Monday, September 26, 2011

Adventures in the Outdoors synopsis

Here's a quick video from the Bedford-Katonah Patch about Adventures in the Outdoors Weekend 2011:

Check out our website for more information about the remainder of this fall's weekend programming.  We hope to see you at the sanctuary!

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist

Friday, September 23, 2011

Adventures in the Outdoors Update

September 24-25, 2011

Because of weather-related issues, we have amended the events schedule to move as much of Saturday's events and activities inside the Nature Museum.  Please see below for specific program updates related to Saturday's schedule.  All activities for Sunday are currently scheduled as planned until further notice.  Please check back Saturday afternoon/evening to view any changes made to Sunday's schedule.

Because of the expected deluge and associated flood potential, the tractor rides have been canceled for Saturday.  We will make a determination of the trail condition and post an update about the possibility for tractor rides on Sunday once the rain stops.

There is NO admission/entrance fee for this event! Only workshops/programs require registration.  Other activies such as the community expo, crafts, tractor rides, food concessions, etc are open to everyone - no registration required!

Scroll down for event details!

Schedule of Events

Saturday, 9am-10:30am
Observe wild song birds being captured, banded and released by Sanctuary staff during this unique program.  Bird banding is a continent-wide science project managed by the US Geological Survey that uses data collected from individual birds to further bird science and conservation.  All ages welcome.
Presented by Westmoreland Sanctuary

Saturday, 11am-12:30pm
Learn about and witness the extraordinary natural phenomenon that is hawk migration.  Each fall as many as 16 species of raptors pass through the skies overhead on their journey south.  Bring binoculars.  All ages welcome.
Presented by Westmoreland Sanctuary and The Bedford Audubon Society

KID'S HIKE Still on, weather permitting
Saturday, 11am-12pm
Join this guided hike geared for kids.  We’ll explore the forest ecosystem and search for signs of animal life and other signs of the season.  All ages welcome.
Presented by Westmoreland Sanctuary

SPECIAL PRESENTATION BY THE NATURE OF THINGS Indoor program, Registration still available!
Saturday, 1pm-2:30pm
Live Animal presentation by The Nature of Things (visit their website).  All ages welcome.
The Nature of Things is an environmental outreach program that presents quality live animal presentations to schools and centers throughout the greater Metropolitan areas in New York and Connecticut.  The Nature of Things presents hands-on, age-appropriate science education that utilizes their extensive live animal collection.

BIRD FEEDER WORKSHOP Indoor program, Registration still available!
Saturday, 3pm-4:30pm
Learn the basics of bird feeding.  From choosing the correct seed to baffling squirrels, we’ll help you get started.  Participants will also make a wooden bird feeder to take home.  Suitable for ages 7 to adult.  Max of 20 participants.
Presented by Westmoreland Sanctuary

OUTDOOR COOKING BRUNCH Registration still available, Check back for possible cancellation due to weather.
Sunday, 10am-12pm
Learn to cook a variety of foods over an open fire.  We will prepare (and eat!)  a variety of foods like hot dogs, “snake” bread, pineapple-upside-down cake, and egg-on-a-rock.  All ages welcome.  Max of 10 participants.
Presented by Westmoreland Sanctuary

Sunday, 12pm-1pm
Honeybees and Other Beneficial Pollinators by DJ Haverkamp from Bedford Bee Beekeeping Service.  All ages welcome.
Bedford Bee Beekeeping Service (visit their website) began as a response to a honeybee die-off called colony collapse disorder in 2007.  D.J. has been involved with beekeeping for the past 15 years and has fond memories of his families 'bee' tree from his youth. He is a member of the Backyard Beekeepers Association, the Eastern Apicultural Society and is currently working to earn his Master Beekeeper certification from the Dyce Laboratory for Honeybee Studies at Cornell University.

MAP & COMPASS SCAVENGER HUNT Registration almost full!  3 spaces available! Check back for possible cancellation due to weather
Sunday, 2pm-3:30pm
Use a map and compass to travel through a special compass course in search of hidden treasure.    Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a fair bit of walking through the nature preserve.  Suitable for ages 6 to adult.  Max of 8 families/groups.
Presented by Westmoreland Sanctuary

MEET THE ANIMALS Indoor program, Registration still available!
Sunday, 3:30pm-4:30pm
Experience close encounters with Westmoreland’s resident critters.  Learn about them and their wild cousins residing on the sanctuary during this hands-on program.  All ages welcome.
Presented by Westmoreland Sanctuary

Green Community Expo - All weekend Now Indoors!
Find information about other great community organizations and resources!
Tractor Wagon Rides - Sunday, 1-3pm
Take a trail ride with your friends or family in a tractor-pulled wagon!
Fishing Casting Clinic - Canceled
Face Painting - Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm Now Indoors!
Crafts - Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm Now Indoors!
Food Concessions - Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm Now Indoors!


Registration Information - Walk-in Registration Welcome!

MEMBERS (Individuals/Families that have joined/renewed since April 2010)

  • Workshops/programs are Free of Charge for pre-registering members. Pre-registration ends 9/22
  • Walk-in fees apply to members on the day of the event (cash or check).  Ages 4yrs and under are Free. 
  • Discounted fees for tractor wagon rides for all members.
  • Download and return the registration form today to reserve your place in our workshops.  Walk-in registration cannot be guaranteed!


  • Workshops/lectures begin at $5 per person for pre-registration.  Ages 4yrs and under are Free.  All program/workshop fees are noted on the registration form.  Pre-registration ends 9/22
  • Discounts available for family registration.
  • Discounts apply for registration for multiple workshops/programs.
  • Become a Westmoreland Sanctuary member today and recieve all the member discounts for this event when you register!
  • Download and return the registration form today to reserve your place in our workshops.  Walk-in registration cannot be guaranteed!
  • Payment of workshop fees may be submitted upon arrival (cash or check) on the day of the event.

REGISTRATION QUESTIONS/ASSISTANCE: Please call 914-666-8448 or email

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Trail Safety after Irene


For Your Safety:

Trails Close at 5pm!

The storm on August 28th created a number of difficult trail conditions including, but not limited to, heavy debris, erosion, limbs, and fallen trees across the entirety of the trail system.  Before accessing the trail system, all visitors are advised to use a trail map (available in the kiosk and nature museum) and must always be aware of the locations of trail markers to avoid losing your way.

Watch your step!  Fallen debris, loose rocks, washouts, mud, standing water may make portions of the trail difficult to walk.  Be diligent and exercise caution while walking the trails.

Cell phone service has been very weak or non-existent since the storm.  Do not rely on receiving cell phone service while out on the property.  Take a map and be aware of your location at all times to avoid losing your way!  Should you have any doubts about your ability to navigate the trail system, please turn around and go back the way you came.

Because of the extraordinary amount of rainfall during the month of August, the mosquito activity is HIGH.  Please consider wearing insect repellent to avoid mosquitoes, especially in areas with standing water.

Do not cut any live vegetation that may be encroaching on the trails.  A number of smaller understory trees and shrubs may have been forced into the trail during the storm.  The Sanctuary staff will carefully trim or prop up branches of these valuable plants to avoid destroying them.

Visitors may remove deadfall sticks, branches from the trail as they see fit.  Please report large trail obstructions to the Sanctuary staff so they can be removed as soon as possible.  If you don’t report it, we may not know about it!  We don’t walk the trails nearly as often as our visitors.  Leave a note in the kiosk, call, or send us an email.

Thank you for your cooperation.  We hope to open the trails to their normal hours of dawn to dusk in the near future.

The Staff of Westmoreland Sanctuary