Breaking New Trail, Cooped up Kids, Nature Journaling, Nature Preschool, Cathy McComish, Porcupines
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["Sullivan County"]
June          Uncharted Territory       Issue 45
Breaking New Trail
Exploring the unknown can be exciting and fun! You never know what awaits when you wander off the path into the untamed forest. This is exactly what Sullivan County Natural Resources staff have been doing for the past month as they break new trail on County Lands. They have stumbled across vernal pools, historic cellar holes, and wildflower patches, discovered mountain views and unique natural areas. 
Two new hiking trails are in the works. One that starts at the County Farm trailhead and follows the Unity Mountain Trail before breaking off into the woods. It leads to the top of Glidden Hill and follows the ridge a ways through an oak pine forest, before descending into northern hardwood forest and onto Quimby Rd, which takes the hiker back to the start making this a 2.2 mile loop trail. The Glidden Ridge Trail has been marked with yellow blazes. Trail signs and maps are in the works. The other will begin near the Marshall Pond Trailhead and leads hikers into the midst of a mature Spruce-fir forest community, around a spaghnum wetland and back. We are just determining where this trail will go.
These trails will be ready for use soon! Our new field technician, Cathy McComish, will be working on them this summer and fall. We encourage you to get outside and get off trail to explore, but do so responsibly - we don't want anyone going out unprepared and getting lost! Also, please follow social distancing guidelines from the CDC. 
Local Resources for Place-based Education
More Resources for Outdoor Learning
Get Outside and Learn - Check out our posts each weekday on the SCCD Facebook page that encourage everyone to Get Outside and Learn for 10-15 minutes each day.
Inside Outside- "Moving Nature-Based Education Up Through the Grades" Zoom meeting recording and notes.
Cooped Up Kids - Looking for awesome resources that encourage exploration and learning during these days of distance learning? Access eight weeks of exciting adventures that explore the wonderful world of birds with Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.
How to Teach Nature Journaling is the comprehensive guide for educators, parents and those who wish to mentor others to develop journaling skills.The second edition of the acclaimed curriculum, Opening the World through Journaling is also available as a free download.
Harris Center Go Wild - ideas for activities that kids can do as a break from screen-based remote learning. Updated regularly.
Maine Environmental Educators Association (MEEA) came up with this great list of activities. 
Antioch In Bloom Webinars
In Bloom Webinars are geared to preschool through third grade students and teachers.
Nature Preschool in the Urban Wild: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest
Saturday, June 13th, 1:00-2:30pm
Kit Harrington, Founder & Former Director, Fiddleheads Forest School, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Kit will reflect on her pioneering work at the Fiddleheads Forest School, sharing the story of how socially and culturally responsive outdoor preschool programming came to shape a regional movement for nature-based education. She will discuss the opportunities and challenges of providing a quality early childhood program in a public park setting, focusing on the importance of community and place-based education in outdoor classrooms. Kit will provide a framework upon which teachers and administrators can build.
Register Today
Where will the Sullivan County Educators be this Month?
Our educators will be out in the field maintaining and creating new trails, improving the forest classroom and schoolyards, gardening, and continuing communications with those we serve! 
Meet our New Field Technician
Cathy McComish is part of the team!
Cathy McComish is our new Field Technician! She is a life long resident of New Hampshire and currently lives in Henniker. She is an avid outdoors woman and has been hunting since she was 12 years old. Her hound mix, Gomer Pyle, who has been trained on upland game birds and hare, goes with her. Besides hunting, Cathy's hobbies include horseback riding, hiking and gardening.

Cathy recently Graduated from New England College in Henniker New Hampshire with her bachelor’s degree in biology. She previously worked as a Veterinary technician and as a Park Ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Hopkinton, NH. While there she created and taught Junior Ranger programs, maintained multi-use trails, and restructured their bluebird monitoring program.

She will be out in the field this summer maintaining Unity Mountain Trail, constructing and marking new trails, marking natural area boundaries, removing invasive species, and all manner of other jobs. Cathy will be coordinating the Public Cidery this fall. We are excited to work with her this year. Please help us welcome Cathy to Sullivan County!
Naturalist Notes
Off the Beaten Path
Nature detectives use all sorts of clues to figure out the story of what's going on with the animals in the woods. A month or so ago, I was exploring my backyard more in-depth, climbing over rocks and such, when my friend noticed a huge pile of scat.
Scat is the scientific word for animal poop. And you can tell a lot about an animal by investigating its scat. The scat we saw looked like it was from an herbivore, because it looked like bits of sawdust. When we looked a little closer, we also saw many 2" long quills.
So we started to look for a porcupine, the only thing we knew that had quills. We never found the animal, but we did find more signs... Hemlock branches bit off near the end all over the ground, more scat and quills in other rock crevices, some hair, and a well-trodden path. We think the porcupine was using the rock pile as a den.
I encourage you to be a nature detective too! Look for all the signs and clues that an animal has been around and try to figure out what happened or who left those clues. Make sure not to touch any scat with your hand or to get your face too close to it. It's not good to breathe in scat dust!
Scat Investigators
Dawn Dextraze
Education and Outreach Specialist
Sullivan County Natural Resources and Conservation District
95 County Farm Rd.
Unity, NH 03743
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