Category: Environmental Education

Yes, there are Connections: Climate, Population, & COVID-19

Tuesday, May 12th at 7pm

The current Coronavirus is not the first virus in the last few decades to jump from wild animals to human beings, causing epidemics or pandemics. Think of Ebola, Zika, SARS, and even HIV-AIDS. Will we see an increasing number of these epidemics in coming years? 

Join a discussion led by Ecologist and Bard Professor, Felicia Keesing, about why we are suddenly seeing more viral epidemics passed from wildlife. Ms. Keesing will explain some of the causes, such as population growth and climate change, both leading to loss of habitat, and factory farming. 

“Yes, there are Connections” is presented by Rockland Sierra Club, together with 350 NJ/Rockland, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland, Rockland Citizens Action Network, and Nyack Library.  

Register  This event is free, but RSVP is required.

*The discussion is preceded by Sierra Club’s activist meeting at 6:30 PM.

Surviving the Holidays: Sustainability Tips

The holiday season can be hectic for everyone – read on for some tips on slowing down your holiday & thinking of the environment!

  1. Avoid single-use items like plastic & paper plates, cups, & utensils.  They might make cleanup easier, but generates plenty of waste!  Instead, use your finest dinnerware to enjoy a well-cooked meal with those closest to you.  Washing dishes, or using a dishwasher, afterwards will offer well-deserved time to decompress.  
  2. Give reusable gifts – Reusable coffee mugs are excellent gifts for the constant coffee drinker in your life.  Same for water bottles! Know someone who frequently drinks from plastic water bottles? Give them the gift of reuse & help them save money, & the environment!  
  3. “But I’m out of wrapping paper!” –– fear not!  There’s plenty of extra paper to go around – use old newspapers, or other scrap paper to wrap your presents.  Avoid buying holiday wrapping paper – it’s cost-effective & puts an authentic spin on the presentation of your gifts!    
  4. Or, give gifts you can’t wrap: experiences go a long way; plan a day trip, purchase an Air BnB gift card, concert tickets, or other memorable experiences for family & friends.  Experiential gifts may present new & exciting opportunities for the gift receiver, or allow you to spend more time together with your loved ones. Keep Rockland Beautiful membership makes a great gift, too!  
  5. Recycle your Christmas lights: They don’t belong in the trash!  Replace any broken or burnt out bulbs, or dispose of your lights at a local scrap recycler.  Home improvement stores may offer programs to ensure they’re recycled, too – check their policies first before bringing your lights to them!  The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation offers plenty more sustainable holiday tips like this.  
  6. Compost your Christmas tree & keep it out of a landfill!  NYC Mulchfest helps New Yorkers recycle thousands of trees each year.  You can also place in your yard or a wooded area on your property, offering shelter for wildlife & natural decomposition over time.  

Above all, be sure to relax & enjoy this holiday season.  It’s a wonderful time of year to acknowledge your appreciation for the environment, & share your gratitude with family & friends.  From everyone at Keep Rockland Beautiful, Happy Holidays!

Behind the Scenes at Bear Mountain

Our first Rockland Underground Tour of 2018! On March 3 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, join PIPC Director of Development, Matthew Shook, for a tour of the historic Bear Mountain Inn, a centerpiece of a unique park system that stretches from the edge of NYC through the Hudson Valley. Established in 1915, the Inn has a long and fascinating history.  Learn about its former visitors and its power source in the depths of Lake Hessian! Free passes will be provided to the nearby Bear Mountain Ice Rink for those interested in skating after the tour.  TO SIGN UP

For Background Info:

Enjoy the Thaw

This lovely photo of a snowy Kennedy Dells Park comes from Peggy Opalek and appears this month in KRB’s “BEAUTIFUL ROCKLAND” Calendar. To get to this magical location (355 North Main Street, New City – then follow Trail B)


1. Skating in Tallman State Park — There are shallow ponds that quickly freeze – and a group of skate-enthusiasts who usually shovel the snow (and sometimes even build a fire nearby!) Use the entrance to the park north of the Filling Station/9W Market @ 243 RT 9W, Palisades, NY. Walk for about 10 minutes and grab the larger trailhead that goes off on your left. After walking another 10 minutes or so, the ponds will be off to the right – follow one of the raised trails to get there.

2. Dutchtown for Cross Country Skiing – scoot along the Hudson, starting on the trail in Dutchtown (just south of Haverstraw, follow road past Tilcon quarry, past a small playground; there is a parking area at trailhead) and head on into Hook Mountain State Park. The hearty can end up at Rockland Lake or in Upper Nyack. Map

3. Strap on Some Snowshoes in Harriman – Here are some fun tips for taking on the Kakiat Trail in Harriman.

4. Gaze at Ice Sculptures at Buttermilk Falls – As things freeze and thaw, take a short (and possibly slippery – so consider taking a pole) hike up to Buttermilk Falls @ 199 South Greenbush Road, West Nyack) Directions

5. Bear Mountain Ice Skating Rink – Great music, skates to rent, and a killer view. Always a bonus! Getting there


These tips brought to you through support from January’s sponsor: Orange & Rockland 

To get the KRB 20th Anniversary Calendar (and help support our environmental education & cleanup programs), go here. There are still a few available!

To reach Peggy Opalek:

Order Your 2018 “BEAUTIFUL ROCKLAND” Calendar Today!

Thanks to a supporting grant from Rockland County Tourism, KRB is offering its first art-house calendar. It is filled to the brim with amazing images of Rockland’s natural wonders, thanks to the contributions of several wonderful local photographers. The calendar is on sale now through our website and at local retailers. Buy one for yourself, or order in bulk to give to friends, family, clients, customers, employees etc. Bonus: These are tax-deductible gifts that express how much you care about your community and the environment!

Buy Now



2017 Rockland PLUS

2017 Rockland PLUS was held at nine schools from throughout the county. This year’s culminating symposium was on Thursday, March 23, 2017. Many thanks to HNA Palisades Premier Conference Center for donating the facility and to the program’s lead sponsor, SUEZ, for making this possible. Here’s a video from lead sponsor Suez that captures the day.

Find out more about the program and how you can enroll your class. Read more