Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and cause fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones. One way to help manage the stress is to try to do some activities you enjoy. Gorham Rec staff have been collecting resources for families while they shelter in place and will be sharing these ideas on our website and facebook page. We have collected educational and art activities, fitness videos, and links to museums, zoos and aquariums. Our staff have been working on their own videos as well.
The Florida Everglades is home to a variety of species that thrive in warm, wet climates. As one of the largest subtropical areas of wilderness in the United States, it contains a high concentration of endangered and threatened species of mammals, reptiles, and fish. Many of these species are major tourist attractions because they have become so endangered that the only place they can be found is Everglades National Park.
The Florida panther is the only cougar found east of the Mississippi, thanks to European settlers destroying their habitats when they started building colonies in the 1600s. Even though the panther is Florida’s official state animal, it is possibly one of the most endangered mammals in the country, with fewer than 200 still alive. The biggest reason why this species has become so endangered continues to be that their habitat is constantly diminishing. They select habitats based on where their prey is most vulnerable, and they require large areas of land with dense vegetation to meet all their needs.
Florida panthers are carnivores that primarily eat white-tailed deer, wild hogs, and smaller mammals like raccoons, armadillos, and rabbits. Because of the rapid urbanization of their habitats, they have also been known to eat unsecured livestock and pets.
- Florida Panther and its Habitat: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides details about the Florida panther and where it lives.
- Florida Panther: Defenders of Wildlife go into detail about threats to the Florida panther and why their numbers are dwindling.
- Florida Panther Facts: This page has details on what is being done to save the Florida panthers and how you can do your part to save the panthers, too.
WEST INDIAN MANATEE
West Indian manatees are large gray and brown aquatic mammals that are sometimes known as sea cows. They have no natural enemies and spend their days eating, sleeping, and traveling around. They are often found in shallow water because even though they live in water, they frequently have to come up to the surface for air. West Indian manatees are herbivores that eat 15% of their body weight every day in vegetation that grows near the edge of the water. That can be up to 150 pounds of food a day!
West Indian manatees are legally protected, but habitat destruction, collisions with boats, and accidental captures by fisheries do aid in the depletion of the manatee population. Scientists believe that the West Indian manatee is vulnerable to extinction; in fact, it is extinct in some regions the species used to live in. This is why it is important to carefully manage activities that are a threat to this species, so it doesn’t go extinct everywhere.
The American alligator is found in the United States in freshwater, slow-moving rivers, swamps, marshes, and lakes from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas. They are carnivorous, with strong jaws that can crack a tough turtle shell and sharp teeth to seize and hold their prey. If you’ve ever seen an American alligator out of the water, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of their sharp teeth, since on a hot summer day, they can be seen on the banks of water basking in the sun with their mouths open. They are cold-blooded, so they cannot regulate their own body temperature: When they warm themselves in the sun, they need to open their mouths to cool themselves off so they don’t get too hot.
At one point, hunters brought the American alligator almost to extinction. They were labeled an endangered species when there were fewer than 200 alligators left, and because of this protection as well as tight regulation of alligator hunting, they have made an amazing recovery and are no longer considered an endangered species.
LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest species of turtle in the world and the only species of sea turtle that doesn’t have scales and a hard shell. They are actually named for their tough, rubbery skin, which places them in a different taxonomic family than the other species of sea turtles in the world. Also unlike other sea turtle species, leatherbacks do not have crushing chewing plates; they have tooth-like cusps and sharp-edged jaws that help them catch soft-bodied ocean prey like jellyfish and salps.
These turtles are considered endangered and are protected under the Endangered Species Act. They face threats both on beaches and in marine environments due to the harvesting of eggs and adults as well as accidental capture in fishing gear.
- Leatherback Turtle: The NOAA Fisheries website has fun facts and details about the leatherback sea turtle and its conservation.
- Leatherback Sea Turtles: Learn more about leatherback sea turtles here, including their habitat, diet, threats, and more.
- Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic Population): See pictures and details about the population of the leatherback sea turtle and find out how you can help if you think one may be in danger.
The Everglade snail kite is a mid-sized raptor that feeds exclusively on apple snails, which they find and capture near the surface of the water. They are able to hunt for these snails by flying slowly over lake shores and marshes and then using their feet to grab the snails. The snail kites eat the apple snails by using their unique curved bill to pluck the snails out of their shells.
The Everglade snail kite is protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Florida Endangered Species Rule, which recommends staying at least 500 feet away from areas marked as an active snail kite nest.
- Snail Kite Identification: Pictures and details from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology can help you learn how to identify a snail kite.
- Everglade Snail Kite: Read a brief overview of what the Everglade snail kite is and how its population has declined.
- Everglade Snail Kite: Learn about the behavior and appearance of the snail kite.
Marsh rabbits are found in lowland areas near freshwater marshes and estuaries. They are semi-aquatic and require vegetation near water. What distinguishes them from all other cottontail rabbits is the dark color of the underside of their tail. Marsh rabbits also have sparse amounts of fur and have long toenails on their hind feet.
Lower Key marsh rabbits are endangered because of habitat fragmentation. Conservation efforts have been made to reintroduce some species of marsh rabbits to help redistribute them throughout the Lower Florida Keys.
If you’ve ever heard the common rhyme “red touching yellow can kill a fellow, red touching black is a friend of Jack,” it might help you differentiate between different types of snakes! Coral snakes have red and black blocks of color separated by yellow bands, while scarlet king snakes have similar colors but do not have the same venomous bite. Coral snakes do have a powerful neurotoxin, but they are not as dangerous as other venomous snakes because they have short fangs and a reclusive nature; they are more reluctant to bite than other species of snakes.
Coral snakes live in Florida and can also be found in southeastern North Carolina, parts of Texas, and parts of northeastern Mexico. They are usually found under debris and in trunks of trees and will live in a variety of habitats, from dry areas to swamps.
Alligator gars are prehistoric fish that have a head and snout that resemble that of an alligator. They have a wide mouth with two rows of teeth that line their jaws and scales that are shaped like diamonds and are just as hard as them. These fish are usually found in the southeastern United States in freshwater lakes and rivers with warm water and low oxygen levels, since they can diffuse the oxygen they receive from air through the tissues of their swim bladder.
Alligator gars were considered a nuisance species for years and thought to be detrimental to sport fisheries, so they were targeted by state and federal authorities up until the past decade, when there has been a more focused emphasis on the importance of these fish to their ecosystem.
Fitness guru Joe Wicks is hosting a 30 minute fitness class designed for kids - but adults can take part too! Every day M-F from his YouTube channel
Gorham Rec fitness instructor Theresa Labrecque is hosting live and recorded pilates, yoga and Stretch and Tone classes from her YouTube Channel
Free Online Exercise Classes. From boot camp to yoga, YMCA offers 60 free online classes for people stuck at home
Gorham Rec fitness instructor Dawn Stevens is posting cardio and low impact classes on her Facebook page
This is PE
Fun activities using unorthodox equipment found around the house.The Yorkshire Sport Foundation upload lessons daily.
Chance to Shine
Chance to Shine sends out weekly challenges so kids can work on their hand eye coordination. The majority of challenges are cricket focused but most can be adapted for American sports, baseball/softball, field hockey etc.
The US Soccer Foundations national after-school program has moved online. "Join Coach Bruno to work on dribbling while incorporating fruits and vegetables". New lesson every week! Also available in Spanish.
Beach Body Kids
Workout videos for parent and child. Lots of different workouts. Just make sure your child is safely able to perform the exercises before taking part.
GoNoodle helps teachers and parents get kids moving with short interactive activities. Desk-side movement helps kids achieve more by keeping them engaged and motivated throughout the day.
Taskmaster Daily Challenge
Fun daily challenges to record, upload and share. Silently recreate a famous movie scene, or do something amazing with a pair of trousers! Just two of the challenges posted already.
Gorham Rec Spin instructor Jim Karcanes has created a Spin Class Video
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology provides free resources, lesson plans and activities for K-12
Google Arts & Culture
Explore many museums and historic sites around the world from your computer with Google Arts & Culture. To access the list of museums go to the side menu and click on Collections.
Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Fun stuff for kids to learn and do in Maine's great outdoors like scavenger hunts and alphabet walks. There is also this printable Activity Guide for Children
PBS Parents- https://www.pbs.org/parents/
This is a great resource for STEM projects, games, coloring pages and crafts.
Kids National Geographic-
A great resource to learn about many different kinds of animals and some fun ideas for science experiments. Also videos and online games.
The Measured Mom-
Gross motor activities for Pre-K and Kindergarten to keep them active at home and printable activities for children.
Hands on As We Grow-
Here you’ll find activities that are perfect for each age of early childhood. From the baby years on into the beginnings of grade school. Gross motor activities, fine motor activities, arts, science - lots of learning activities!
San Diego Zoo-
Lions, and tigers and bears - oh my! Actually, there are no lion videos here, but there are live cams of elephants, koalas, condors, giraffes and more. The zoo also has a good list of activity ideas and online games for kids . (You can find Lion videos on the Smithsonian Zoo page - see below)
Check out this live cam of the Pandas at the Zoo Atlanta! Staff at the Atlanta Zoo create enrichment activities to help the Pandas handle confinement. They might create a puzzle for the pandas to try to solve and mentally challenge them, or offer them novel foods, new smells, or simply something they can roll around and play with.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo-
Do you know what a Mole-Rat is? Naked mole-rats live underground and spend their lives in large colonies with a single breeding female. Watch as the Zoo’s colony eats, sleeps and explores its habitat, which features 16 chambers and nearly 25 feet of winding tunnels to patrol. There are also live cams of Lions, Elephants and Pandas.
Monterey Bay Aquarium-
Experience the wonder of the ocean from home. Choose one of the 10 live cams in Monterey Bay Aquarium and be mesmerized by the hypnotic drifting moon jellies, be delighted by the antics of the sea otters. Watch divers hand-feed sharks, fishes and other animals. Also printable games and activities.
You can watch Puffins on an underwater live cam at the Georgia Aquarium! You will also find videos of pirahna, otters, whales, and other sea life. Also offers Stem Lesson plans.
online puzzles and games
From Solitaire and Bridge to Mahjong and Daily Crossword Puzzles. Free!
Sunflower Farm has a herd of incredibly adorable Nigerian Dwarf goats, many which are expecting babies in the next few weeks. Keep an eye on them via two live goat cams installed in the barn and pasture. You may even see the birth of a kid or two! The lovely folks at Sunflower are also helping calm frayed nerves by posting Love Notes from the Goats daily on YouTube, each one ending with a quiet closing section that's meant to be used for meditation.
For updates from the Town of Gorham
Gorham Rec staff have compiled a list of places to find food delivery options, restaurants with curbside pickup, feeding the frontline programs, utilities & rent assistance, food assistance, health assistance, health & fitness opportunities, hiking trails, and other opportunities to help local businesses!
Gorham Food Pantry
The Gorham Food Pantry offers food assistance at no cost to any Gorham resident.
PHONE 207-222-4351 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Located next to St. Anne's Church. Hours are Thursday mornings from 10 - 12 noon
211 is a comprehensive source of local social service information.
Call or text 211 to chat with a local community resource specialist.
You will find info on the Coronavirus epidemic and info to help locating resources for
food, shelter, veterans services, and other emergency information