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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Happy Earth Day!

Toad with words "Happy Earth Day!"
By Erika Barthelmess on
Blog: Just Our Nature
The year 2020 will, for most of us, go down as one of the strangest in our lifetimes. And for some, it will also be one of the most tragic. We will move forward from this point in time referring to the "pre-pandemic" and "post-pandemic" parts of our life.  Going forward, it will be easy to overlook the fact that 2020 also marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  And yet the COVID pandemic and…
Sunset with words "Happy Earth Day" View from Coney mountain with words "50th Anniversary of Earth Day"

Climate Action in the North Country Ramping Up

Potsdam Climate Vigil
By Alex Calk on
Blog: In the Schools
On Friday, December 6th, a group of people sang together in harmony in the Canton Park.  We were bundled up in coats, hats, and gloves as icy wind and snow swept through town. The lyrics, I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas, joined us for a singular purpose - climate activism. As cars sped by and people passed with children, we raised our voices in song. The goal of all 50 people present, old and…

Local Climate Vigils Expand to Potsdam

Students at the October Vigil
By Alex Calk on
Blog: In the Schools
Our next Monthly Climate Action Vigil is this Friday, December 6th, from 4-5 in Canton. It is cold, so wear warm clothes!  At our November vigil, we were joined by candidate for U.S. Congress, Tedra Cobb.  Tedra has since garnered national attention to her campaign and raised over 1 million dollars. Tedra also spoke on the SLU campus on November 13th to more than 50 students about the Climate…

Nature Up North 2020 Calendars for Sale

2020 Calendar Cover, snowy paddle by Fred Nentwick
By Emlyn Crocker on
Blog: Just Our Nature
Nature Up North calendars are on sale at local businesses through early 2020! These printed calendars feature our favorite photos shared by community members as Encounters on natureupnorth.org in the past year. Calendars also include Nature Notes highlighting seasonal wildlife behavior local to the North Country region. Proceeds from calendar sales benefit Nature Up North's community…
2020 Calendar back cover, featured photos by month.

North Country Voices: Canton Farmer's Market

The Canton Farmers’ Market in Autumn (Source: Facebook)
By Kathryn Jepson on
Blog: North Country Voices
With just a quick walk around the Canton Farmers’ Market, you can see the wide variety of vendors that come each week. Each has their own unique experiences and stories as to how they got to the market. I interviewed a few of the vendors to see how they got started and to learn how the season went. After all, who better to learn from when it comes to the state of our environment? Grandpa’s…

How to Make Paper with Invasive Plants

Lifting a paper making screen to reveal wet paper
By Valeria Maldonado Ortiz on
Blog: Just Our Nature
Don’t know what to do with the invasive plants in your backyard? You can make paper! Making paper may seem like a foreign idea. You probably use paper every day, but likely haven’t made it from scratch. Making paper from materials in your backyard is easier than you think.  Learning about invasives plants is also a great way to be an environmental steward. We can also create awareness of…

SLU Students Host Conversation after Oct. 4th Climate Vigil

SLU students hold signs protesting climate change.
By Alex Calk on
Blog: In the Schools
*to learn about the history of the Monthly Climate Action Vigil, started by Little River Community School high school student Alex Calk with support from North Country 350 Alliance, read Alex’s October 3rd, 2019 ‘In the Schools’ blog post.   I'm currently a senior at Little River Community School in Canton and since last March I've been helping to organize the Monthly Climate Action Vigil.  On…
Protesters hold signs and flags at the climate vigil in Canton.

The Story Behind the Monthly Climate Action Vigil in Canton

Protesters waved flags at the September Monthly Climate Action Vigil.
By Alex Calk on
Blog: In the Schools
Once a month, a group of people stand on the corner of the local park, a handmade sign reading “Monthly Climate Action Vigil, Join Us!” erected behind them. People as young as 12 and as old as 86 hold signs or flags protesting the climate crisis. Some give speeches, some lead chants. Others interact with people walking down the street, encouraging them to get involved in climate action. But our…

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Nature Up North summer naturalist interns, posing while eating ice cream
By Emlyn Crocker on
Blog: Just Our Nature
Whether you're paddling on the Grasse River, visiting one of our countless waterfalls, or picking up fresh veggies at a farmer's market, summer is one of the best times to be in the North Country. This summer, the four college students interning with Nature Up North got to experience that firsthand. For almost 9 weeks this summer, our team more than quadrupled as Val, Grace, Lydia and Emily…
The interns learn water sampling using nets Interns pose with Dairy Princess parade float

Cattails: A Tale of Nine Lives

Cattails blowing in the breeze
By Paul J. Hetzler on
Blog: Just Our Nature
The two cats at my place have endured life-threatening traumas such as falls, fights, and the compulsory “devotions” of small children. It’s amazing the hazards they can survive. Sadly, my contacts in the veterinary field continue to assert that cats have but a single life, and that the whole nine-lives thing is just a cat tale. However, the story about cattails having at least nine lives is no…