The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) have announced that New York State's fifth annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is July 8-14. ISAW is an annual campaign that encourages New Yorkers to help protect lands and waters from the negative impacts of invasive species. The theme of this year's campaign is "What YOU can do to help stop the spread!" focusing on simple actions people can take to keep these unwanted species from hitchhiking to new areas.
Invasive species are plants, animals, insects, and pathogens that are not native to an area and cause harm to the environment, the economy, or human health. These pests are one of the greatest threats to New York's biodiversity and residents can help to stop their spread. Managing invasive species after these pests become established is challenging and prevention is the easiest and most cost-effective strategy.
DEC, DAM, and New York State Parks are focusing on an early detection campaign to look for the invasive “spotted lanternfly” (SLF). SLF feed on more than 70 plant species and are a significant threat to New York's forests and agricultural and tourism industries. Invasive species, such as the spotted lanternfly, can cause significant damage to agricultural crops. Awareness and reporting is key to the efforts to protect New York's forest and agricultural industries from these harmful pests.
Invasive Species Awareness Week is a great opportunity to highlight the environmental threats that these species can pose within parks and communities as well as address the ways in which the public can assist in preventing their spread. For more information on SLF, including video, visit DEC's Spotted Lanternfly webpage.
I have received the final numbers from the annual resident spring drop-off the Town of Penfield hosts each May at the DPW facility on Jackson Road. This year we took in and landfilled 210,000 lbs. (105 tons) of debris including furniture, demo material, and non-refuse/garbage materials. We also collected and recycled 15,600 lbs. of tires, 31,630 lbs. of metal; and 8,820 lbs. of appliances containing Freon.
The next free guided hike of the Penfield Trails Committee will be held this Saturday, July 14, at Abraham Lincoln Park from 9:00 to 11:00 AM. Come and explore the ups and downs of this county park from wooded uplands to the Bay Shore trail connections. Meet at the parking lot off Empire Blvd. just west and south of the Plank Road/Empire Blvd. intersection and look for the hike signs. For more information and to pre-register, please call 340-8655, option 0. Please wear appropriate footwear (hiking boots/shoes) and PLEASE no pets!
This week, the summer concert series at the Penfield Amphitheater and Kiwanis Stage features “Keys to the Caddy” on Upstage Tuesday, July 10 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM; and Thursday Kids Fest features “Mr. Loops” on July 12 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM. We expect beautiful weather so bring a lawn chair or blanket, snacks, and a cooler. Food will also be available from the PenRec food cart…I hope to see you there!
Bri-Pen Senior Rides continues to grow and that is good news! This is where you can help…volunteer to drive Penfield and Brighton seniors to their medical appointments, religious services, and town community centers. Drive at your convenience, any availability is a great help. If you are interested in volunteering or want to learn more about the program please call 340-8674.
Next is my annual summer request to remember to support the Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf (PEFS). It seems from Labor Day to Memorial Day we are in a routine of work, school, sports, dance, Tae Kwon Do, and countless other programs including volunteering or supporting volunteer organizations like the PEFS. Then when summer vacations begin, families are busy traveling to visit relatives, taking trips to the wonderful lakes around the area, and many other adventures.
Yet the PEFS performs their amazing work of supporting more than 85 families in need 52 weeks a year. For more information on current needs and to learn more on how you can help support their important work in the Penfield community please visit https://pefsweb.wixsite.com/foodshelf.
Until next week, enjoy the great weather and activities outside. This is what we wait for all winter and it only seems to be with us for a short time. Don’t forget about the summer concert series at the amphitheater over the next four weeks!