The College/Environmental Studies 220 classes, taught by Onno Oerlemans and Robin Kinnel, made their annual trek into the Adirondacks on Sept. 24 - 25 to see firsthand some of what they’ve been studying and to experience some of the beauty of the area.
The first stop was Mountain House, where the Adirondack Semester program is housed, for a hike up Little Crow and lunch. This was followed by a short jaunt to the Sugarhouse Creamery, where the group heard from co-owner Margot Brooks about being a small dairy marketing raw milk and cheese. Brooks was clear about the joys and challenges, as well as the economic and personal realities that are involved in what they have chosen to do.
The classes next took the short drive up Whiteface Memorial Highway and hiked to the summit. The day was clear and they could see Montreal. Their next stop for an overnight was a Camp Wenonah, where, in the absence of alumnus Jim Schoff and his wife Anne, they were hosted by Brittany Christenson, who is head of the relatively new environmental group, Adirondack Action (AdkAction), along with associates Dave Wulff and Lee Keet.
After dinner, the classes heard about some of their current projects—expanding broadband in the Park, curbing the excessive use of salt during the winters and their Monarch butterfly project. Thehy enjoyed some recreational activities too—several people did some swimming, canoeing or kayaking. Sunday involved only two stops; the first, at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was highlighted by DOH (Depth of House) tours of the green technology that led to the LEED certification of the museum. A mad dash to Long Lake to restock groceries for lunch and to gas up enabled us to get to Brandreth Park, special to Hamilton, since former geology professor Don Potter spent much of his youth there. The property, now owned by a large number of families, was one of the original pieces of land sold to individuals and has been in the Brandreth/Potter family since 1851. This was the first time that the Adirondack class has been able to visit Brandreth; visiting the trophy room and hearing from the forester, Steve Bick (along with lunch) made the bumpy ride in worthwhile.