The Challenge Runs From November Through March.
To participate, take a hike, if you see a hemlock tree, check its branches for white woolly masses.
Share a post on Facebook with a photo of your hiking eperience and a caption sharing why you care about hemlock trees.
Add the hastag #VirtualHikeChallenge to the post for a chance to win cool prizes!
Any trail in the SLELO region can be visited as part of the challenge.
Below is a map showcasing public trails in the St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Region that have hemlocks growing along the path. Click on the icon to learn more about the trails. The green boundry indicates the region in which the challenge is intended.
You can help protect hemlock trees by checking hemlock branches for these white woolly masses and reporting sightings to the Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Pest Health Hotline at 1-866-640-0652.
Hemlock woolly adelgid, HWA, is an invasive insect that kills hemlock trees.
The St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario region is the last region in New York state in which HWA has not been detected.
During the fall and winter, HWA forms white woolly masses that can be found along the branches of infested hemlock trees.
Watch this short video to learn more about hemlock woolly adelgid
and how to check for signs of its presence.
Note that HWA was found present along the eastern shore of Lake George in the Adirondack park after this video was made. HWA has not been found in the Tug Hill Plateau at this time.