die. Hemlock trees are an important ecological and aesthetic component in our forests, particularly in our gorges.

We join Cornell forest entomologist Mark Whitmore in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area in the City of Ithaca, NY, in the watershed for the water supply for the city. Mark explains and illustrates how the hemlock woolly adelgid, an aphid-like invasive insect, is killing the hemlock, a “keystone species” in our forests, and what larger impacts this has in our forest and stream ecosystems. But it’s not hopeless. Mark explains the biological controls that are being implemented to save at least some of our trees and set the stage for our forests’ recovery from this disaster over the long term. See how YOU CAN HELP below.

We wrap up the show with two short, beautiful videos of Taughannock Falls this winter and last.

This episode of the show will be cablecast beginning tonight (Thursday, March 20, 2014) at 9:00 on PEGASYS public access television channels 13 and 97.3 in the Ithaca area; and it will repeat on Saturday and Sunday (3/22-23) at 10:30 a.m. and the last scheduled cablecast will be next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Or, you can watch it anytime ONLINE right here!


Come help survey for Hemlock Wooly Adelgid in the 6-mile creek watershed

 Saturday March 29th (inclement weather date March 30) at 10am

Meet at South Hill Rec Way at Burns Rd crossing.

We will break up into smaller groups and survey trees on the SW side of the city reservoir
Be dressed for the weather, we will be out for about 2 hrs. Wear good boots, the trails are sometimes steep. Bring GPS unit and binoculars if you have them. No experience needed!

 Have questions about this event? Contact Jeanne Grace, City Forester, 607-272-1718,

ALSO, Cornell Plantations isn’t organizing any formal volunteer surveys this year, but instead will be assessing winter mortality of the insects in various priority preserves and focusing on treatment. Plantations is still maintaining a reporting tool for positive and negative sightings, to enable anyone who chooses to survey anywhere to get that info to us, and then on to NYS and USDA.  That website is at:

For more information about hemlock woolly adelgid, emerald ash borer, and other invasive species threats to our lands, forests, and waters, please go to the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Frozen Lakes and Waterfalls

Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg, NY, on the west side of Cayuga Lake, ten miles north of Ithaca, NY, in the Finger Lakes region.

Taughannock Falls

Ice abounds from the Great Lakes to the Finger Lakes to the big waterfalls around Ithaca, NY. Join us as we explore these wonders from space, from the sky, and from the ground. Niagara Falls, Chimney Bluffs, Cayuga Lake, Taughannock Falls State Park, Ithaca Falls, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Lucifer Falls in Robert H. Treman State Park, all near Ithaca. Why has our winter been so cold? Why don’t Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake normally freeze over while the other nine Finger Lakes do freeze? See big waterfalls trapped in ice. Many thanks for photographs from NASA, Steve Knapp of Keukaview Photography and the Penn Yan Flying Club, Bill Hecht,  Photography 4d, and Nigel Peter Benson Kent.
This episode 68 was recorded March 12, 2014 at PEGASYS public access studios in Ithaca, NY, part of our weekly series. See our regular schedule of cablecasts for this and other episodes for days and times.

Or, watch it online right here anytime!


Four Centuries at Taughannock Falls

Join us on a journey for more than four hundred years of history at Taughannock Falls State Park in Trumansburg, NY, ten miles north of Ithaca, in the Finger Lakes region. One of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States, Taughannock is taller than Niagara and has been an attraction since before the Civil War.

My beautiful picture

Guests staying the Taughannock House pose at the overlook nearby. The Taughannock House was a tourist hotel once located where the Falls Overlook parking lot is located today in Taughannock Falls State Park.

This show is viewable online on this page below and on Ithaca, NY’s PEGASYS public access cable TV channel 13 (and 97.3) on Saturday and Sunday (3/1 & 3/2 2014) at 10:30 a.m. and finally on Tuesday, 3/4 at 8:00 p.m.

Narrator Tony Ingraham will take you from Cayuga and Iroquois Indian towns at Taughannock Falls, on the west shore of Cayuga Lake, to war with Lenape or Delaware Indians, to the Revolutionary War and the Sullivan Campaign invasion, to early settlers, steamboats, a railroad, tourist hotels, and finally to the creation of Taughannock Falls State Park. The park has its own history, with Civilian Conservation Corps work, floods, park planning, construction, and expansion, summer concerts, and interpretive exhibits. Join us on this journey through time at a singularly scenic location in New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes region.
Episode 69 of Walk in the Park, a public access TV series in Ithaca, NY.

Park Minute: Frozen Lucifer Falls

2014 01 31_3629_edited-1

In Park Minute 15, we take a look at 115-feet-high Lucifer Falls completely enshrouded in ice during an extended spell of frigid weather in the winter of 2014. Lucifer Falls is the largest waterfall in Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, NY, in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

Find out more about this beautiful park.

See more Park Minutes.
And see Park Minute 14: Frozen Buttermilk Falls.
And Park Minute 12: Frozen Ithaca Falls

Kayaking in Antarctica!

Louise Adie kayaking in Antarctica

Louise Adie, Antarctic kayak guide, doing what she loves at the bottom of the world.

For ten years, Louise Adie of Trumansburg, NY has served as a kayak guide, interpretive naturalist, and ship historian on ecotour ships in Antarctica. Join us as Louise tells about her amazing experiences, using beautiful photographs, with whales, seals, penguins, icebergs, glaciers, and mountains on this extraordinary land at the bottom of the world. This is episode 67 of Walk in the Park TV, recorded on January 22, 2014 at PEGASYS public access TV studios in Ithaca, NY. See the full schedule of cablecasts for the week beginning 1/23/14.

This program is just a sample of one of Louise Adie’s illustrated lectures. The full presentation goes into a lot more detail with many more (and new) images. To contact Louise about booking one of these interpretive presentations send her an email at, or go to her blog.

Louise Adie, Akademik Shokalskiy, Antarctica

Louise Adie (in the middle kayak) leading a kayak tour in Antarctica from the ship Akademik Shokalskiy years ago.

By the way, for five years, Louise worked on the Akademik Shokalskiy, which recently achieved fame for getting trapped in the ice in Antarctica. For the past five years, Louise has worked on other ships for Oceanwide Expeditions.

No, I’m from New York

I ran across this photo on a tourism FaceBook page and decided to make one for the Finger Lakes region itself, below.

A photo circulating on the internet

Here’s my remake, for our region!


Midtown Manhattan compared with Taughannock Falls in Taughannock Falls State Park near Trumansburg and Ithaca, NY.

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