Upcoming Events in Middletown

Swarmageddon: Northeast braces for 17-year cicadas

Photo by Dan Century of cicadamania.com. Published under Creative Commons license.

Brood II: It sounds like a low-budget horror movie. But it's real, and it's poised to engulf the East Coast from Georgia to Connecticut, an onslaught of giant bugs that have lain dormant underground for the last 17 years.

The periodical cicada is the Methuselah of insects, spending long years underground in larval form before emerging en masse in tremendous numbers. Groups of 13-year or 17-year periodical cicadas that emerge together are known as 'broods,' and New York State is home to several of them, along with several species of annual cicadas that emerge every year. The last mass cicada emergence in New York, of the 17-year Brood XIV, happened in 2008.   Read more

Get those seeds in the ground: Garden projects across the Catskills

Above: We're giving away these seeds and a gift membership to the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Details for how to get them at the bottom of this post. 

The sun is shining, the birds are signing, and gardeners across the Catskills are itching to get their fingers in the dirt. 

Want to know where you can get your knees dirty this spring? We're tracking public garden events and projects across the Catskills. Help us list them all by posting a comment on this post via Facebook or by emailing [email protected] with your garden project's info. We're also giving away some gardener goodies from the Hudson Valley Seed Library, so read on.


Today at 1pm, the Andes Community Garden opens with tours and seed sales, and an invitation to community members to sign up for a 4-x-8-foot plot this summer. The Daily Star wrote a whole article about the planned festivities. 

This Saturday, April 27, in Hobart is the Hobart Annual Seed Sale & Spring Gardening Event at the Hobart Community Center from 10am to 3pm. The seeds are Non-GMO & Organic with proceeds benefiting Project Independence. According to Nicole Day Gray, who is helping organize the event, there will be "lots of kids activities, a garden book swap (so bring books to trade), a mini farmers' market, gardening advice, garden tools for sale, the Ate O Ate Food Truck, and goats, chevre and milk from Dirty Girl Farm." For more info, email [email protected]

This Sunday, April 28, the new Shandaken Community Gardens group is hosting a groundbreaking, and all weekend long a Shokan art studio will be donating partial proceeds from a sale to support the garden

Also this Sunday, April 28, the Seeds to Supper workshop series continues at the Pine Hill Community Center Community Garden. Veteran farmers Madalyn Warren and Andrew Messinger help gardeners plant in the center's community garden. 

The village of Fleischmanns is building a community garden next to the park and across from the Village Pool. Raised beds are in the words and plots will be assigned in May, according to the Fleischmanns NY Facebook page

The town of Lexington, which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year, is building a Bicentennial Community Garden

On May 7, Roxbury Central School will introduce its community garden to the world, according to Farm Catskills

On May 11, the village of Margaretville is hosting a day-long GardenFest from 10am to 3pm on Main Street, with vendors and farmers showcasing everything from seeds to adorable baby animals. The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will have it own booth, where you can drop off contributions of perennial herbs, flowers and foliage plants for new gardens to be established at their pond-side property this summer. You can also drop plants off at the HSM Hall, 778 Cemetery Rd., Margaretville, on Saturday, May 25 between 9 a.m. and noon, or earlier in the week – just leave them in the shade near the door. If you can spare some time to help plant them May 25, that would be wonderful! Call Diane at 586-4973 to make other drop-off arrangements.

On May 18th at 9am, the Common Ground Garden Club is going to erect a beautiful gate and arbor entryway for the Andes Rail Trail. They will follow that with native plantings later in May. This is a community project of the club and they are donating most of the funds for the structure and plantings.

The Halcott Community Garden's "A Natural Selection" sale fundraiser of is happening on Sunday, May 26th, 11 am  to 3 pm at the Halcott  Grange. The Halcott Community Garden is now sponsored by The Hudson Valley Seed Project, which donates 10% of online sales by supporters to the garen. To contribute to the garden, use the code "Halcott Community Garden" on the seed library website while you shop. 

The 15th Annual Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s Master Gardeners Great Plant Swap and Sale is Saturday, June 1 at the CCEUC Education Center located at 232 Plaza Road in Kingston. Plants to swap can be dropped off that Saturday morning between 9:00am and 10:00am. Swappers return at 11:00am to swap vouchers for plants! At 11:30 the swap will open to the public for sale. 


  Read more

Thunderstorms across Catskills

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for Sullivan County, along with much of Pennsylvania, for Friday afternoon and evening. (Update, 9:30pm: The area is no longer under tornado watch.)

Sullivan County, along with the rest of the Catskills region, can expect thunderstorms, heavy rain, and gusting winds of up to 40 or 50 miles per hour as a cold front moves through the area from west to east. 

As of around 4pm, Hudson Valley Weather reported, the line of storms was moving through Western Pennsylvania. 

Update, 8:30pm: Delaware and Sullivan Counties are both under severe thunderstorm warnings until 9pm:  Read more

Tougher tests worry local schools -- and parents

Photo by Flickr user Chris Costes; published under Creative Commons license.

Sharpen your No. 2 pencils, kids. This week, public-school students in third through eighth grade across New York State buckled down at their desks for the first round of tough new standardized tests in English Language Arts. Next week, students face another round of testing in math. The new tests are designed for the Common Core curriculum, a new educational initiative that has been adopted by 45 states so far.  Read more

This Weekend: Earth Day around the Catskills

Seeds of change, sprouting at last. Photo taken in a Catskills garden on April 17 by Julia Reischel.

The official Earth Day, April 22, falls on a Monday this year. Celebrations and events around the region are taking place this weekend, next weekend, and in between. (Properly so: Isn't every day supposed to be Earth Day?)

Here's the Watershed Post's guide to the goings-on.


The little town of Andes is celebrating Earth Day in true no-nonsense Catskills style -- by getting to work. On Saturday, April 20, citizens will convene at 9am at Hogan's for the annual Andes litter pickup. Bring gloves, boots and any trash-grabbing "reacher" tools you may have at hand, and feel free to email [email protected] for more information.  Read more

DEC releases new draft plans for Belleayre resort and ski center

Above: Scale model of the planned hotel and lodge buildings at Highmount -- part of the proposed Belleayre Resort project -- from a supplemental draft environmental impact statement released Wednesday by the DEC.

The long-planned Belleayre Resort project took a step forward on Wednesday, with the release of a newly-revised draft of an environmental impact statement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The agency also released draft plans for the management of the Belleayre Ski Center that call for a major expansion of the ski area.  Read more

Catskills runners among those at Boston Marathon

Eighteen runners from the Catskills region -- Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties -- were among those registered for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, where explosions killed at least three people and injured over 140.

The Watershed Post obtained the names of the local runners with a zipcode-based search of the Boston Marathon organizers' runner database. Among them were two runners from Delaware County, two from Schoharie County, one from Sullivan County and thirteen from Ulster County. No runners from Greene County were found in the database.

Embedded below is a spreadsheet of the runners, with their home towns. We have cross-referenced their names with Google's Boston Marathon Person Finder to find out if local runners have been reported as safe. The links in the "Link" column lead to more information about specific runners.  Read more

Announcing the 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide Photo Contest

Top: A photo by Amanda Lee Popp, which won an honorable mention in last year's Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest.

The contest is now closed. Winners will be announced on May 28, 2013. Thanks!   Read more

To market: Farmers wanted for grassroots local food hub

Above: Garlic from Lucky Dog Farm in Hamden -- a hot commodity in New York City, where the demand for local food is huge and growing. 

Farmers who would like to tap into the lucrative New York City wholesale market are invited to Lucky Dog Farm in Hamden on Monday, April 8 at 2pm, where farmers and agriculture advocates will be talking about creating a local food hub to get more Catskills produce to downstate markets.

Lucky Dog farmer Richard Giles has enlisted educators from the Oneonta-based Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) to come down and fill in attendees about the processes involved in becoming market-ready for wholesale distribution.  Read more

Trout season kicks off in the Catskills

Above: Photo of a brown trout fresh from the Pepacton Reservoir on April 1, 2013, the first day of trout season, posted on Facebook by the Vineyard Wine Bar in Downsville.

From April 1 through October 15, it's open season on trout in New York State -- the time of year when that migratory species, Anglerus waderii, flocks to our clear, cold Catskills trout streams from far and wide.

This year, with snow and ice still clinging to the banks of many streams, the season kicked off chilly and damp. In a press release about the 2013 fishing season, the state Department of Environmental Conservation tells anglers that the fish will perk up when the weather gets more spring-like:  Read more