Executive Director’s Message June 2020

It’s bird chirping weather, and one of our favorite times of year! June has arrived which means songbirds from near and far have returned to Rogers Center. Whether it be the Black-capped Chickadee, Eastern Bluebird, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, American Goldfinch or an American Kestrel, the relaxing sound of bird song is filling our woods and trails. As businesses continue to cautiously open after being shuttered for the past 10-12 weeks, we too at Rogers Center are wondering when it will be safe to return to ‘normal’. The Rogers Visitor Center falls within Governor Cuomo’s Phase 4 reopening plan, which for us entails a July 15th staggered opening target date for the Visitor Center. Measures are being taken to ensure that when we do reopen, Visitor Center staff and all our visitors feel safe. Due to the unfortunate necessity to cancel our Summer 2020 children’s Adventure Camp – we have redirected and started to refocus our educational efforts in a different direction. Fortunately, technology has grown leaps and bounds since the pandemic of 1918-1920, allowing many of our environmental opportunities to be accomplished. As we progress into the summer months, you may  have heard about the Tesla Model S we are raffling off! Tickets are only $5.00 each, or you can purchase bundles up to 200 tickets for $500 for those of you looking to go big! All rules and details can be found on our www.FriendsofRogers.org website. For those of you who know very little about the Tesla Model S, it’s an electric car with a range of 240-miles between ‘fill-ups / or a recharge’. A recharge can occur either at your home from a wall electrical plug with a Tesla provided adapter or you can visit a Tesla Super Charger for a fee of $12.00/a full charge or grab a free-charge in Sherburne at one of the two Village of Sherburne electric vehicle chargers across from the library. As the Friends of Rogers wrapped up 2019 and headed into 2020, our board of directors and staff opted to diversify our fundraising efforts by releasing this new fundraising initiative to support environmental stewardship. We had hoped to exhibit across the state at various events and festivals this summer promoting the Rogers Center organization and the green efforts behind electric vehicles. Unfortunately, that all changed this past March, two weeks after securing the Tesla Model S which could be yours for as little as $5.00! Think green this summer as you get outside and, if you are lucky, you will catch the Tesla out on display at the Visitor Center during one of your hikes at Rogers this summer. The early bird catches the worm!

Some of the environmental projects being done at the center include the Trout Ponds. NYS DEC dredged all three ponds and dug pocket holes in the Ice Pond for the health of the fish. This was a longstanding project dating back to 2013. Although these trout feeding ponds were dredged similarly nearly 15 years ago, nearly 50 dump truck loads worth of silt and weeds was hauled away.. A depth of now between 6 – 10 feet exists in some parts. You can still feed the fish and purchase fish food from the dispensers or you can even buy online and have it shipped to your home or arrange pick up at the center.

See you on the trails,

Simon Solomon, Executive Director

Dear Rogers June 2020

Dear Rogers,

What type of animals live in the ponds at Rogers?

Sincerely Peaceful Pond


Dear Peaceful,

Many different animals call Rogers Center home. We see geese swimming on the top of the water and wandering around the grounds in spring and summer. Looking into the water you may see a variety of fish, or perhaps turtles basking on a sunny day.

Often the first animals people notice on our ponds are the Canada geese. They are loud, large, and there is a lot of them. If you take a moment and look just past the geese, ducks such as the mallard are seen floating around. The male mallard is easy to identify because of their dark, iridescent-green head and bright yellow bill.

When we look just under the surface of the pond, we see our fish that call us home. The smaller of the fish are often pumpkin seed or bluegill sunfish. On occasion you may see a largemouth bass or the elusive northern pike. While it may be unlikely to see them, as they are buried towards the bottom of the pond, bullheads are also found. The extra-large fish our visitors see off the bridge are carp. Sometimes we see them splashing around and they are always fun to see! In Cunningham Ice Pond we may have some trout who made it down from the trout ponds. There is a rainbow trout who swims under the bridge to the visitor center.

Do not forget about our amphibians and reptiles either! Snapping turtles swim around and painted turtles bask on the logs. Look a bit closer in shallow vegetation, green frogs are camouflaged inside.

Not often looked at, we have small critters living in our ponds called macroinvertebrates. These little guys are larvae that turn into the dragonflies and mayflies that are buzzing around right now. Presence of these type macroinvertebrates tell us that our ponds are clean and healthy, as they do not fare well in polluted conditions.

There are plenty of animals in our ponds at Rogers Center. From waterfowl, to fish, to amphibians and reptiles, to macroinvertebrates, many critters call us home. This is just our common friends we see at the center. We often have more who visit, or we see are certain times of the year. Come out to see our pond and everyone who lives in it while the sun is shining bright.