Andes students host Manhattan pen pals

By John Bernhardt
It was the classic tale of City Mouse/Country Mouse last week at Andes Central School. Andes played host to guests from New York City, students attending the School of Law and Social Justice located in Washington Heights. The visit was sponsored by the Catskill Center as part of their “Green Connection,” a collaborative grant program funded by Catskill Watershed Corporation bringing together students from urban and rural settings in an effort to develop a deeper understanding of the Watershed and the importance of man’s greatest resource.
The rendezvous in Delaware County was not the first face-to-face meeting of these students. Andes sophomores traveled to New York City on the Saturday before Christmas to meet their city cousins. The Andes delegation visited Washington Heights where they were introduced to their new urban friends and toured the high school there. The day’s itinerary included a trip to the Museum of Natural History and a visit to Rockefeller Center.
Last Thursday the Andes sophomores returned the favor by hosting a visit of their own. Their acquaintances from NYC arrived in Andes in the late morning, toured the school building and grounds, and then studied aquatic life netted in the stream in front of the school and in a small pond created by the ACS Science Club.
After a buffet lunch at the school, the next stop was a crowd pleaser, a visit to the Tait Farm located to the north of the Andes Village. Judy Tait, the owner of the farm, engaged the visiting students in a series of hands-on farming activities. The youngsters from the city experienced milking cows by hand, investigated a milking machine, climbed into the haymow and jumped into a large pile of hay.
Next up, a trip to the Pepacton Reservoir. A conservation officer was waiting by the information booth near the bridge to provide the students with an overview and brief historical account of the reservoir and watershed. The program then moved to Belleayre with the students hiking mountain trails and enjoying the natural scenic wonders and views of the Catskills. The day’s events concluded with a light dinner held at the Arkville Pavilion, the students said their goodbyes and then headed for home.

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