Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ecosystem Engineers 12/16/17

Have you ever wanted to be an engineer? On Saturday December 16th at 1pm in the Manlius Library, the Young Naturalists are doing a program on the beaver, ecosystem engineers. Come learn about how they are a keystone species and what makes them so important to rivers and ponds because of how they change the environment that they live in.
Register at

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Fun Day at Clark Reservation

The CNY Young Naturalists and their families enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at Clark Reservation on October 7th. Six kids and their parents learned about the history of the park from NYS Park Educators, as they taught about the influential women who helped to save this unique park in CNY.
Some highlights from the tour included the story of the park's fossil waterfall, why the lake is considered to be special due to its unique meromictic properties, as well as the opportunity to touch fossils of organisms that were over 400 million years old.
During the hike, participants were able to make rubbings of the fossils that are found on the rocks in the park. They were able to take these home with them. Everyone that participated enjoyed their hike and time in the park.

Look below for some more pictures

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Young Naturalists at Clark Reservation

Join us on October 7th at Clark Reservation to learn about the geologic history of the park with NYS Parks Educators. 

  • Have you ever wondered what organisms used to live in this area tens of thousands of years ago?
  • Did you know that there once was a waterfall larger than Niagara Falls located right here in Central New York? 
If you are curious about either of these questions then this is the hike for you! This event will include hiking on trails in the park to look for fossils and hear about the park's ancient waterfall. So bring your family to enjoy a nice afternoon outside in the park.

We will be meeting at the Small Pavilion, which is located near the Nature Center at the park. 
All family members are welcome to join, and participants over the age of 8 are allowed to participate without a parent or guardian.
Sign up at

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Young Naturalist at Manlius Library and Cazenovia Library in August

Aug 1 - Young Naturalist / Manlius Library
           - Meeting at Millrun Park / Discussing Stream Ecology - be prepared to get your feet wet.
           - Derek from Cornell Cooperative Extension will be our guest expert.

Aug 2 - Young Naturalist / Cazenovia Library
           - Meeting at Library - walk around Neighborhood looking for different Ecosystems..

- Ecosystem - click here

Nice overview on Green Lakes ecology/ geology read on

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Biodiversity and Habitats

During our weekly summer program, participants were introduced to the topics of Biodiversity and Habitats. On July 18th, participants learned about habitats by playing a game where they represented migrating ducks going from habitats in the north to habitats in the south. As the ducks were migrating, some of their habitats were taken away as new "developments" were built over their habitat. Along with loss of habitat, participants were introduced to the idea of predators, and why it is important to have sufficient shelter.

By using a hula hoop in the next activity, the participants looked at a certain area of land and all of the different organisms found within that area.

To further discuss the concept of biodiversity, the participants conducted a macro invertebrate sample in the stream by the library. The IWLA Creek Freaks worksheet was used for participants to determine the quality of the water based off of the stream's biodiversity.

Monday, July 17, 2017

July 11 Young Naturalist

Young Naturalist Program  July 11, 2017
Izaak Walton League and Manlius Public Library 


Big Idea - Biodiversity - the more different species within a habitat/ ecosystem, the more healthy, stable.

Part I - Introduced Key ideas - What is Biodiversity , Why is it important

Key Vocabulary:    reviewed - food web, diversity, biology, ecology, ecosystems, habitat, populations, communities, food chain, predator, consumer, What is Naturalist? What does a Naturalist do?

We used the big mural in the Library Room - to make observations about what ecosystems were evident, what animals did they see, where their any non-native species such as Dragon - (see video below) .

Documents used   -  Ecosystems 1 

Part II - Visited three types - Baseball Field (Grassland), Pond, and Stream.

Student completed an Ecosystem Inventory - for Grassland,  Pond, Stream

Part III - Lab Observations - small critters

After inspecting each of the locations, and recording observations,  participants returned to the library, and then conducted observations at stations, where different animals, small critters were in their habitats

1) Mosquito Larvae,  2) Toad Tadpoles  3) Small toads, just emerged from tadpole stage, 4) Different water samples containing macro invertebrates - 5) Water Sample from stream   6) Water Sample from Stream.

Part IV - Review of Concepts from the day

 Ecosystem document 2 -

Food Chains 

Total Participants 15 out of 21 who preregistered, ages 7 -12.

Video from Event



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Backyard Critters

The Young Naturalist conducted two events on March 17th and 18th. 

One at the Manlius YMCA on March 17th and the other at the Manlius Library on Saturday March 18th

Participants saw slideshow illustrating the different critters that could be found in the soil. They then made field guides that would help them identify any insects that they found in the soil. Discussed how dirt is different from soil. Soil was brought inside and participants sifted through it to find multiple critters both young and mature. Earthworms, millipedes (young and mature), isopods, earwig and snails. After some time of digging, participants completed a checklist of all of the insects they saw, including the number of each and observations. Participants at the Manlius Library enjoyed Worms and Dirt pudding as a snack and were able to take home a crossword puzzle and word search. 6 kids participated. At the Manlius Y, though their was no pudding and worms , they did get to act out how they thought the bugs would move and act.

Backyard Critters - Click here to see Slide Show on some critter

1) Word Search
2) Crossword
3) Field Guide -

See Short Video Clip on Worms