Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Register for Toddlers and Tributaries

Posted on: July 27th, 2022 by Leslie_Zucker

Join AWSMP for our 2022 Toddlers & Tributaries event! This event is designed for children ages 18 months to 5 years old. As a part of our program, participants will engage in watershed science-based activities and crafts in a safe, controlled outdoor setting.

The event takes place on Monday, August 15th 2022 from 9am-11am and is free of charge. It will be held at the Kenneth L. Wilson Campground located at 859 Wittenberg Rd, Mt Tremper, NY.

This event is open to residents of the Ashokan Watershed. Generally, the Ashokan Watershed overlaps the towns of Shandaken, Olive, Woodstock, and Hurley in Ulster County, and Lexington and Hunter in Greene County.

  • Parents/guardians and children must wear close-toed shoes as gear will not be available for use. 
  • Parents/guardians must always be within arm’s reach of their child for the duration of this event.
  • Parents/guardians must comply to a 1-1 ratio between children and parents/guardians if they plan on bringing additional children.

Registration for this event is required. Please visit to register!

AWSMP Provides Watershed-Based Remote Learning during Pandemic

Posted on: January 26th, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker
Watershed Youth Educator Matt Savatgy providing remote learning science education for elementary school students in the Onteora Central School District. Photo by Bailey Savatgy.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP) has found a way to provide watershed-based science education to Onteora Central School District elementary students.

Working directly with teachers, our youth educator, Matt Savatgy, has been providing remote instructional support since last fall. Regardless of whether they are at school or at home, students join Matt each week for a live Google Classroom science session. A wide range of watershed-related topics are covered throughout the school year. According to Matt, “Much of the elementary school science curriculum is directly relatable to the Ashokan Watershed, particularly in fourth grade.”

Savatgy uses short video clips, lots of back-and-forth discussions, demonstrations, specimens from his extensive natural history collection, and games to help students grasp required scientific concepts.  Bennett Elementary School Teacher Elizabeth Lefferts says, “My students eagerly look forward to each of our science sessions with Mr. Savatgy and the interactive activities they know are awaiting them.”

As a way to extend learning beyond the remote classroom meetings students are provided with video links and activity resources for them to try at home and they are encouraged to use them while exploring their local outdoor setting. Fourth Grade teacher, Liz Corsitto, indicated that, “This year has been difficult to navigate in terms of teaching and learning virtually. Matt has stepped in to encourage our students to still love science even though it is being delivered virtually and to get involved in the science that surrounds them at home.”

The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program also provides numerous opportunities outside of school for students to learn about the importance of streams and our watershed. A couple of these activities include: The Watershed Detectives afterschool program and the annual Stream Explorers Youth Adventure. To learn more about these programs and AWSMP, visit

Watershed Detectives Club Is Off To A Great Start

Posted on: October 22nd, 2020 by Leslie_Zucker
A scene from the inaugural session of the 2020 Watershed Detectives Program held at the Ashokan Center. Photo by Matt Helffrich

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced many events and activities to be cancelled or switched to an online format and for good reason. Traditional schooling for many students in the watershed has moved online fully or in a hybrid of online and limited in-person teaching. Most afterschool activities on school grounds have been cancelled indefinitely. Sadly, because of this there is a dearth of opportunities for extracurricular activities around most subjects, though especially science education. While the concern about the safety of in-person education is warranted, there are ways to hold in-person education that reduces the risk of exposure to the virus. In an effort to provide alternative program opportunities and to get students safely engaged in a stream-based and watershed curriculum, AWSMP has relaunched our popular Watershed Detectives Program with added safety features.

Watershed Detectives has traditionally been an afterschool program held at the Bennett Intermediate School in Boiceville for grades 4-6. This year, instead of being held on school grounds the program is being offered at the Ashokan Center in nearby Olivebridge, NY and for students in grades 4-8. Holding the program at the Ashokan Center allows for good physical distancing between students and access to the Ashokan Center’s numerous trails, streams and forests for learning and discovery. Several safety protocols have been put in place along with strict sanitation procedures to reduce the possibility of infection. While the location has changed the same great programming is taking place where students will learn about the importance of streams, watersheds, and riparian areas.

“It has definitely been a challenge getting this year’s program up and running, but we have a solid plan in place in an effort to keep things running smoothly,” says Matt Savatgy, AWSMP Youth Educator and leader of the Watershed Detective’s Program. “The kids are really enjoying being together, outdoors with their friends and are actively engaged in learning to become stewards for our watershed.”

Currently, the program is full. However, AWSMP hopes to have more youth and adult programs in the coming months. Please regularly check our webpage for upcoming events and programs offered both online and in-person.

The 2020 Watershed Detectives Emblem

2019 Stream Explorers Youth Adventure

Posted on: April 1st, 2019 by Leslie_Zucker


Registration is full! To be added to a waiting list, call Linda at (845) 688-3047. We usually have a few cancellations.

Join us for a fun-filled day of science-based stream activities on Saturday, April 27, 2019 and become a Stream Explorer! This year’s event is designed for kids in grades 3 through 7 who live in the towns of Shandaken, Woodstock, Olive and Hurley. Investigate stream ecosystems, explore the dynamics of a stream, hike to a majestic waterfall, participate in exciting outdoor activities, learn from stream educators and water scientists, and become a protector of our water resources!

The one-day Stream Explorers Youth Adventure runs from 8:30 am through 5:00 pm at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY. Sign-in and registration begins at 8:30 am.

Parents and guardians are welcome to attend. Register by April 5 for an early bird discount of $10 per person. After April 5 the fee is $15 per person. Registration closes on April 19. Download the registration brochure for mailing or register online at For help with registration, contact Linda Gonnella at 845-688-3047 or

Lunch and snacks included in registration fee. Event activities take place outdoors if weather permits – be prepared for a variety of weather conditions! For more information on event activities, contact Matt Savatgy at

For directions to the Ashokan Center, use this address in your map browser: Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge, NY 12461.

Save the Date! Ashokan Watershed Conference on April 29

Posted on: February 21st, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

How do we sustain local economic development in a changing environment? That is the topic of a day-long conference in the Ashokan Watershed on April 29, 2017. The conference will be held at The Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY. Conference sessions will focus on climate change, sustainable economic development, community planning, invasive species, local fisheries, and DEP reservoir operations. Planning board and zoning board of appeals members can receive certificates for attending four hours of training.

This year, AWSMP is excited to offer a co-occurring “Stream Explorers” youth conference also on April 29 at The Ashokan Center. The “Stream Explorers” youth conference will be most appropriate for children ages 8-14 or grades 3-8. All youth must be accompanied by a family member attending the Ashokan Watershed Conference. The youth conference will feature hands-on outdoor activities taught by CCE educators during the morning, and an afternoon gorge hike adventure in the afternoon. Children will join their families for lunch in the conference dining hall.

Registration for the conference will begin on March 15. Please visit the conference website for updates and information as it becomes available.