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Summertime Scholastics for Hudson Valley kids

More lesson plans to kid your child learning and happy all summer

Lesson Plan: Animal Care and Vegetarian Lifestyles

Location: Catskill Animal Sanctuary


A safe haven for abused and neglected animals, Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Ulster County has provided refuge for over 1,500 animals, including horses, cows, goats, sheep, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, turkeys, chickens, ducks, and geese. Kids who are only familiar with dogs and cats can get to know 12 species of farm animals at CAS.


The highlight for children touring CAS is meeting and hugging the friendly free-range animals, such as Rambo the sheep, Casey the horse, Charlie the pot belly pig, and Malachi the goat. Educational programs are designed to foster compassion for all living creatures, and to encourage people to see farm animals as the curious, affectionate, sensitive and social animals they are. The tours include heartwarming stories about how the animals which were rescued from neglect have healed and recovered.


Tours are offered every weekend through October 31. Special events include the 9th Annual Shindig on June 13, from Noon-6pm, with tours, talks, hayrides, music, vegetarian food, cooking classes, and auctions. 316 Old Stage Rd., Saugerties.845-336-8447.

Lesson Plan: Butterfly life cycle and wildlife protection

Location: Butterfly Farms


There are butterfly farms on both sides of the Hudson which offer up-close experiences with the colorful creatures. Rainbow’s End Butterfly Farm and Nursery is a sanctuary in Dutchess County which educates the public about the habitat of Monarch and Painted Lady butterflies. They are hand-raised in the flight house, where visitors can feed them with Gatorade lollipops, or watch them emerge from chrysalises. Educators are on-hand to discuss butterfly anatomy, life cycle and habitat. The emphasis is on conservation and the unique story of monarch butterflies, since this species faces habitat loss and endangerment.

The facility, which also includes an education center, habitat trail, worm shed, plant sales area, gift shop, and picnic grounds, is open on weekends, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, from 11am-4pm. There is no admission fee. 13 Rainbow’s End, Pawling. 845-832-6749.


At Butterfly Botanicals in Orange County, owners Patrick and Marian Dolan welcome visitors to the butterfly house on their farm, weather permitting. Only species native to New York state are bred here, and they are available for sale. During your visit you’ll learn everything you need to care for and appreciate them. Mass butterfly releases are scheduled in advance, so call ahead for the dates. 363 Petticoat Ln., Bloomingburg. 845-733-7713. 


Traci L. Suppa is a family travel writer living in Dutchess County. WordScapesny.com


Summer reading list:


Supplement your visits to these sites with books like these, all available through the Mid-Hudson Library System. Visit midhudson.org.


“The Sculptors Eye: Looking at Contemporary American Art” by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, 1993.


“Aviation: Reaching For the Sky” by Don Berliner, 1997.


“Straphanging in the USA: Trolleys And Subways In American Life” by Martin W. Sandler, 2003.


“Animal Rescue: The Best Job There Is” by Susan E. Goodman, 2000.


 “A Place for Butterflies” by Melissa Stewart, 2006.