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Cornell Cooperative Extension Hosts Environmental Awareness Field Day

Amy Ivy, from Cornell Cooperative Extension, gave students many pointers about how they can save energy at home. She stressed little things can really make a big difference in conserving energy, especially if we all chip in and conserve.

If every family in the U.S. put in just one compact fluorescent light bulb for a year, enough energy would be saved to run two and a half-million homes for a year, she said.

Recycling was the focus of the station run by Northern Sanitation employees Jaime Warren and Melissa LaClair. The youths were divided into two teams and played the Recycling Quiz Game, which revealed parents and teachers have successfully instilled the importance of recycling in the next generation. However, teachers and students alike were stumped when they were asked what was the most recycled commodity in the world, The surprising answer: automobiles.

Gary Foster, with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, caught the students' attention with his collection of wild animal pelts from the Adirondack region. He taught the children about each animal and how they can be helpful or a nuisance. He also stressed the dangers to humans and wild animals when people feed them, and told the children to always leave baby animals alone.

Their parents often leave them unattended for hours and they aren't really lost or abandoned, Mr. Foster said.

At the Greener Miles station, children enjoyed snacking on locally grown apples donated by Rulf's Orchards, Peru, and Banker's Orchards, Plattsburgh. Jordy Wood, Cornell Cooperative Extension nutrition educator, led the students through a game revealing the surprising source of the majority of the types of food we eat. Most of our food travels 1,500 miles before we bring it home. She pointed out the many advantages of buying locally grown food whenever possible.

Plant biologist Mike Davis, from the EV Baker Research Farm in Willsboro and the Miner Institute, ran the Tomato Talk station. Through the use of a question-and-answer game, he introduced the students to many new facts about our food system. His last question, Are tomatoes poisonous? seemed like an obvious no to his audience. The fruit isn't poisonous, but don't go eating those tomato leaves!

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