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Community Volunteers Build Homes for Wildlife While Transforming the Onondaga Lake Shoreline

Community Volunteers Build Homes for Wildlife While Transforming the Onondaga Lake Shoreline

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Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps

To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, please contact Chris Lajewski at montezuma@audubon.org or call 315-365-3588.

Honeywell Sportsmen’s Days at Carpenter’s Brook

Families Participate in Hands-on Outdoor Recreation and Learn About Onondaga Lake Cleanup During New York State’s Largest Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day

Nearly 7,000 community members participated in habitat and wildlife conservation activities during the 2014 Honeywell Sportsmen’s Days at Carpenter’s Brook on Sept. 27 and 28. Attendees also learned about progress achieved on habitat restoration during the Onondaga Lake cleanup. Thirty-seven acres of new or enhanced wetlands are now providing a home for more than 110 wildlife species. The event, held annually by the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, is a celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Left: David Majerus and his son, 4-year-old Nicholas, of Cicero, fish for trout. Right: Six-year-old Spencer Weed, of Moravia, holds a largemouth bass caught in Onondaga Lake.

Improvements made during the lake cleanup are enhancing habitat and supporting a diverse population of fish, birds, and mammals while increasing opportunities for outdoor recreation. Left: Geddes Brook has been transformed into a diverse, thriving wetland with more than 175 native plant and 65 fish and wildlife species. Right: A great egret at the restored LCP wetlands.

“The Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs provided valuable feedback during the design of wetlands that are now improving habitats for turtles, birds, northern pike, lake sturgeon, walleye, and for transient cold-water fish,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe.

McAuliffe is pictured above talking to Don Augustine, a Boy Scouts of America Aquatics Instructor, about fish on display at Honeywell Sportsmen’s Days.

Local wildlife artists, woodsmen, authors, sportsmen, and Boy Scouts presented a number of outdoor activities including: skeet shooting, waterfowl and turkey calling, archery, retriever dog demonstrations, crossbow, fly fishing, fly tying, black powder shooting, and trout fishing.

Left: Keely Gadoua, of Syracuse, learns how to use a crossbow with help from Lance Robson, chairman of the New York State Fish and Wildlife Management Board. Right: Thirteen-year-old Quamiar Evans, of Syracuse, tries archery at Honeywell Sportsmen’s Days.

Participants learned about Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Habitat Restoration Plan. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation oversees Honeywell’s wetlands restoration projects in and around Onondaga Lake.

Left: Natalia Cagide Elmer, environmental engineer and landscape designer at Parsons, shows Owen (left) and Ethan Mason, both of Syracuse, bluejoint grass, a wetland grass. Right: Interactive displays educate attendees about how fish benefit from the Onondaga Lake cleanup.

“Honeywell’s support of Sportsmen’s Days demonstrates a commitment to working with and getting our input for habitat restoration in and around Onondaga Lake,” said Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs President David Simmons, pictured above on left with (left to right) McAuliffe; Stephen Wowelko, immediate past president of the Sportsmen’s Clubs; and Bill Lansley, Onondaga County Parks commissioner.

“Honeywell continues to be a great supporter of our sporting community and has given our members the opportunity to share our knowledge of conservation practices to benefit wetland redevelopment, habitat improvements, and restoration activities,” Simmons said.

Other weekend events included guest appearances by conservation officers, forest rangers, and Eddie Eagle.

Left: Volunteers from Trout Unlimited teach participants how to fly fish. Right: Isabella and Colby Fazio, both of New Woodstock, learn to fly fish with help from Trout Unlimited volunteer Scott Randall, of Marcellus.

For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, please visit www.lakecleanup.com.

For more photographs of Honeywell Sportsmen’s Days at Carpenter’s Brook, click here.