Discover Cayuga Lake has established the Cayuga Lake Youth Engagement Fund to commemorate the vision and generosity of our neighbors around the lake. Their enduring support inspires our enduring commitment to equitable lake access and meaningful educational opportunities. Their timeliness, stepping in to provide exactly what was needed at each critical moment, reminds us to listen and to be ready to respond to current needs in our community.
This fund was established during a particularly challenging pandemic year, but we expect it to become the permanent foundation for our flagship education programs, accessible public programming, and a truly inclusive community around the lake we all love. Please share this message with a friend, and help us meet our winter (2020 to 2021) fundraising goal. Together, we can make the Teal, truly, "A Boat For Everyone!"
During 2020 and 2021, priorities for the Cayuga Lake Youth Engagement Fund will necessarily be COVID related. Direct interaction and teamwork have always been cornerstones of our programming. So, much of our approach requires re-imagining; at least for now. During the past season, we were able to reinvent "Floating Classroom" activities so kids could learn together in safe, socially distanced, ways. We found new ways to enjoy music and presentations on the lake amongst friends. We also coordinated with allied non-profits to offer free eco-cruises for families struggling with decimated support networks.
We continue to adapt as we implement our winter "Trout in the Classroom" program. We’ve turned our attention to addressing the challenges faced by students and educators right now, as we develop new learning tools that will bring the lake, streams and waters of the Finger Lakes into the classroom, even when we cannot deliver them in person. For the 2021-21 school year we are offering
- virtual classes for teachers raising trout at 16 schools around the watershed,
- live streaming video to bring classroom trout aquariums to students at home,
- virtual field trips onto Cayuga Lake and throughout the Watershed,
- safe, socially distanced field experiences for youth groups throughout the year.
Looking ahead to 2021, we are striving to anticipate the continuing impacts of COVID, and we will put this Fund to work to build on the experiences of 2020, and to ensure the Teal is ready for service. We look forward to the day when we can get all of our students back on the water, but we also know that the tools we're developing now will make those experiences even more meaningful.
Will you join our growing network of individuals, organizations and businesses, who agree that basic education and personal experiences with the water resources upon which we all depend are not just nice ideas, but keystones to environmental stewardship, equitable communities, environmental justice and a sustainable future?
We hope you can help us meet our winter fundraising goal so we can be ready for spring on the lake. Share this message with a friend! And, if a monetary donation is not possible, consider offering your time and wisdom! We are looking to our community members (that's you!), representative of every part of our community, who can help us keep improving our services and succeed in making the Teal, truly, "A Boat For Everyone."
We'll see you on the lake!
Bill Foster, Executive Director (floatingClassroom@gmail.com)