State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) students join Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps to help protect the Onondaga Lake Watershed
Eighty-six volunteers from Central New York participated in the third Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps stewardship event at Nine Mile Creek and the Geddes Brook wetlands on Saturday, October 20. Volunteers planted 250 shrubs, plants, and trees, and learned about wetlands and their importance in supporting the Onondaga Lake watershed from habitat experts from the Montezuma Audubon Center, the Onondaga Audubon Society, Parsons, and Honeywell.
“Environmental stewardship directly relates to ESF’s mission,” said Liz Mix, community service and service-learning coordinator, SUNY-ESF. “Projects such as this give students the opportunity to live out our mission and impact the well-being of the environment and community.”
Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps was founded with the goal of inspiring future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain the Onondaga Lake watershed and its value as an Important Bird Area.
“The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is maturing and expanding, creating a powerful new force for conservation and renewal,” said Frank Moses, director of the Montezuma Audubon Center. “Community stewardship through the protection, restoration, and monitoring of habitat is key to a healthy and sustainable Onondaga Lake and its watershed.”
“The native shrubs and trees planted by participants during Conservation Corps events will help re-establish habitat at the Geddes Brook wetlands and Nine Mile Creek,” said Jeremy Neumann, senior scientist, Parsons. “We hope that those who participated will continue to educate and inspire others in the community to get involved.”
Volunteer efforts will contribute to the transformation of 17 acres at Geddes Brook and 30 acres at Nine Mile Creek into diverse new habitats for wildlife. The areas will become part of a green corridor connecting habitat from Onondaga Lake to upland sites. Contaminated soil has been removed and 100,000 native shrubs, flowers, and trees are being planted. The projects will improve the ecosystem, and protect and enhance habitat and wildlife.
Since the formation of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, three events have brought together more than 200 volunteers who became environmental stewards and members of the Conservation Corps. Additional activities will be planned in the coming months for volunteers to learn about, experience, and participate in the lake cleanup.
Organizations providing volunteers and staff at Saturday’s event: Onondaga Audubon Society, Montezuma Audubon Center, Parsons, Honeywell, SUNY-ESF, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), and Westhill High School.
To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, please contact Frank Moses email@example.com or call 315-365-3588.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, please visit www.lakecleanup.com.