Discover new Hollow-een fun

Selkirk’s Hollyhock Hollow invites public for frightfully educational afternoon

— You’re more likely to see squirrels and birds than ghosts and goblins at an upcoming Selkirk outdoor Halloween event, but that’s the goal.

The Mohawk-Hudson Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club is holding a family-friendly Halloween festival at Hollyhock Hollow in Selkirk to showcase the group’s work on revitalizing trails and the sanctuary as a whole into a friendlier place for visitors. The property was donated in 1988 by conservationist Dr. Robert Rienow to be the headquarters of Audubon International and to be a wildlife sanctuary.

“Our main purpose for the event is to introduce people to Hollyhock Hollow and to the outdoors,” said event coordinator and Mohawk-Hudson Vice Chairwoman Mary Folsom. “Not a whole lot of people know we exist and it’s a beautiful area.”

The event is being touted as a “Hollow-een” celebration and will feature food, candy and face painting. Many of the other activities will be about teaching children to enjoy the outdoors.

Folsom said there will be a geocaching activity, a scavenger hunt, a talk about the local birds in the area and a visit to the caves on the property, with a discussion about what is found inside. Others will be on hand to talk about the Onesquethaw Creek and its importance in developing the area. The Onesquethaw Creek Historical District is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Hollyhock Hollow Sanctuary has been open to the public for nearly 20 years, but some structures and trails had been showing signs of aging. For the past several years, volunteers have been working to revitalize the property. Trails have been improved and signs have been added to help hikers. They also have added an informational kiosk and redesigned maps and brochures so the site can become a type of outdoor classroom.

“Our mission is to get today’s generation to appreciate the outdoors again,” said Folsom.

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