It’s that time of year, again…time for spring cleaning! Unfortunately, many products and chemicals that we use to make our homes sparkle and gleam can be harmful to the environment, our families, and ourselves. Here are some recipes for effective household cleaners that are easy and cheap to make, and gentle on the environment!
Basic Window Cleaner:
•3 tsp. liquid soap
•3/4 c white vinegar
•1/2 tsp. baking soda
•4-8 drops lemon essential oil (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before using. When using, just spray on and wipe off! A more environmental alternative to using paper towels are a lint-free cloth or crumpled newspapers.
Soft Scrub (for toilets, sinks, and bathtubs):
•1 c baking soda
•1/4 c liquid soap
•2 aspirins, powdered
•3-4 drops of tea tree oil (anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and available at health food stores)
Mix all ingredients together and add enough water to make a paste. This mixture can be kept in an empty shampoo bottle, or a similar container. To use apply with a sponge, scrub, and rinse thoroughly.
-pour 1 c each of salt and baking soda down the clogged drain, followed by ½ c vinegar. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse it down with 2-3 quarts of boiling water.
*recipes from “Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs”
A few weeks ago we planted some of our first seeds in our newly renovated greenhouse. A bit more than two weeks later, you can already see the new plants shooting up. Despite being a chilly day, the greenhouse manages to stay quite hot.
Below, you can see water droplets that have held on to this young broccoli leaf-
Are you interested in learning more about organic gardening? Check back for more updates and green living tips in weeks to come. Our greenhouse will soon have plenty more things growing. You can also take a look at The Frost Valley Farm and Farm Camp, one of our amazing summer programs.
We’ve had some beautiful weather here this weekend, and a number of guests had the opportunity to build and launch a model rocket! Rocket building is one of our more frequent weekend activities, and is always a guest favorite. With perfect weather and early morning sun, it was a great day for everyone to watch their creation soar into the sky.
Even if you don’t end up building your own rocket, guests often end up stopping by just to watch others launch their own. While it can be great to watch a rocket shoot up into the air, it is also quite entertaining to watch the people on the ground trying to follow the trail of smoke into the sky!
With the sun so bright, one can’t but help putting their hands up in front of them
Yesterday afternoon, the Frost Valley YMCA participated in the Y’s Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative that seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of families everywhere. Despite the rainy weather, turnout was good, and families and kids had a good time all around, checking out booths with suggestions for improving diets, making good lifestyle choices, as well as yoga and Zumba classes. Members of the Local Claryville Fire Department also came out with two of their trucks, giving guests a chance to see firefighting equipment up close.
To see more on this nationwide event, check out this link for the Y’s main page. We hope see you next year!
Celebrating Healthy Kids Day
One of the less well known programs at the Frost Valley YMCA is our Raptor Center, home to several owls and hawks who have sustained injuries. Because most of these birds have damage to a wing, they are unable to fly and can no longer survive in the wild. Instead, they continue to live with us and act as great ambassadors to their species.
On certain weekends we offer tours of our raptor center, and on some occasions one of our instructors will take one of these amazing birds out of their home, allowing guests a rare chance to see such an animal up close. Although the Great Horned Owl shown in these pictures seems quite large, he only weighs a few pounds. Despite this fact, he is able to lift a large amount of weight. They are known to hunt anything from a chipmunk all the way up to small raccoons and skunks.
Guests who have been coming to Frost Valley for many years sometimes note their surprise in seeing these birds year after year. In the wild, a great horned owl is expected to live up to thirteen years, but because an owl living within captivity has no predators, they have been know to live past twenty five years! Keep on eye out for the Raptor Center Tour on your next trip to the valley, it is an easy going activity and a memorable part of any weekend.
One of the most popular and most frequently requested activities at the Frost Valley YMCA is our gigantic Y shaped climbing tower. Built in 2007, this tower is over 50 feet high and is one of a kind, built specifically for this facility. With four different sides to climb, this tower offers a range of difficulties, from very easy all the way up to quite difficult, with our overhanging wall.
To make things even better, the tower is also the support structure for our 300 foot long Zip-line. On certain weekends, as well as by special arrangement, participants can climb to the top of this tower by using the inside staircase. Once you have gotten to the top of the tower, you can take a moment to enjoy the view of the valley around you.
Looking off of the tower at the zip line
The platform at the top of the tower
When it is time for your turn, an instructor will clip you in and make sure that your harness and safety equipment is on correctly. You can then stand on a platform on the outside of the tower, where the instructor will attach you to one of the long steel cables that provides your ride. Once everything is checked and safe, the instructor will count down, and you are able to jump right off the platform, zipping all the way to the large poles out in the distance. Although it can be a bit scary at first, the ride is like nothing else, and many participants call it their favorite activity of the weekend. A once-in-a lifetime chance to fly like a bird!
At the beginning of the winter, our greenhouse was given a complete renovation. The plastic has been replaced, and everything inside has been cleaned out. This has allowed us to begin the process of replanting for the upcoming season, and has given some of our staff the chance to improve their understanding of planting and gardening.
Once everything is in place, we hope to start having guests help out in our greenhouse in order to learn more about organic gardening and ‘green’ lifestyle choices that can help in protecting the environment. Although there is nothing growing just yet, it won’t be long before the long beds of fresh soil have small spouts appearing. Stop in on your next trip to the Valley and see what progress we have made!
The Schedule for the Weekend of April 8th-10th has been posted! Click here or go to the schedules tab
to view this weekend’s activities.
After a long and very snowy winter, we are finally seeing some grass and the weather is warming up just a little bit each day! We are excited about the change of seasons, and really look forward to pulling out all of the spring activities that have been gone for the winter months. Outdoor Archery, boating, hay-rides and many other activities will all start to re-appear as we continue to approach the warmer months! Check back soon for pictures, schedules and updates!
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