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WAJ Students Explore Weather & Climate

WAJ Students Study Weather & Climate

        With the support of the Windham Foundation, the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Program provided six sessions to the WAJ Science Club students with hands-on activities and immersive studies about the weather system and its effects on climate. Participating students furthered their comprehension through experiments and group discussions all while exploring the great outdoors. The students were able to use this opportunity to visualize how the weather system interacts with the plants and animals around them. They left their lessons with an improved understanding of the world and an eagerness to learn more!







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Sugar Maples Art Explorers

Painting on Canvas

Art Explorers–Cultivating Creativity

The Art Explorer Program offered at the Sugar Maples Center for Creative Arts, located in Maplecrest is both educational and fun. Now in its 20th year, the program teaches children basic forms of art and encourages creativity. The Windham Foundation, in collaboration with the Catskill Mountain Foundation, provided funding and scholarships for local children to attend.

Art Explorers ran for three weeks in July and August and was attended by 70 children ages 5 – 14. This year’s theme was Birds, Bugs, and Bears. Each morning started with studio experience, followed by activities in nature. Working together in teams, the kids hunted for acorns, feathers, twigs, and pinecones to create works of art. They focused on painting and drawing, papermaking, pottery and making slime.

“Sugar Maples is the perfect setting for kids to learn how to connect with nature,” said Windham Foundation board member Phyllis Parrish. “Education is key to each child’s development and core to our mission as a Foundation.”

Educator extraordinaire, Rita Mary Vining, was the creator of Art Explorers. Rita Mary, known locally as “the child Whisperer” had a special gift for teaching children. Her gift inspired young artists, instilled confidence in each child and taught kids to be kind and respectful.

In 2023, the baton was handed over to artist educator Florencia Loda.  Florencia loves planting seeds of curiosity and creativity. Similar to Maria Montessori’s philosophy that “Play is the work of the child” Florencia encourages skill development while at play.

Former Art Explorers alumni Isabella Pedrick and Lillian Gracia assisted with the summer program. They were all smiles as each talked about the difference Art Explorers had made for them as former participants.

At the close of each week kids talked about how much fun they had, the new friends they made, and how they looked forward to coming back next year.

If you would like more information about Art Explorers, contact the Catskill Mountain Foundation at (518) 263-2001 or by going to the sign up link at to receive updates on the Art Explorers program.


Established as a non-profit in 2004, the Windham Foundation is committed to inspiring lives and enriching our community through funding for education, recreation, the arts, and community initiatives.  Since 2004, they have contributed over $4.5 MM to preserve and enhance the Windham community. To learn more, and, or to donate, please visit our website at


Painting Picnic

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Fourth of July Celebration in Windham!

Taiko Drummers Windham Civic Center

WAJ Marching Band

Fireworks Ablaze over Windham Civic Center




Fourth of July Celebration in Windham!

The mission of the Windham Foundation is to enhance our town in a way that touches all of us.  Windham’s July Fourth festivities were no exception. It was a day filled with family fun and sparkle starting with the Sandcastle Contest at CD Lane Park where enthusiastic participants received awards for most creative, most patriotic and most unique sandcastles. 

The OMNY Taiko Drummers followed with their uplifting performance at the Windham Civic Center.  With perfect acoustics, the art of Japanese drumming made everyone smile, as the spirit of the drums united and energized the audience. 

It was no surprise when the main event took the day–Windham’s Annual July 4th Town Parade with firetrucks, marching bands, and floats. The streets were lined with parade enthusiasts who cheered as community organizations marched down Main Street.  The day ended with a fireworks display at Windham Mountain. The Windham Foundation received many thanks for the support they provide to all these celebratory events.

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Sandcastles & Sunshowers at CD Lane Park

Barbie Pool” was hand dug by Eloise Calcagni (left) and Felix Merahn.


“Barbie Pool” was hand dug by Eloise Calcagni (left) and Felix Merahn.

“Stanley,” the cowboy-booted bald eagle, was drawn from the sand by (left to right) Matthew Morris, Owen Pellettier, Harrison Smith, Jack Pellettier and Payton Dempsey.


“Stanly” the cowboy-booted bald eagle, was drawn from the sand by Matthew Morris, Owen Pellettier, Harrisn Smith, Jack Pellettier, and Payton Dempsey (left to right).

Good ‘ol USA on “Independence Day” (divided by the Mississippi River with Texas near the west shore and Florida on the far right), created by brothers Marcel (left) and Bryson Rusin.


Good ‘ol USA on “Independence Day” (divided by the Mississippi River with Texas near the west shore and Florida on the far right), created by brothers Marcel (left) and Bryson Rusin.To see the original press release by Mike Ryan click the link below!

2023 Sandcastle Photos Mountain Eagle

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2023 Annual Sandcastle Contest Notice


WINDHAM, NY – In celebration of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Town of Windham and Windham Foundation will host the annual Stars & Stripes Sandcastle Contest at CD Lane Park on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, from 11:00 am – 12:45 pm. Check-in begins at 11:00. 

“This event is all about families coming out to have fun,” said Windham Town Supervisor Thomas Hoyt. 

Using tools of the trade— sand and water—plus whatever can be found in nature to decorate their creation, children will have a chance to win prizes for the most creative; the most patriotic; and, the most unique designs. 

Participants are encouraged to bring beach spades, shovels, and pails to facilitate their design. Beach chairs, blankets, towels, sun hats, sun block and bathing suits are also recommended.  As a reminder, all participants must be accompanied by an adult. 

To top the day off, ice cream will be served, compliments of Hickory Hill Market. 

Registration forms can be found at:

Email registration forms to or mail to Windham Town Hall, PO Box 96, Windham, NY 12496.

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