The Beauty Nearby

Chances are, no matter where you live, there is a beautiful natural area nearby. Most of us start our days to the jarring sound of the alarm clock, continued by a mixture of traffic, the chatter of coworkers, all under the wonderful mood lighting of florescent bulbs. Traveling to far off locations is not a luxury many of us have. Who can afford it? Who has the time?

Sometimes all we need is a little bit of fresh air, away from the rustle of traffic. Where the sounds we hear are not of our coworker Edna talking about her cat, but the sounds of birds, leaves, the wind, and the occasional stream or waterfall.

These natural public spaces need protection, many of them face exploitation and their continued existence is not guaranteed. I want my project to bring awareness to the natural refuges that surround us, to create environmental awareness for our natural resources. Making people aware of state parks and natural protected areas will increase attendance to these parks, which will in turn create revenue to help preserve the natural habitats. In the end, if the awareness aspect of my project does not bring about change, it will serve as a record of the natural beauty we once had.

Check this page periodically, as I will continue to add more videos throughout my travels around the world.

Upstate New York:

click on images to play video

Clark Reservation State Park

Clark Reservation State Park is a geologic wonder of the last ice age and a botanist's paradise. The park's natural features include rugged cliffs and rocky outcrops, woodland and meadow, a wetland and a glacial plunge basin lake in which the surface waters and bottom waters do not mix. Fishermen can catch pickerel, bullheads and sunfish; while birdwatchers may observe cedar waxwings, kingfishers and woodpeckers. The Nature Center is open seasonally from mid-May through Labor Day. Guided nature walks leave from the Nature Center building, which also offers numerous exhibits. Hikers may choose from five trails, including the cliff trail, which has a ledge overlook 175 feet above the water.

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge provides resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds. Montezuma is situated in the middle of one of the most active flight lanes in the Atlantic Flyway. Over 240 species of birds, 43 species of mammals, 15 species of reptiles, and 16 species of amphibians can be found on the refuge for at least part of the year. The wide array of wildlife can be credited to the varied habitat types found here, from marsh to forest, shrub- and grassland.

Green Lakes State Park

Green Lakes State Park's outstanding features are its two glacial lakes surrounded by upland forest. Both Round and Green Lakes are meromictic lakes, which means that there is no fall and spring mixing of surface and bottom waters. Such lakes have a high potential for evidence of ancient plant and animal life. Another special feature of the park is the 18-hole Green Lakes State Park Golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, where visitors can snowshoe in winter, as well as 15 miles of trails that cross-country skiers can use.

Carpenter Falls

Carpenter Falls is a massive 90-foot waterfall that has carved a notch out of the shelf-like rock, from which it takes a powerful plunge down crashing into a deep, round pool, frequented by bathers on hot summer days. The more adventurous can shuffle down the steep gorge trail along the southern rim, and check out several other waterfalls, including Angel Falls, a picturesque sixty foot waterfall that begins as a wide ribbon-plunge and ends up cascading over smaller gradual ledges.