Virtual Hikes and Lessons from the Field

Virtual Hikes and Lessons from the Field

MHLC has reached out to partners, hike leaders, and Preserve Stewards to create a series of virtual experiences to keep you connected to nature. 

Relax and enjoy!


Story & Mini Hike at Mosher Marsh 
Anita Sanchez, Preserve Steward

Watch this video of Anita Sanchez reading her children’s book Leaflets Three Let It Be followed by a short hike at Mosher Marsh!


Discover Winter Tracks
Sarah Walsh, MHLC Conservation Director 

Winter is a great season to find animal tracks! Take a walk with MHLC Conservation Director Sarah Walsh and learn how to identify a few common tracks you might find in the snow. 

Ready for more tracking? Check out Part 2!

Answer to our “Guess these tracks” post: Grouse

The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook
Jean Mackay, Artist, Educator, and Author

Did you miss our Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook event? No problem! Grab a pencil and sketchbook and get creative with local artist Jean Mackay in this recording from our event. 

Jean’s book is geared for kids 10+ and aims to helps them look more closely at nature and capture what they discover. Click here to get your copy of The Nature Explorer’s Sketchbook – For The Art Of Your Discoveries.

Melt your stress away with guided forest therapy!
Diane Kavanaugh-Black, Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide

Diane on the winter trails. Photo by Carole Fults.

In May of 2016, Diane began a six-month certification process as a Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, through the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Her practice of deep nature connection comes out of the healing she has found in spending quiet observant time in the woods and mountains of New York State as well as discovering the natural world in her urban environment.

Last fall, Diane led a Forest Therapy walk at MHLC’s Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve. The event was such a success, that we asked Diane to join us again this year! We invite you to relax and enjoy the benefits of guided forest therapy at the Forest Bathing event at Holt Preserve on September 12. Register today for this free session!

Below are two short audio recordings Diane created for us, one for outdoors and one for inside. Be sure to check out Diane’s photo & nature essays blog for additional content!

Find a Tree Outside (Use your phone to take this one outside with you!) 

Inside Sit Spot Invite 
(All you need is a window!)

© Diane Kavanaugh-Black, 2020.  This content may not be reproduced without the permission of the author.


Bennett Hill Birches: A  watercolor painting lesson
Kevin Kuhne, Artist

Kevin is an award-winning watercolorist who has shown both locally and nationally. He loves depicting local urban scenes. Kevin is a signature member of the North East Watercolor Society (NEWS).

Kevin has partnered with MHLC to offer Plein Air Painting hikes on MHLC Preserves. He will join us again in the fall for another lesson at the Van Dyke Preserve. You can register today on the events page!

Learn how to paint the Bennett Hill Birches in this virtual painting lesson

Be sure to visit the Albany Artist Group website for some great inspiration!

Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve’s Disappearing Brook

Jeff Leon, Preserve Steward

As the weather warms, emerging spring plants paint the landscape with the season’s first strokes of color. The marsh marigolds growing along the “Disappearing Brook” in Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve will be in bloom soon! Jeff, the Preserve Steward of the beautiful Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve in the town of Amsterdam, has shared this video clip that points out the soon-to-bloom marsh marigolds. (If you want to see the blooms in-person, plan your trip before the end of April!)


Welcome to Mosher Marsh 

Anita Sanchez, Preserve Steward

What is Preserve Steward Anita Sanchez’s favorite aspect of volunteering for MHLC? It’s a reminder of how important it is to spend part of each day outdoors! Take a peek at Mosher Marsh in this video clip Anita filmed. You can get to know Anita by reading this MHLC blog post!

An Earth Day Activity for Kids

Michelle, Bethlehem Public Library

Our Earth Day Explorations with Bethlehem Public Library was postponed, but Michelle has shared this video to show you a really neat craft that you can do today! All you need is paper, crayons or chalk, and a belt or something to hold your paper to the tree. We’d love to see your artwork–send it to!

Check out the library’s website for virtual storytimes, excursions, and more.

Spring Plant Identification at the Bozen Kill Preserve
Laurie Swift, Preserve Steward

Take a walk through the Bozen Kill Preserve with our Preserve Steward Laurie Swift! In this video, Laurie points out the many common plants that bloom early in the spring. These ephermal blooms will be gone before summer–head out soon to see them at the preserves.

Welcome to Ashford Glen Preserve
Lois and Don Porter, Preserve Stewards

Take a walk through the Ashford Glen Preserve! Preserve Steward Lois Porter points out a few species of trees and spring wildflowers growing along the creek at the preserve. Surrounded by towering trees, the calming sound of the flowing creek is the perfect way to unwind with nature!


On the Lookout for Pollinators!
Katie Hietala-Henschell, Xerces Society

Bombus impatiens

Springtime means the return of our favorite pollinators–bees! Katie, an Endangered Species Conservation Biologist with the Xerces Society,  shares some great knowledge about bees in the audio recording below.

Katie’s work at Xerces primarily focuses on the conservation and management of at-risk invertebrate species. Katie also has experience working with pollinators on transmission line right-of-ways and restored habitats. Prior to joining the Xerces Society, she worked with invasive insects and pollinators in agricultural systems and beneficial insects in biofuel crops and native ecosystems.

Katie Hietala-Henschell

Listen to Katie’s audio recording below!

Join Katie at Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve for MHLC’s Bumbles & Native Pollinators Hike on August 22nd. Register today to reserve your spot! 

Additional resources:
Xerces webinar series
Bumble Bee Watch– a citizen science project

© Katie Hietala-Henschell, 2020.  This content may not be reproduced without the permission of the author.

Noticing in Nature
Dave Muska, Ondatra Adventures

Join Dave Muska for a “sit spot” in your favorite nature place! A sit spot is the simple practice of regularly going outdoors to sit and quietly observe the nature around you. Whether you are in your backyard or an MHLC Preserve, sit spots are a great way to unplug and connect with nature. You can find Dave’s daily sit spot series on Ondatra Adventure’s Facebook and Instagram page.

Take a hike with Dave! MHLC has partnered with Ondatra Adventures to offer another series of hikes this year. Visit the MHLC Events web page to register! 

Stone Pendants  & Necklaces
Dave Muska, Ondatra Adventures

Our Wilderness Crafts class was so much fun, we thought we’d share this with everyone! In this video, Dave Muska shows how to make a stone pendant using a hand-built drill. He also gives a demonstration on making your own cord from natural fibers.

Check back soon for more virtual hikes and lessons from the field!

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