What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even your organization's events!

Our 6th Annual Cardboard Sled Race Recap!

Our 6th Annual Cardboard Sled Race Recap!

By Dan French

The 6th Annual Cardboard Sled Race, planned originally for Saturday, February 10th, then moved to Saturday, Feb 24th due to weather, fell victim this year to the warm weather of El NiƱa. What was otherwise a delightfully warm and sunny week leading up to Saturday, melted much of the snow that had dropped the weekend prior. That, coupled with a wind chill in the negatives on Saturday morning, created conditions that would have been unfriendly to sled and racer alike. Despite the lack of races to test the limits of our teams' creative cardboard creations, we've been able to enjoy the pictures shared with us through email and social media and award prizes for visual appeal, assumed racing merit, and assumed stamina of construction. Read a bit about each team below!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Photo 1 - USS Cam: Best Construction

Team Reynolds put together a masterclass of sled construction this year with the USS-Cam. Featuring viewing ports for the racer from the ship's bridge, a moveable front turret to eliminate obstacles on the course, a hull fit for an icebreaker, and a functioning helicopter for racers overboard, this ship is fit for any course.

Photo 2 - The Flash: Most Aerodynamic

Team Weber took the race seriously with their racecar sled, building first for speed and then for looks, inspired by Nascar races each weekend. Dana did all the artwork herself with pictures that she thought would be good for a race sled where the kids were having fun.

Photo 3 - Beagle: Sturdiest Sled

Team Becht took inspiration for their sled from their family dog, modeling the snout and ears after a photo they brought to one of our sled-building workshops. Built from an entire refrigerator box, this sled uses a DeLorean door to maintain structural integrity throughout the box's corners. Featuring a small openable snout for vision, these racers put their faith in their dog to lead them to the finish.

Photo 4 - Corgiboggan: Best in Snow

Team Pitcher put together what might be the cutest sled we've ever had! This Corgiboggan, named Paris, wins our Best in Snow award for being the best groomed, best at tricks, and best-behaved sled in our fleet of racers. Using Paris's distracting pet-ability, this sled was sure to be a front-runner in our race this year.

Photo 5 - Big Green Tractor: Hardest Working

Team SLU Sustainability Farm put together a sled modeled after the big green tractor they have to help with chores around the farm. Featured in this photo is one of our Digital Media Interns, Liz, who helps out at the farm on top of her job with us and her studies at SLU.

By Dan French

Dan French is a 2021 graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. While there, he majored in Sustainability with minors in General Business and Management. As an undergrad he had the opportunity to intern with the National Park Service's Office of Policy in Washington D.C., conduct self-led research on the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid's impact on North American species of Hemlock, and was elected sectetary of his universities ultimate fresbee team, Bentley Icehouse. A native of Potsdam NY, Dan spent many summers cultivating his love for outdoor education at 4-H Camp Overlook where he was a camper turned staff for a total of 14 years. In his free time, Dan enjoys hiking in the Adirondacks and skiing when the snow allows. Most recently, Dan returned to the North Country after a one year term of service as an AmeriCorps member in Montana. He served as the National Wildlife Federation's Garden for Wildlife (TM) Coordinator in Missoula and the surrounding area. Now that he's back, Dan hopes to expand his connection to the environment through whitewater kayaking, backpacking, and expanding access to the wonders of the North Country to anyone and everyone who wants to tag along.