The community is invited to join Friend of the Great Swamp for a weekend celebrating the amazing beauty, incalculable value and prominent benefits of the Great Swamp, during its 27th annual Celebration of the Great Swamp on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 22 at Christ Church on Quaker Hill, 17 Church Road, Pawling. Fun for the whole family will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is free.
The event will feature educational exhibits as well as many hands-on activities for children, who will receive a game pack booklet and a “Passport to Fun” to document their travels throughout the celebration.
Activities will include Master Falconer Jim Eyring’s popular Birds of Prey demonstration both days. Exhibits include a hands-on watershed demonstration table, live swamp animals, a macro-invertebrate display (insects, worms, crayfish), a clay animal sculpting table and a matching animal-to-habitat game. A drawing for a kayak raffle and other prizes will occur Sunday afternoon.
The highlight of the annual celebration is a juried art show and sale. Last year, the show featured more than 60 artists with more than 100 works of painting, drawing, collage and photography competing for cash prizes. It has been considered to be the finest autumn show of painting, plein air work, collage, textile art and photography in the lower Hudson Valley.
Colorful and inventive interpretations of the plants and animals of the Great Swamp created by students from local schools will enliven the show. There will also be a vendor section with local arts and crafts for sale, including pottery, silk and woven scarves, and jewelry.
The Great Swamp is a 6,000-acre wetland stretching 20 miles through the eastern edge of the Hudson Highlands, from Dover in Dutchess County to Brewster in Putnam County. Although one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the state and called one of New York’s “last great places,” it remains mostly unknown to people who live beyond the watershed’s borders.
FrOGS hosts the annual celebration to bring attention to the value of the Great Swamp and to encourage its conservation as a source of clean water, a site for recreation and a home for diverse and rare wildlife.
The annual celebration is FrOGS’ major fundraising event of the year. Money raised will be used to further educational efforts, produce newsletters, undertake water quality testing, monitor rare species and promote and protect the Great Swamp. For more information on FrOGS, a schedule of events for the 27th annual Celebration of the Great Swamp, or other upcoming events such as hikes and paddles, visit www.frogs-ny.org.