This winter the Equinox Preservation Trust (EPT) in Manchester is again hosting a series of workshops and hikes focusing on the natural history of the Equinox Highlands and southwestern Vermont.
All programs are FREE and open to the public; some may require pre-registration. For more information on the events listed below, please contact Rick LaDue, Equinox Preserve Forest and Trails Steward, at 366-1400 or via e-mail at rick(at)equinoxpreservationtrust.org.
**Canine Search and Rescue: 10 AM to noon, Saturday, January 25, 2014
Each year thousands of hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts head to the forests and mountains of southern Vermont. What happens when accidents and/or poor planning create a search and rescue situation?
This presentation by New England K-9 Search and Rescue will outline the steps in initiating and conducting a search with trained dogs. Learn about the many hours of training and practice necessary to field a qualified canine search and rescue team as well as what you can do to prepare for a trip into the mountains.
At the conclusion of the indoor program, join us for a short search demo with the dogs.
**Owls of Vermont: 7 PM, Friday, February 21, 2014
Join Mike Clough of the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum for this interactive presentation featuring live owls and owl artifacts! Learn about the diets, adaptations and behavior of several native owl species, including Barred, Saw-whet and Screech owls and enjoy the opportunity to see them up close.
At the conclusion of the indoor program, join us for a short visit to the Equinox Preserve to listen and call for owls.
Co-sponsored by The Vermont Bird Place and Sky Watch
**Mt Equinox Landslide Adventure: 9 AM, Saturday March 15, 2014
Explore the fascinating landscape of the upper slopes of Mt Equinox on this day-long hike with Preserve Steward Rick LaDue. Visit the site of the June 2000 landslide then hike further up the mountain to visit a much older slide known as the “Devil’s Wagon Rd”. Our route will take us through a stand of ‘old growth’ where you will see first-hand forest that has never been touched by axe or saw.
This is a very strenuous day-long hike! Space is limited to 15 hikers and pre-registration is required.
**Mt Equinox and the Threat of Acid Rain: 10 AM to 12:30 PM, Saturday April 19, 2014
Decades of acid rain have resulted in the acidification of forest soils across the Northern Forest region, causing depletion of calcium (Ca) an essential nutrient for nearly all forest organisms. A wide range of forest taxa, including plants, snails, amphibians, soil arthropods and songbirds may be threatened by loss of Ca from acidified ecosystems.
Join PhD candidate Cheryl Bondi from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry for this interactive program outlining the research she has conducted on the Equinox Preserve to measure the impact of acid precipitation. An indoor lecture will be followed by a field trip to the Preserve to look for the snails and salamanders that were part of this study.