When: SUNDAY, JUNE 11th (Times & Events detailed below)
Where: Ellicott Creek Park CASINO (photo) – See Map, Click Here

Join your ADK FRIENDS for this NOT TO MISS annual event. Great for the whole family, new members and friends interested in ADK!


SET-UP starts at 11:30am…meet at the Casino
Helpers needed to set out snacks, cover tables, make coffee, sign-in guests, direct participants to various outings, organize pot-luck dishes, unload beverages and grill items…stay to socialize and play games, or go on an outing!
Please contact Dana, at 716-704-5597 and HIKENBIKE30@YAHOO.COM, to let her know you are coming to help.

12:00pm – BIKE – Ellicott Creek Park to Niagara Riverwalk bike trail (C) Kate Hacker (meet at the Casino). Ride will be 3 hours depending on the group preference. Mostly flat bike trails. Bring water and a snack/lunch. It’s mandatory to wear a helmet. Please have a bike in good condition, spare tube.

12:00pm – PADDLE on Ellicott Creek (C) Richard Schraven
Put-in location will depend on conditions, Richard Scraven. PFD mandatory, about 2 hour paddle.

2:00pm – Young Members FRISBEE GOLF (20-30 yr. olds)

Bring your own disks to play the course at the park. Meet at the Casino. Reach out if you have questions.
Deena (deena.mueller1@gmail.com).

1:30pm – NATURE Hike – (C) Lynn and Doug Kenney (meet at the Casino)
A leisurely walk inside the park with frequent stops to look at and identify wildflowers and trees. We invite you to bring your field guides to assist in identificaiton. Birders are also welcome. The hike will last about 1.5 hours.

3:30pm – WILDLIFE Presentation by “Wild Spirit” – Learn about the ecology of our area, owl anatomy, adaptations to flight and predator-prey relationships.

4:45pm – Water Balloon Toss – Grab a partner and see how long you last!

Bring your favorite salad, dessert or appetizer to share. Your Club provides grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage and veggie burgers along with rolls and condiments, soft drinks, water, coffee and tea. A limited amount of paper products will also be available, but to help reduce waste, please bring your own place setting. You may also want to bring a folding chair and your favorite yard game.

6:30 – Meeting and Elections

Five unopposed elections:
• Paul Gannon – Chapter Chair
• Mary Schraven – another term as Outings Co-chair
• Rob Laing – another term as Director
• Cheryl Peluso and Kate Hacker – another term each as Alternate Directors

Presentation of “Conservationist of the Year” Award to Diana Strablow

Looking Back to Guardian Angels of the Outdoors
What a way to kick off the summer season with our chapter learning all about the Niagara Frontier Search and Rescue Team who keep our community safe. The wide range of abilities and the hard work of putting in the extensive hours of training to become a qualified team member was impressive. This crew helps rescue in every situation! The multiple examples of hikers being lost in the dark, water rescues, and extracting folks out of difficult terrain in all types of weather qualifies them for guardian angel status. Look for their educational workshops to keep everyone educated about the outdoors!

Message From the Chair, Janet Kowalski 

Fishing is a year-round passion in the Adirondacks, whether using a lure, fly or good old worms. With over 3000 fresh water lakes, rivers, streams and ponds, Adirondack Park is teeming with aquatic life. The Park has fantastic fresh-water fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, perch, walleye, northern pike, trout and more. However, anglers should be aware that mercury contamination is a problem and tends to be high in older, larger fish where mercury has become concentrated. With few exceptions, the NY Dept of Health recommends that children under 15 and women under 50 consume no fish caught in the Adirondack Park. For other age groups, most fish can be safely consumed 1-4 times per month. For more information see health.ny.gov.

As prevailing winds carry airborne mercury from Midwestern coal power plants, it falls on the Adirondacks in rain and snow, poisoning the fish. Bacteria convert mercury to methyl-mercury, which is easily absorbed by living things. This toxic form of mercury concentrates as it moves up the food chain to bigger fish, and can cause brain damage in fetuses and children. Nature enthusiasts need to remain diligent, calling for elimination of mercury air pollution, and encouraging corporations to balance public health and economic prosperity.

As science writer Rachel Carson wisely warned, “Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”

Happy Trails!
Janet Kowalski

Calling All Young Members!

The Young Members subgroup of the Niagara Frontier chapter is looking forward to another great year of events specially designed for members in their 20s and 30s. The goal of the Young Members subgroup is to promote greater participation and membership of young members through special events for them and communications from me, the Young Members Coordinator. My name is Deena Mueller and I recently joined the Niagara Frontier chapter. In the next few months, I will be reaching out to young members by email and facebook to inform you of events and seek your input on what events you want the Young Members subgroup to organize. Until then, you can email at deena.mueller1@gmail.com about your suggestions and to let me know that you’d like to be a part of the Young Members group. Cheers! – Deena Mueller

Slate of Candidates from the Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee presents the following candidates to be elected or re-elected at the Annual Meeting on June 11, as stipulated by the ADK-NFC Bylaws.
• CHAIR: Paul Gannon

Mary is being nominated for a 2nd term beginning in September 2017. Rob, Cheryl and Kate are being nominated for 2nd terms starting in January 2018.
Many thanks to Teresa Corrigan and the Nominating Committee for determining our Slate of Candidates.

ADK members have a smorgasbord of outings to choose from, including year-round local outings, and an enticing variety of challenging trips to Adirondack Park. Members can also travel around the world with the ADK Adventure Travel Program, and spend fun-filled days with like- minded ADK members at some of the most exciting destinations on the planet. Qualified ADK Adventure Travel Leaders offer knowledge, experience, and helpful advice to insure these are Trips of a Lifetime.

The newest ADK Adventure Trips include Hut-to-Hut Backpacking in Norway, Hiking Alaska’s Denali National Park, Cycling throughout Germany’s Wine Country, and Hiking in Finland’s National Parks. Look for details in the Adirondac July/August issue, or on the adk.org website.

ADK-NFC Member Paul Gannon recalls a recent ADK Adventure Travel trip to the Canadian Rockies: “Do you love the outdoors? Enjoy our local club trips? Consider taking part in ADK Adventure Travel. Every edition of Adirondac lists club- sponsored trips around the world. I have attended three of them so far, most recently one to the Canadian Rockies last fall. Based out of the Lake Louis Inn, every day we drove to a different trail head in Banff National Park for a wonderful day hike in the spectacular Canadian Rockies. I enjoyed the company of fellow ADK members, who are some of the best people I know. It was literally a life-changing experience for me. Next spring, I will take a float trip through the desert canyons of Utah along the San Juan River. There are still openings. Maybe you will join me. See you out there!”

Conservation Committee Update

On May 13, the Conservation Committee held its annual cleanup of the Tillman Wildlife Area in Clarence. Eight members (Lynn Kenney, Janet Kowalski, Mary and Richard Schraven, Kevin and Elizabeth Bolt, Jay Wopperer and Linda Schmieder) picked up 5 big bags of garbage and 2 tires. The weather held out allowing the group to enjoy being outdoors with nature. ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter has been cleaning this area for years every spring.

The Conservation Committee is finalizing plans to conduct another Conservation Conversation. This year’s program, scheduled for September 16 at Daemen College, will focus on mitigating the effect of climate change. Our speakers will discuss unique initiatives that are currently being implemented or being researched to lessen the impact of climate change. Mark your calendars for this exciting event. More information will be included in future newsletters. Members who would like to be involved in this event, please let Lynn Kenney know.

Jay Wopperer

Here’s a fun way to display the wonderful opportunities offered by ADK!

To enlarge the image, click here.

ADK-NFC Meeting Cancellation Policy
The Executive Committee approved a new policy coordinate the decision to cancel the Monthly General Meetings with the Amherst Central School Closings. Since the Amherst Community Church property abuts Amherst High School, the winter weather conditions that warrant school closings will also dictate our General Meetings. When Amherst Schools or After School Activities are cancelled on the day of our ADK meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, then our monthly general meeting will be cancelled. Cancellation news will be reinforced with emails and Facebook postings.

ADK-NFC Bylaws Changes
Minor modifications to our chapter bylaws will be voted on for approval by membership at our Annual Picnic/meeting on June 11.

  • Chair/Vice-chair terms: “The Chair and Vice Chairs may be reelected for one 2-year term and can later be reelected after at least a 1-year vacancy”
  • Addition of Appointed Position: “Historian: Assembles and safely stores hard copies of ADK-NFC Newsletters, Annual History Reports, and other important documents in order to provide a historical chapter record and reference library to support future ADK operations.”

Advocacy Updates
Consistent with the ADK mission to protect the Waterways of New York State, the ADK-NFC Executive Committee has voted to support the following endeavors:

  • Our Outer Harbor (OOH): We joined the OOH Coalition, a group of WNY advocacy groups dedicated to preserving the public trust on Buffalo’s waterfront. Any development of the public properties in the Outer Harbor must benefit the wider public, be water dependent, and support the unique natural character of the Outer Harbor.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: ADK signed a letter circulated by HOW (Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition) urging the federal government to not cut funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program that has helped to remove water pollution and harmful algae from the Lakes.
  • Northern Access Pipeline: ADK supports the DEC decision to stop the natural gas pipeline proposed to transport natural gas from PA to Canada, which would intersect and threaten over a hundred waterways and wetlands that marble the WNY landscape.


I attended the Adirondack Mountain Club annual meeting and quarterly Directors meeting in Lake George on April 1. There are typically up to 50 people attending these meetings, including chapter Directors, club officers, club staff and committee chairs. This meeting also included a Directors roundtable, which I’ll mention later, but in total we spent over 6 hours discussing past performance, current status and future direction of the club. The annual meeting reviewed the financial performance of the club for 2016 – in summary 2016 was a solid year: operating surplus, increasing revenues, increased donations and increasing membership. Not spectacular performance, but solid performance.

2016 also saw the start of a major reconstruction project at the Heart Lake property. ADK received a 3:1 matching grant from NYS to improve the High Peaks Information Center and the surrounding facilities and campground. The HPIC was closed late in October 2016 and reopened in February of this year. The interior was completely gutted and rebuilt. A new well was also dug in the fall. Exterior finishing will commence once the weather indicates winter is over. The next steps will be construction of a new washhouse, concession area, new septic and new campground loop. The existing washhouse will be renovated as well, however that will not happen until the end of the project. Over 600 hours of volunteer effort went into the reconstruction of the HPIC with some local chapter members participating.

An ongoing concern has been increased use (overuse?) of the Eastern High Peaks region. With the increased use have come parking and traffic issues, waste disposal issues and backcountry abuse. The effort to address this started last year and will continue this year. This is a complicated issue and if anyone wants to discuss in more detail please contact me, but to summarize: discussions are ongoing with the State DOT regarding traffic and parking, education efforts are ongoing to address waste disposal and LNT efforts in the backcountry, and discussions are ongoing with the DEC about reopening the UMP for the Eastern High Peaks region.

Some conservation issues that ADK will take a public stance on include:
• Opposition to the NYS proposal of dining and lodging facilities on the forest preserve.
• Opposition to the NYS proposal of a hotel on Goat Island
• Opposition to the 2018/2019 NYS Constitutional Convention
• Support for including an amendment to the NYS Constitution for an Environmental Bill of Rights.

Finally, we started the day with a Directors Roundtable. An effort is being made to assist less active club chapters to increase local participation: whether that means increasing local chapter outings or having an increased voice on local conservation issues is up to each individual chapter to decide where to focus. We are lucky in the Niagara Frontier Chapter that we have an active chapter with many dedicated volunteers. Other chapters around the state are not as lucky and we, as Directors, are attempting to share ideas on what makes our chapter successful. This is something that will precede each Directors meeting for the foreseeable future until we run out of ideas to talk about.
As always, if anyone would like more information on any topic please don’t hesitate to contact me at rlaing537@gmail.com.

Special Message from the Chair, Janet Kowalski:
Gerry Rising Pens New Essay for ADK Chapter Visit
At our monthly meeting on January 10, Gerry Rising, ADK member and former Buffalo News ‘Nature Watch’ Columnist, honored us with an evening to remember, as we listened attentively to Gerry read personal essays from his new book titled “Birds and Birdwatchers”. Inspired by this special occasion with ADK friends, 46-er Gerry shared a newly-composed essay with the group describing unforgettable personal tales of some of his High Peaks adventures. He graciously agreed to share his new essay with our chapter. Click here to view Gerry’s essay, “Two Climbs.”

We are delighted to introduce 2 new young members of our Executive Committee!

  • MARY KATHRYN NOACK, Electronics Communications Chair – Mary Kathryn loves the Adirondacks and is an avid explorer of the Adirondack Region. A SUNY at Buffalo graduate with a degree in Communications, Mary Kathryn has extensive management and technology experience with numerous projects affiliated with UB. In addition, Mary Kathryn volunteers at the DEC Nature Preserve at Reinstein Woods, and is very knowledgeable about Beavers! Mary Kathryn’s sweet personality and cheerful spirit are wonderful additions to our group.
  • DEENA MUELLER, Young Members Coordinator – Deena is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys all winter sports in addition to hiking, paddling and mountain climbing! Originally from Chicago, Deena is an attorney and has lived in WNY for about 4 years. Deena has enthusiastically embraced the Young Member Chair position, reaching out to members in their 20s and 30s for both local and Adirondack adventures, starting with a Vertical Climbing outing on Saturday April 8. Deena’s dedication and eager enthusiasm are fantastic additions to our Board.

Join the ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter!
Click here to visit the ADK website. Select a Membership Type and Number of Years. Under Chapter, select Niagara Frontier.

Affiliate Membership of the Niagara Frontier Chapter:
We welcome ADK members of other Chapters to become Affiliate Members of the Niagara Frontier Chapter! Affiliate Members receive our monthly newsletter and may attend our chapter outings and events. Annual dues are $5. Contact the ADK Membership office to arrange Affiliate Membership: (518) 668-4447 or laurie@adk.org

ADK 46er Update: EIGHTY-ONE members in our chapter have accomplished this impressive goal since our formation in 1971. To add your name, send it to Cheryl Peluso, cherylp17@verizon.net, or call Kate Hacker at 688-8618. If you don’t have a number because you didn’t register we can still add you to our 46er list.

Many Niagara ADK members are currently working towards this objective. 46er Lynn Kenney is the keeper of our chapter’s official 46er banner, an impressive prop to display from the summit of your 46th peak. Please contact Lynn if your completion is imminent, to borrow the banner and properly photo your achievement! (Lynn Kenney: woodthrush3@hotmail.com).

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Conservation, Advocacy, Recreation, Education and Stewardship