We had a really fun Flag Day event at Sebago yesterday, with veterans and their families spending the day with us. This was a joint production of Sebago Canoe Club, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Jamaica Bay unit of the National Park Service's Gateway Recreation Area, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Sebago ran paddles for everyone who wanted to come out on the water (at one point I actually ended up as the bowman in one of our nice old 1930's "war canoes", great big boats that are excellent for taking out families with younger kids) and of course hosted the event at the club in Canarsie; the other organizations provided lunch and various on-land activities, including this very cool "Ecology Village" display that was run by the National Park Service rangers.
This is something they usually do for school and scouting groups that come camping at Floyd Bennett Field and it was really well done; they bring laminated information cards to read but the real stars of the show are the various critters that they actually go out and catch right there at the venue at which they are presenting. They bring a seine net and hip waders and a couple of other sampling devices, plus various little tanks and bubblers and a whole bunch of viewing devices. Our bit of waterfront wasn't seine-friendly but they were still able to catch a good selection of small animals to display for the day using their other collection contraptions right off of our dock -- they said they particularly like crabs and shrimp for the table because they're much tougher than fish and, when held aerated tanks kept in the shade, will usually survive to be released at the end of the day, and they got plenty of those! I for one was very impressed at the amount and variety of small animals that are living right here at our dock..