April: Time to Celebrate the Great Outdoors with Agriculture, Wildlife, Woodsmen and a Touch of Maple Sugar

by Julia Puciato    

photo by Jennifer Schorf

It’s spring, and in upstate New York that means it is time again to enjoy the great outdoors.  SUNY Cobleskill is leading the charge by hosting the Great Outdoors Celebration the weekend of April 25th and 26th in conjunction with the 49th Annual Maple Festival and the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Northeast Collegiate Competition Qualifier. The 2nd Annual SUNY Cobleskill Ag Fair will be one of the main features at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds, as well, on Saturday from 10 am–4 pm., with agricultural demonstrations and displays, animals and farmers. The 19th Annual Fish & Wildlife Festival and Earth Day Celebration is slated to take place 10 am – 4pm Saturday in the Village Park.  Shuttle service between the park and the Fairgrounds is available.

The Northeast Collegiate Qualifier, sponsored by STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS®, will be held Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds. The STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series gathers the world’s top lumberjack athletes to compete in the Original Extreme Sport. The Series is seen by more than 20 million viewers annually in over 62 countries around the world on networks like Eurosport, The Outdoor Channel and the ESPN networks, where it is now recognized as the second longest running show behind only ‘SportsCenter’.

The Woodsmen Collegiate Spring meet will also take place at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds, Friday from 1 – 6pm and Saturday 8 am-2pm. The colleges will select one athlete from their school to participate in four disciplines: standing block, underhand chop, single buck and stock saw.

Linda Serdy, Advisor of The Woodsmen Club, is very proud of the SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen Team. She describes the club as being made up of students from a variety of majors who get together 5-6 times a week to practice for competitions all over the northeast such as ESF, Paul Smith, and UCONN to name a few.

“I think of them as the Sandlot Kids, because they have to earn their monies for their equipment and travel expenses, as well as get college support from the Student Government Association. Without that we wouldn’t be able to compete,” Serdy explained. “Last weekend our Woman’s One team won first place at ESF, and this was a large accomplishment in a sport that has been increasingly gathering momentum,” she proudly added.  For more information on the Woodsmen Club or Woodsmen events, contact Serdy at SerdyML@Cobleskill.edu or 518-255-5598.

A‌ccording to Kevin Berner, Professor of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Science, the Fish & Wildlife Festival will feature a variety of live birds and reptiles. There will also be many displays of student activities related to both field classes and student chapters of the Wildlife Society, American Fisheries Society, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and the National Wildlife Turkey Federation. A youth fish derby will be held in the pond in the park. All events and presentations are free, and food prepared by students will be available for purchase to support student trips. For more information regarding The Fish and Wildlife Festival, contact Berner at BERNERKL@cobleskill.edu or 518-255-5252.

In addition to the demonstrations and exhibitions in the Village Park and Fairgrounds, individuals are encouraged to join in on activities that include an “Amazing Race” on the Cobleskill Creek Trail sponsored by Girl Scout Troop 2345 and an Earth Day Celebration and Village Clean-Up event.

“April 26 is going to be a great day in the Village of Cobleskill,” says Jason Evans, Professor of Agricultural Business Management, and organizer of the Ag Fair. “The longstanding Maple and Fish & Wildlife events will be joined by so many other great events that students and faculty at SUNY Cobleskill have worked diligently to organize. It will be a welcome celebration of the ‘Great Outdoors’ after a less-than-friendly winter and an opportunity for us all to reconnect with our community roots in agriculture and natural amenities.”