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Spring Cleanup

Spring is here and that means it is time for our annual Spring Cleanup!
Please mark your calendars and save April 21st
the day you can make a difference at Buckingham Pond!

Annual Meeting Summary

This year's annual meeting marks a real turning point for the Buckingham Pond Conservancy.   We start a new era as Harry Ermides takes the helm as president.   I hope all of you will join me in welcoming Harry to his new role! 

Felton McLaughlin will take over Harry's former role as Vice President  and Mark Bechard and Marsha Penrose remain as Secretary and Treasurer.  We also welcome new board members John Caplis and Marjorie Geiger who join Tara Caligure and Brian Davis as at-large members.  I'll still be on the board as the "past-president" - happy to take a back seat to Harry's leading role.

My three year term as the founding president showed me how much we can accomplish in a short time - big things like reconfiguring the path on the South side and little things like getting the plexiglass repaired on the interpretive signs.    Taken together our many accomplishments have made the pond an even more lovely attraction in our neighborhood.  There is still much to do - especially on our primary objective of ensuring that the pond's water quality and ecological health is secure - but we've done an amazing amount for a small, all volunteer group with an annual budget of not much! 

At the annual meeting on 3/10, we presented a list of highlights from this year and inclucded pictures of some of the highlights in the meeting slide show.  Highlights | Slideshow.

If you weren't able to join us at the meeting you might like to review the presentation from Scott Kisbaugh from the NYSDEC.  Each summer Conservancy volunteers sample the water from the pond under the auspices of the DEC's Citizen Statewide Lake Assesement Program.  The basic summary is that the pond continues to have high nutrient levels.  Scott recommended focusing on three main sources of nutrients:  storm water runoff, waterfowl, and lawn fertalization.  Scott complimented us on the implementation of the "no mow zone" which over time will allow native species to help filter storm water before it gets to the pond, and encouraged us to keep working on these and other mechanisms for limiting nutrients in the pond.

It was inspiring to see 50 or so people at the annual meeting despite the absolutely glorious weather that day.  Whether you were able to come to the annual meeting or not, I hope you will find time to join us at one of the upcoming events listed at the right. 

Regards,

Anne Savage
Buckingham Pond Conservancy Past President

Upcoming Events

Walk Around
Sunday April 14, 1:00 PM

Walk the pond with the board to identify priorities for 2013.  Meet at the playground.


Spring Cleanup/Work Day
Sunday 4/21 1:00 - 3:00 PM
(Rain Date 4/28)

Help get the pond and park ready for the new season.  Lots of projects large and small.


Board Meeting

Tuesday April 23, 6:30 PM
Pine Hills Library

Board meetings are the best way to get involved and are always open to the membership.

 

Board Meeting 3/19 NEW LOCATION

Tomorrow night's board meeting (Tuesday, 3/19 6:30 PM) will not be held at the Pine Hills Library as planned.  Instead, we'll be meeting in a private home.   All are still welcome, but I'd prefer not to broadcast the address.  If you'd like to come to the meeting, please email us at info@buckinghampondconservancy.org and we will send the address.
Sorry for the short notice - Anne

Annual Meeting Sunday 3/10 1:00 PM

In 2009 35 people came together to found the Buckingham Pond Conservancy.  Since then we've grown in size and capacity - coordinating clean ups, hosting social events, finding grants to help the pond, building relationships with City staff, sampling the pond's water, installing storm drain medallions, and so much more.  Each year we come together just one time to celebrate our successes and revisit our priorities.  Be a part of it! Come to the:

Fourth Annual Meeting
of the
Buckingham Pond Conservancy

Sunday March 10
1:00 - 2:30 PM

Bethany Reformed Church
760 New Scotland Avenue (Corner of Lenox Avenue)

Scott Kisbaugh, Lakes Monitoring and Assessment Section Chief from the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation will be with us to help us understand the findings from our summer's work collecting water samples from the pond.

We will also be voting to elect new Board Members and amend the bylaws. (Want to be a new board member? Read on!)  Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, but only members can vote.  Membership is $5 per year per adult, and we're happy to take your membership contribution at the door.

We are seeking two energetic folks who love the pond to consider a two year term as a board member.  If you are interested in finding out more about being a board member, contact us  no later than Friday 2/22 at info@buckinghampondconservancy.org. 

Have an hour to help the pond?
We hope to find enough volunteers to flyer the neighborhood around the pond to make sure word gets out about the meeting. If you can help distribute flyers door to door, please let us know at
info@buckinghampondconservancy.org  Even an hour of your time would help!

What a wonderful Skating Party

What a wonderful time - 200+ people out enjoying the spectacular day today, topped off with an actual rainbow to mark the occasion. Wow.

If you had a great time today, thank these people when you see them -

  • Mark Bechard for arranging to food and permit paperwork and baking the oh so fabulous cupcakes
  • Felton McLaughlin for arranging the treat donations and HessExpress and Dunkin' Donuts for making those donations.
  • Marjorie Geiger for baking wonderful treats to share.
  • Those folks plus Marsha Penrose, Harry Ermides, Tara Caligure, and John Caplis for staffing the table and making everyone feel so welcome.
  • Eileen Gerrish for providing the stove and running out for more hot chocolate.
  • The City of Albany for co-sponsoring

The shoveling crew who rose to the occasion when the City had to focus on little things like shoveling the streets and couldn't plow the pond:

  • Jim Conroy,
  • Kevin Creagan,
  • Harry Ermides,
  • Joe Toome,
  • Shelly Justa,
  • Marion Waldeman, and
  • Melissa Baer, as well as
  • Madeline Conroy (teen division), and
  • Katie Myers & Isabella Waldeman (Youth Division) and
  • Dustin (I hope I got his name right) who gracefully acquiesced to my request to snowblow a path to connect his fab hockey rink to our skating track.

And also thank the spouses and children of all these people for loaning them to us for hours to make all this happen.
 

NEW DATE: Skating Party Sunday 2/10 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (NOT 2/3)

Thanks to this week's unseasonably warm weather, there is no ice on the pond, so no skating party on Sunday 2/3.      We're hoping that the cold forecast for the next week makes a Sunday 2/10 party feasible.  So put it on your calendar for Sunday 2/10 from 1 - 3 and check back here for an update late next week.
 
Sunday 2/10   Skating Party from 1 - 3.
Hot chocolate, hot dogs, and winter fun with friends and neighbors.
(Thanks to Dunkin' Donuts and HessExpress for their donations, and their willingness to postpone them for a week!)
 

Fall Clean Up Sunday 10/21 from 1 to 3, (Rain date 10/28)

Buckingham Pond Clean Up Day
Sunday October 21, 2012      1:00 – 3:00 PM
Meet at the parking lot
Rain Date Sunday 10/28.

Several projects are planned:

  • Garbage pickup through out the park
  • Installation of "storm drain medallions" on all catch basins that feed Buckingham Pond (see image below),
  • General gardening and trimming
  • Removal of invasive species Phragmites - some folks may start working on the phragmites project before 1:00.  If you'd like to participate in that, please contact us at info@buckinghampondcoservancy.org so we can get you connected with the phragmites team
     

Some tools and plenty of garbage and leaf bags will be available.  If you have tools of your own, please bring them.  We're hoping to trim some of the more unruly hedges back if you have tools to help with that, it would be much appreciated.  There is no electricity nearby.

.

Jack's Shed is OK

You may have noticed Jack & Carl's shed is gone.   Here's a picture of it on Thursday 9/27 as it was taken away.    Jack tells us this is really good news.  DGS will be giving him a new, bigger shed including electricity.   That's also great news for us, since we currently run many feet of extension cords - all the way from Lenox Ave - when we need power for events at the parking lot.

Ice Cream Social a Great Success.

A great time was had by all at the ice cream social on 9/9/2012.
About 250 people came together to learn about the pond, make music together and, of course, eat ice cream.

2nd Annual Ice Cream Social Set for Sunday 9/9 1 - 3

Sunday September 9 from 1 - 3 will be our Second Annual Ice Cream Social.

There will be *FREE* ice cream courtesy of the Stewart's Shop on New Scotland Avenue.

Plus:

  • Ruth Pelham of the wonderful Music Mobile will be working with kids and adults to create instruments, make music and build community.  We expect this to run from about 1 to 2:30.
     
  • We'll have a learn to fish clinic for kids hosted by Kristin Bonds, running all afternoon.  We have a few poles to share, but bring one if you have it.  Some of our poles were checked out from the Main Branch of the Albany Public Library. Did you know you coudl do that?
     
  • There will be guided nature walks of the pond throughout the afternoon led by wonderful local naturalists Sean & Jeena Madden.  Kids and Adults both welcome!  Please check in at the tables if you want to walk so we can get you connected.  Walks are tentatively scheduled at 1:15 and 2:30 so you can still enjoy the Music Mobile festivities if you like.
     
  • Albany's own turtle expert - Todd Hunsigner - will be there to answer questions about turtles native to the pond and other areas of NYS.
     
  • There will be a few perennials from our garden available for you to take home and incorporate into your garden.  Or bring some from your garden to share with neighbors.

And of course, time to enjoy this special place with your friends and neighbors.

Food, friends, and fun - who could ask for anything more?

We could use a few volunteers to work with Ruth, and we are also hoping to find a few people to pull some invasive species early that morning.  Get in touch if you can help out for an hour or so.  email us at info@buckinghampondconservancy.org

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