A fond memory from my childhood was watching The Wizard of Oz every holiday season with my family. Check out our upcoming ECOS events for your whole family- Farming, Crafting, and Celebrating, Oh My! All are most welcome to these Capital Region wide events. We ask that you RSVP below if you can, so that we have an idea of how many people to expect. See our Fall 2017 Newsletter for more information on ECOS programs.  Please contact me at director@ecosny.org with any questions.

FARMING- Mitzvah Day at Vale Urban Farm, Sunday November 5 1-4 pm, Vale Cemetery,  N. Brandywine Ave., Schenectady

November 5th is Mitzvah Day at Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady, a day when congregation members are asked to do a good deed in the community. This year, ECOS will be joining them, along with members of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady. The “mitzvah” we will all be performing is preparing the gardens at Vale Park Urban Farm for winter, and cleaning trash from Vale Park.  All are invited to join us in this mitzvah! Please wear work clothes, gloves, and boots. Also, it would be helpful if you could bring shovels, wheelbarrows, and/or wagons for moving compost and turning soil. In particular, ECOS needs help from kids in our community for this project. Kids know well the cozy feeling of getting tucked into bed on a cold, winter evening. Get your children and grandchildren outdoors with all the animals getting ready for winter, and help tuck in the garden beds with a warm and nutritious blanket of compost. The worms and microorganisms might even give a goodnight kiss of thanks, but don’t tell the kids that! In addition, on Mitzvah Day ECOS volunteers will be collecting electronic recycling, free of charge, at Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Ashmore Avenue and Eastern Parkway, Schenectady. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Email Arden at raucha@union.edu for the list of acceptable items and any questions.

CRAFTING- Festival of Trees Craft Party; Sunday, November 19, 1-4 pm; Community Center, 2682 Aqueduct Road, Niskayuna

Join us to make decorations for our ECOS tree to be displayed in the Festival of Trees in Schenectady this December. Our tree’s theme is Keep Trash out of our Rivers and Ocean. We have been collecting (and disinfecting) washed-up debris from along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, as well as from Cape Cod and Hawaii. Come see our impressive collection of flip-flops, car parts, toothbrushes, and more, and help us figure out how to make a whimsical, but compelling, display of this flotsam and jetsam of the plastic era. The Festival of Trees itself, at which ECOS’ and its members’ creation will be on display, will be at the Schenectady County Historical Society and the YWCA in Schenectady on December 2 through 17 from 10 am–5 pm each day. Tickets are $6 for adults, but kids under 12 are free!

CELEBRATING- ECOS Annual Holiday Party and Regifting Sale; Friday, December 8, 6-8pm; Niskayuna Community Center, 2682 Aqueduct Road, Niskayuna

Come celebrate the simple joys of the holiday season with our growing multi-generational, multi-cultural, and environmentally conscious ECOS community.  This party is a great opportunity to learn more about ECOS and our 2018 “Put Down your Phone, and Get Outside” programs and connect with our region’s fantastic naturalists and environmentalists including our youngest nature enthusiasts. Speaking of our young nature-lovers, we will have games and crafts that will get the kids jumping, creeping, slithering, and creating like their favorite creatures and artists. Our library will be set up for table and floor games for older kids or those that want a break from the fray.  Please bring a dish to share. Local, free-range, grass-fed, organic, naturally grown, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options with ingredient cards are encouraged; however, anything you can grab from the fridge or store to just make it here is most welcome.  (Phew! That is a lot to just say we appreciate the full diversity of contributions, in short, we want you here with whatever you can bring.)  Also, we will beholding a regifting sale, so please bring clean, quality items if you would like to donate to this sale (proceeds to ECOS).