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Museum to present Finger Lakes success story

A Finger Lakes success story of lakes, land, people and wildlife will unfold before your eyes in “Back From the Brink: The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes,” the inaugural program of the Finger Lakes Museum.The programs will take attendees on a journey spanning 150 years as experts trace the history of Canadice and Hemlock lakes, the rescue of the Bald Eagle and the permanent protection of the lakes for all to enjoy.The series includes three programs, which will be presented June 4, 16 and 23 at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, on July 2, 14 and 28 at Keuka College and Aug. 6 and 18 and Sept. 1 at the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca. The series is open to the public and pre-registration is requested at www.fingerlakesmuseum.org or call 315-595-2200. Admission is free and donations are welcome.In addition, family-oriented outdoor events such as lake paddles, hiking and a plant and folklore walk also are being offered.John Adamski, chairman of the Museum, summarized the focus of the programs: “Learn how these two lakes evolved to become wild and undeveloped; how America’s bald eagle was saved from the brink of extinction, beginning at Hemlock Lake; and how inspiring community action, spanning more than a century, has protected both lakes, so they now offer visitors a glimpse of the past when all the Finger Lakes were wild.” In July 2010, the State of New York completed a landmark conservation agreement with the City of Rochester and the Nature Conservancy by purchasing Hemlock and Canadice Lakes and nearly 7,000 surrounding acres, creating the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest. These lakes, the last two undeveloped Finger Lakes, are now wild, evermore. “This was, without a doubt, the most important land acquisition project the state has undertaken outside of the Adirondack and Catskill Parks in more than a generation,” proclaimed Pete Grannis, then commissioner of the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation.The series will kick off with Part I, From the Brink of Extinction: The Bald Eagles of Hemlock and Canadice, at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 4, in the Eisenhart Auditorium at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607.State DEC eagle expert Mike Allen will relate one of North America’s most successful conservation stories, which began in the Finger Lakes. Allen will even have on hand at the program a magnificent rehabilitated bald eagle, Liberty.In 1965, the last remaining pair of bald eagles in the state built a nest in an 80-foot tree at the south end of Hemlock Lake. Tom Rauber, an amateur naturalist and utility lineman, discovered the nest and spent the next 27 years observing and photographing the eagles. He teamed up with Allen in the mid-1970s Allen will explain how the bald eagle population has grown to more than 200 nest territories statewide. The bald eagle, which is the chosen icon for the Finger Lakes Museum, is a sentinel or indicator species, sensitive to the living conditions in a particular habitat. Their presence is testimony to the pristine Hemlock-Canadice ecosystem. In Part II, Blue Blood to Blue Water: From Cottages, Hotels & Steamboats to Drinking Water for Rochester, Lima Town Historian Douglas Morgan will tell the story of early cottage life and the people who came to both Hemlock and Canadice Lakes for recreation and entertainment. Part II will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Eisenhart Auditorium in the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Morgan will utilize antique photographs from 1875 through 1945 as he relates tales of the local lake, Canadice, and the blueblood lake, Hemlock, where wealthy Rochesterians summered. At its peak in the 1890s, five hotels thrived on Hemlock Lake, and steamboats traveled back and forth to serve summer residents and tourists. In the mid-1800s, a deadly water-born cholera outbreak ravaged the City of Rochester. Unable to completely eradicate the disease from its cisterns and wells, the City looked south to Hemlock and Canadice Lakes for clean and reliable water. Lakes Go Wild: Permanent Protection of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes is the topic of Part III at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, in Eisenhart Auditorium at the Rochester Museum &Science Center.The story of how watershed protection in the area started in the 1890s and culminated in 2010 with the creation of the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest will be told by Jim Howe, executive director of the Central & Western NY Nature Conservancy; Don Root, former Hemlock-Canadice watershed conservationist; Steve Lewandowski of the Coalition for Hemlock and Canadice; and Paul D’Amato, regional director of the state DEC Region 8.A new hotel was proposed on Hemlock Lake in the late 1800s, which prompted the City of Rochester to begin acquiring properties to protect its water supply. By 1950, all shoreline property and 7,000 acres around the lakes were acquired. Hotels and cottages were removed, agricultural land was reforested and development was prohibited.By the 1980s, when Rochester was required to build a water treatment plant, it was feared the city no longer would need the protected lands. The public voiced support for keeping the lakes untouched, and a new coalition to preserve the lakes was born. After a century of community effort, these two lakes will remain the way they are – wild and undeveloped.Adamski urged people to “join us to hear one or all three of these stories. See the beauty of our lakes, landscapes, wildlife, and people through the lens of premier Finger Lakes photographers featured in each program and begin to imagine the future Finger Lakes Museum experience.”The three-part series will be repeated at Keuka College in Keuka Park and in Ithaca at the Finger Lakes Wine Center. The dates are as follows:Saturday, July 2, From the Brink of Extinction, 2 p.m., Lightner Library, Keuka College, 141 Central Ave., Keuka Park, NY 14478; Thursday July 14, Blue Blood to Blue Water, 7 p.m.; and Thursday, July 28, Lakes Go Wild, 7 p.m.Saturday, Aug. 6, From the Brink of Extinction, 2 p.m., Finger Lakes Wine Center, 237 South Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY 14850. Thursday, Aug. 18, Blue Blood to Blue Water, 7 p.m.; and Thursday, Sept. 1, Lakes Go Wild, 7 p.m.OUTDOOR PROGRAMS BRING FL MUSEUM SERIES TO LIFEThe Finger Lakes Museum’s series of programs on “Back From the Brink: The Story of Hemlock and Canadice Lakes” also includes outdoor events where people can live and breathe the stories they have heard.The schedule is as follows:Canadice & Hemlock Paddles – Naturalists and Finger Lakes Museum volunteers Angela Cannon-Crothers and Ramona Englebrecht will meet people on the shores of Canadice or Hemlock Lake for an introduction to kayaking with professional guides from local outfitters Pack Paddle Ski. The pristine beauty of these rare, undeveloped lakes will become evident as kayakers look for bald eagles, waterfowl, turtles and more. Also on tap is investigating old foundations of former cottages and on Canadice, a monastery.Dates are Sunday, June 26 (Canadice) and Saturday, Aug. 6 (Honeoye) at 10 a.m. The fee for this experience is $69 per person and reservations are required. The group limit is 12 people. People who have signed up will be contacted prior to the scheduled event with specific start locations and directions. Hike Rob’s Trail with the Nature Conservancy – The staff of the Nature Conservancy will lead a guided walk along Rob’s Trail. Completed in 2008, the trail was built to connect two undeveloped lakeshore properties between Hemlock and Canadice Lakes. Dates are Saturday, June 25, Saturday, July 16 and Saturday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m., starting at the parking lot off South Old Ball Hill Road. The fee is $12 per person and there is no group limit. Children 12 and under are free. Reservations are required.Nature Journaling at Keuka Lake State Park – Naturalist, writer and Finger Lakes Museum volunteer Angela Cannon-Crothers will teach people how to slow down and closely observe the natural world through words, writing, sketching, painting or mixed media. The journaling is for ages 8 and up and participants need to bring a blank journal, a sketch pad and pencils or watercolors and inks. The date is Saturday, July 9, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Keuka Lake State Park. The fee is $12 per person, the group limit is 15-20 and reservations are required.Invasive Species of the Finger Lakes – Environmental educator and Finger Lakes Museum volunteer Nicole Landers will take participants on a guided walk along the lakeshore area of Keuka or Hemlock Lakes highlighting the common invasive plant and animal species in and around the water. She will discuss how these species came to live here and how their presence may affect native species and ecological processes. Dates are Friday, July 8, and Friday, July 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Keuka Lake State Park Location: Hemlock Lake Park. The group limit is 30, the fee is $12 per person and reservations are required.Medicinal Plant and Folk Lore Walk – Herbalists Andrea and Matthias Reisen of Healing Spirits Farm in Avoca will teach fellow walkers about the historic use of native plants that still hold valuable lessons in health and well-being for all of us today. They also will talk about how the early settlers of this region and the Native people before them utilize our diverse plant life for healing and medicine?The date is Saturday, June 11, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Keuka Lake State Park. There is no group limit, the fee is $12 per person and reservations are required.

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