Friday, September 9, 2016

Walk, Bike, and Roll

Complete Street with multi-use lane
What do sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and paved shoulders have in common?  They all help to make our streets complete! If you have never heard of Complete Streets before, you are not alone. Complete Streets is a fancy term used to describe streets and roadways that are safe for all users – walkers, bikers, the elderly, the handicap, and even children.
If you have driven, walked, or biked down Margaret Street in Plattsburgh you may have noticed that there are now sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks with flashing signs. All of these elements make it safer to walk, bike, roll and drive. Complete Streets also encourage us to be more physically active as a community – something we can all use more of!

Not complete - no shoulder or sidewalk
Complete Streets are becoming an increasingly common practice. Today, there are over 85 villages, towns and/or cities, and 9 counties in New York State that have Complete Streets policies or resolutions. For more information about Complete Streets and to find out if your Town or County has a Complete Streets Policy visit: https://www.dot.ny.gov/programs/completestreets
  
 


 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What in the World is Blue-Green Algae?


We’ve all seen the news. Beaches closed during the nicest days because of blue-green algae.

So WHAT is it?
 
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation says that blue-green algae is found in freshwater lakes and ponds and can be harmful under certain conditions. A water sample is usually necessary to determine if there is a level of harmful toxins in the blooms. It can be toxic to humans, pets, fish, and other organisms. These nerve, liver, and skin toxins can sicken people, pets, or livestock if consumed or ingested in large quantities. They can also cause rashes or other allergic reactions. 
 
What causes Harmful Blooms?
Blooms may be triggered by a combination of water and environmental conditions, including:
·        excess nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen)
·        sunlight
·        low-water or low-flow conditions
·        calm water
·        warmer temperatures
·        upwellings

You and your pets should stay away if you ever see an announcement about Blue-Green Algae in a lake or pond that you visit often, until you hear that it’s safe.

(For more information, visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html)

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Better Choice Retailer Program

Eating healthy isn’t always easy but the Better Choice Retailer program is trying to help make the better choice the easy choice. You may have noticed some changes to your local convenience store over the past year or so, anything from produce displays to wall art to healthy grab-n-go options. Our participating Better Choice Retailers are working hard to offer you healthy options, in addition to your favorite candy bar.

With the wide array of options available these days it can be hard to determine what the better choice is – but the Better Choice Retailer program has you covered! You will find colorful shelf tags placed throughout participating stores which quickly show you healthy options.

There are currently 5 official Participating Better Choice Retailers in Clinton County and 3 additional retailers who are actively working towards designation.
  • Varin’s Market and Deli, Ellenburg Depot
  • LaBarre’s Convenience Store and Deli, Ellenburg
  • D&D Meat’s, Altona
  • Northern Cakes, Plattsburgh
  • Cumberland Bay Market, Plattsburgh
 To find a Better Choice Retailer near you or for information on how your store can apply visit: http://www.clintonhealth.org/bc

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

World Breastfeeding Week Events

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective steps a mother can take to protect the health of her baby. In observance of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, learn more about the promotion and support of breastfeeding in the United States.

Locally, there are two events celebrating World Breastfeeding Week:

The Breastfeeding Block Party, Thursday, August 4 from 5-7 p.m. at the US Oval in Plattsburgh, this event aims to help all families touched by breastfeeding to come and celebrate their journey. See more information here.

The second event, The Big Latch on 2016, is part of the Global Latch On effort to promote and support breastfeeding mothers. This event will be Friday, August 5 from 9a.m. to noon. See more information here.




Monday, July 11, 2016

Nice Day for a Walk


The song “It’s a Sunshine Day” by Steve McCarthy, made famous by the Brady Bunch sums up my feelings as I write this. It’s ok if you start to sing.
  I think I'll go for a walk outside now
 The summer sun's callin' my name
 (I hear ya now)
 I just can't stay inside all day
 I gotta get out, get me some of those rays

 Everybody's smilin', sunshine day
 Everybody's laughin', sunshine day
 Everybody seems so happy today
 It's a sunshine day

Now that the North Country is finally getting some “sunshine days”, it’s time to take a walk outside. We are lucky to have many trails and areas to hike. The Clinton County Health Department has developed a Walking Trails Map to guide your travels. It includes locations, descriptions and pictures of the following trails:

·        Point Au Roche State Park
·        Terry J. Gordon Recreational Path
·        Saranac River Trail
·        Cadyville Recreation Park
·        Saranac New Land Trust
·        Little Au Sable River Trail
·        Silver Lake Bog Trail

Maps have been distributed to town and village offices, the Chamber of Commerce, through the Clinton, Essex, Franklin Library System. You can also find them at the YMCA, the City of Plattsburgh Recreation Center, the Clinton County Health Department, and other locations in Clinton County. You may also call the Health Department’s Division of Health Planning and Promotion at (518) 565-4993 to request a copy. We hope this resource will encourage you to explore a new trail, walk more and have a “sunshine day!”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Buzzy Buggy Summers

With outdoor summer fun may come some unwelcome guests: mosquitoes!

Around the North Country those creatures are far from popular. CCHD even blogged about how pesky they were and how to reduce the potential breeding grounds around your house last year.

This year, many people's concerns are on Zika, West Nile, EEE, and other illnesses that are spread by mosquitoes. One way to protect yourself and your family is through using an insect repellent on skin when outdoors. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth.

For detailed information about using DEET on children, see recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more DEET info, check out the CDCs information sheet.

Enjoy that outdoor summer fun - safely, and without those irritating mosquitoes!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Getting Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

Many mealtimes can be frustrating for adults when they try to get children to eat their vegetables. However, one encouraging idea is to have kids grow their own food. Research supports that children will eat more vegetables when they participated in helping them get to the table.

Want to learn more? Here are some helpful places to start:
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County. They have a number of great community resources, ideas, and even some classes you and/or your kids can try out.
  • Kids Gardening. A website focused on parents and teachers to encouraging growing everything from food to flowers. They even have a fun garden birthday party idea!
  • EarthEasy. This site has a lot of fun and fast ideas to maintain children's interest in what they are growing by picking faster crops, or starting small and working your way up.