Archive for the ‘nature’ Category


Spend time with one of our unalienable rights…
Reflect and then decide how to include in your life what makes you happy
Community cooking of fresh, local foods
Sharing in the beauty of the natural world of canoeing, sea kayaking, hiking
Viewing of the movie “Happy”
Access resources and materials to implement changes you would like to make in your life
Beautiful location of scenic gorge, forest, lakes, streams, woods, deck to watch the sunset
Based on current research into Happiness
Join our ongoing program of the “Happiness Series”

What are the building blocks of Happiness? Not material happiness, but real happiness. Real Happiness comes from our intrinsic goals, inherently satisfying in themselves. Research has identified the most important as personal growth trying to be who I really am, close connected relationships, sense of being part of a larger community and wanting to make a difference in life. External goals, of which rewards, praise, getting stuff are the top three and play out as our attempts at status, money and image, have not been found to make us happier.

There are three determining factors to one’s happiness: 50% is genetic, 10% comes from our circumstances (job, age, income, where we live…) but a full 40% is intentional activity, actions within our control that we can decide upon. Do you make the most of that 40%? We will spend our time practicing and reflecting about our choices in this 40%. Happiness is based on our spiritual practices, our values, our relationships, how and with whom we spend our time…. We can make each day in our lives happier.


We will spend time in nature, enjoy music, beauty, stillness, sharing in meals, reflecting on our choices, opening to possibilities of what we can do to increase our happiness, watching stars, sitting by a fire, waiting for the sun to set and watching it rise. Using current research in Happiness, each of us will look at our own lives and what potential we can tap into to be happier. We will inventory and reflect on our own lives. Apart from just enjoying, the weekend will progress with each person having the opportunity to develop their own plan if they choose.  We highly suggest reading or listening to “The Happiness Project” and watching the movie “Happy” prior to the weekend. These materials will get you excited about the opportunities we have for the weekend and in our lives.

Come laugh and play with us, sit quietly as the sun goes down over Hemlock Lake, gather by a fire sharing a meal with a small group.  Of course a large part of what we are about is the beauty of nature so we will be spending time in canoes, sea kayaks and hiking the nearby areas.

So we invite you to join us in developing a network and plan to bring more happiness into your life.  Life is short, you deserve to be happy.  We will spend as much time as we can “in the flow” as researchers call it when we are living at those fulfilling happy moments, when we forget our problems.
This retreat can stand alone or be part of our larger “Happiness Series”

You can make choices about living a happier life.  Why not start today?  Limited to 6-8 participants.

Meets in Conesus, NY
Course dates June 14th 6 PM-June 16th, 3:00 PM
Cost: $ 349/person includes lodging, meals, activities

To Register – Call Now! Contact the PPS office at 585-346-5597!
Request an information packet for complete information on this adventure

Pack, Paddle, Ski, you can try any of the following methods:
By phone: (585) 346-5597
By fax: (585) 346-5597
By Email: info@packpaddleski.com
By mail: 6237 South Lima Rd, South Lima, NY 14487-978C

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(the following is excerpted from a blog post by Pat Rush. Clikc here to read her full bolg post http://www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/biking-across-america/2013/mar/01/fundraising-ride-ecos/)

Founded in Schenectady in 1972, ECOS (The Environmental Clearinghouse) is a non-profit membership organization. Its mission is to provide environmental information and educational programs that enhance appreciation of the natural world, and to advocate for the preservation of our natural resources.

When I moved to Schenectady I discovered the marvelous bike path system, and I also discovered the little pamphlet, “Along the Bike Hike Trail.” It was published by ECOS, written and illustrated by ECOS members, and designed to fit in a handlebar bag. I was smitten. I fell in love. I learned that two ECOS members had been highly instrumental in causing the path through Schenectady County to be built.

I’ve been involved with ECOS ever since. After I retired, I became its president for a couple of years, and in the years since then have watched it grow and prosper. ECOS presents or participates in over 50 environmental programs each year, including festivals, lecture series, guest speakers, nature walks, ski and snowshoe trips, and youth programs. These events are designed and presented by almost 100 ECOS volunteers working in partnership with other local environmental groups, and with schools and colleges.

ECOS has always had a core group of writers and artists to assist with its very active publication program, including the Natural Areas series, the bike trail books, the ski and snowshoe guide, a field guide to the Karner Blue butterfly, and a field guide to wildflowers. Many of these publications have gone into second editions.

ECOS also publishes a monthly newsletter and a regional environmental program calendar which lists events for more than 40 organizations in the Capital Region. Free publications on its website include the “Walking Green Schenectady” map and “Landscaping With Native Trees.”

Each year, ECOS holds a celebration to honor the efforts of Rachel Carson. A local environmental hero is also recognized with the Rachel Carson Award.

Pat Rush is biking across America to raise funds for ECOS. Click here to donate to her efforts. 

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Is Holiday Mistletoe Really The “Kiss of Death”?

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poinsettiasAre Our Christmas Poinsettias Really Flowers?

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Start the new year off on the right (or the left) foot with a First Day Hike at a state park or historic site. From a seal walk to nature and animal discovery hikes, work off those holiday cookies while exploring all that our state parks have to offer. Find a hike.

source: PTNY newsletter

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Have you seen the gorgeous nature films produced by the BBC? Take a look at this spectacular 2-minute video ad. Then go rent them from Netflix – they’re spectacular.

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The Big Task of Managing Nature at New York’s Central Park

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NY State Fall Foliage Tracker

As fall creeps closer, monitor the changing leaves and plan your leaf peeping expeditions with the NY State Fall Foliage Tracker

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World Geography is an amazing website you can get lost in. Examples include:
11 Incredible Navigable Aqueducts
10 Tallest Trees on the Earth
10 Famous Sea Stacks From Around the World
10 Incredible Sea Forts
10 of the Most Beautiful Natural Holes in the Earth

Have fun exploring the virtual world.

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Climate change is already adversely affecting seven national seashores on the Atlantic Coast, from Cape Cod to Cape Canaveral, and those impacts will dramatically worsen if heat-trapping pollution is not reduced, according to a new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Titled “Atlantic National Seashores in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption,” the RMCO/NRDC report contains the first set of maps detailing the portions of Atlantic national seashores that are low lying enough to be at real risk of being submerged by rising sea levels.  Other climate change impacts outlined in the report include the loss of bridges and roads that provide access to the seashores, breakup of barrier islands into smaller segments, extensive beach erosion, and loss of wildlife.

The RMCO/NRDC report documents that Fire Island National Seashore (NS) in New York, Assateague Island NS in Maryland and Virginia, Cape Hatteras NS and Cape Lookout NS, both in North Carolina, and Canaveral NS in Florida, all have a majority of their lands less than one meter (3.3 feet) above sea level, and therefore are at serious risk of inundation by a higher sea level. Also at risk to higher seas are particular sections of the remaining two national seashores covered in the report: Cape Cod NS in Massachusetts and Cumberland Island NS in Georgia.

Scientists say there is a good chance that a hotter climate could push seas at least one meter higher in this century.     The report notes that the Cape Cod, Fire Island, Assateague Island, and Cape Hatteras national seashores already are experiencing rates of sea-level rise well above the global average.

Another concern is rising temperatures that could discourage summertime visitors.  New climate projections included in the report show that, with medium to high emission level, the late-century summer temperatures at Fire Island NS could average 6.5 degrees higher, as hot as those experienced today in Atlantic Beach, NC, and temperatures at Cumberland Island NS could rise 6.3 degrees, matching the current summer climate in desert-bound White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

The seven national seashores draw a total of about 11 million visitors a year, contributing to the economy of seven states by generating more than half a billion dollars in spending and supporting nearly 8,000 jobs.  An additional, immeasurable economic value of the seashores is that they contain islands, dunes, and other shoreline features that are the first line of defense protecting human populations and developments from the often devastating effects of winds and surging flood waters from hurricanes, nor’easters, and other coastal storms.

Report author Stephen Saunders, president, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, said:  “Major parts of each of these seashores, including most lands in five of them, could be lost forever under a higher ocean if we do not stop disrupting the climate. Climate change is the greatest threat ever to our national park systems. These seashores certainly are among the most vulnerable areas.  Human alteration of the climate threatens to undercut our national promise that these special places will be preserved unimpaired for the enjoyment of my children and future generations.”

Theo Spencer, senior advocate, Climate and Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, said:  “Massive and preventable damage to national seashores is too high a price to pay for failing to act on climate change.  This report makes clear that if we don’t cut the amount of heat-trapping pollution we spew into the air, these special places that Americans love will never be the same. We’ve made some progress, including national standards to make cars cleaner and more efficient, and new health protections from power plant pollution. But more must be done. For starters, we need to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to continue doing its job controlling heat-trapping pollution that harms our health and the places we love.”

Dr. S. Jeffress Williams, scientist emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey, said:  “Science is compelling that climate is changing, becoming warmer and much more variable. Many impacts are already affecting Atlantic National Seashores and will do so for decades into the future. This new assessment is important for planning for these changes by documenting effects such as sea level rise and warming on both the natural resources in the parks and also the public who visit the parks and value what the parks offer.”

The following is among the key findings about the NY national seashore:

* Fire Island NS, located only 40 miles from Manhattan, has most of its land one meter or less above sea level, primarily on the inland side of the island. Based on projected wave height, susceptibility to erosion, and tidal range, Fire Island has a high vulnerability to shoreline change from sea-level rise.

See the full report for other impacts.

The report also outlines the steps needed to avoid further climate disruption to national seashore areas, including:

* Establishing comprehensive mandatory limits on carbon pollution to reduce emissions by at least 20 percent below current levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050;
* Protecting the current Clean Air Act authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allowing EPA to do its job of protecting American’s health by cutting pollution;
* Overcoming barriers to investment in energy efficiency to lower emission-reduction costs, starting now;
* Accelerating the development and deployment of emerging technologies to lower long-term emission reduction costs; and
* Actions by the National Park Service to identify and protect threatened seashore resources and to reduce its own emissions of heat-trapping pollution, combined with visitor education exhibits and programs on climate change threats and examples of emission reduction efforts. With 279 million visits in 2011, the national park system can play a unique role in presenting climate change information to people.

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