Lessons from nature at Five Rivers are not free

To the Editor

Five Rivers Environmental Center was one of the first local treasures I discovered after moving to Bethlehem six years ago, and it quickly became a family favorite.

The educational trails — just a 10-minute drive from our home — are a perfect way to tire out two small boys. We participate in guided lessons on maple sugaring and nature exploring as part of our kids’ school field trips.

We muck around in the back streams looking for tadpoles, crawfish and water penny beetles in the summer months. We look forward to catching bugs at the fall festival and tracking animals on borrowed snowshoes in winter.

It wasn’t until I joined the Friends of Five Rivers — first as a member and now as a board member — that I realized that these programs are not free. Though the Five Rivers Center is a state-run facility, many of the programs that my family enjoys are run and subsidized by the Friends of Five Rivers, a community supported not-for-profit organization.

With rising costs and budget tightening in recent years, the Friends of Five Rivers has been under increased pressure to sustain this high-quality programming in the community.

This spring, the Friends of Five Rivers is asking for your support in sustaining these critical environmental education programs. Your donation to the Friends of Five Rivers will go a long way in supporting the “outdoor classroom” at Five  Rivers that has inspired not just my children but thousands of local schoolchildren like them over the years.

I hope you’ll join me by demonstrating your appreciation of this beloved local resource with a donation to the Friends of Five Rivers, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054.

Thank you.

Maureen Cunningham

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