Watershed Education

Hanford Mills Watershed Education Programs (PreK-8th Grade)

Hanford Mills Museum educators offer programming to schools in Delaware, Greene, and Schoharie counties.

Here are some hands-on lessons to use at home. Watch the videos and view (or print) the companion activity guides. All are welcome to use these resources to learn more about the importance of watersheds.

A watershed is an area of land where water collects and drains into a river, lake or reservoir. Much of Delaware, Greene and Schoharie counties are part of the West-of-Hudson Watershed network. More lessons and topics will be added in the near future. Have feedback? Let us know! 

Many thanks to the Catskill Watershed Corporation for funding this initiative.

 Forests & Water Health

  • Forests and trees are a crucial part of keeping watersheds healthy and sustainable. Students will learn about how our activities impact the watershed, what we can do to be more aware of our actions, and build their own tree filter.
    Recommended for Grades 4-8.
    Watch Video
    View/Print Activity Guide:   HMM Forests and Water Health Activity Guide 

Pollution and the Watershed

  • Water moves on and around the Earth in different forms. It can pick up and carry pollution as it goes. Students learn about the effects that pollution has on the water cycle by polluting and then attempting to clean up simulated lakes.
    Recommended for Grades 2-5.
    Watch Video
    View/Print  HMM Pollution Activity Guide 

 Sharing Water

  • How do people use water, and what are some ways we can all work together to share this precious resource? Students will explore how water in their community, region, and state is a shared resource.
    Recommended for Grades PreK-3.
    Watch Video
    View/Print  HMM Sharing Water Activity Guide

 Water is a Limited Resource

  • How much water is on Earth and what is available to use? Students will examine how they use water every day and compare how much water is used by houses, schools, farms, and factories. There is only so much to go around… how do we make it last?
    Recommended for Grades 4-5.
    Watch Video
    View/Print  HMM Water is a Limited Resource Activity Guide

Water Science

  • How many drops of water fit on the surface of a penny? Can water move by itself? Through a series of fun, simple experiments, students will explore some of the many interesting properties of water.
    Recommended for Grades PreK-1.
    Watch Video
    View/Print  HMM Water Science Activity Guide

Water, Water, Everywhere? The Importance of Watersheds 

  • What is a watershed? Why is it important? Why is the water in Upstate New York so clean? In this activity, students will explore watersheds and how landforms can influence the way water moves.
    Recommended for Grades 2-3.
    Watch Video
    View/Print  HMM Water Water Everywhere Activity Guide  

 Watershed Lessons by Grade Level


  • Sharing Water
  • Water Science 


  • Sharing Water
  • Water Science 

First Grade

  • Sharing Water  
  • Water Science 

Second Grade    

  • Pollution and the Watershed
  • Sharing Water 
  • Water, Water, Everywhere? The Importance of Watersheds

Third Grade 

  • Pollution and the Watershed 
  • Sharing Water
  • Water, Water, Everywhere?  The Importance of Watersheds

Fourth Grade

  • Forests & Water Health 
  • Pollution and the Watershed 
  • Water is a Limited Resource  

Fifth Grade

  • Forests & Water Health 
  • Pollution and the Watershed 
  • Water is a Limited Resource

Sixth Grade

  • Forests & Water Health 

Seventh Grade

  • Forests & Water Health 

Eighth Grade

  • Forests & Water Health      

News Release: Learning Lab Grand Opening

Hanford Mills Museum logoHanford Mills Museum News Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Liz Callahan,  607/278-5744


Hanford Mills Museum to open new place for children to explore, create and build

Learning Lab Grand Opening part of Free Family Saturday on June 17

[ East Meredith, NY June 2, 2017] On June 17, Hanford Mills Museum will open the Learning Lab, a new space for young children and their families to explore and create. The Learning Lab offers a range of activities, including building with gears and blocks from Keva and Imagination Playground, problem-solving challenges, mini-waterwheels and other power generation models, and a reading center with comfortable kid-sized seating.

“We created the Learning Lab to provide an inviting, kid-friendly space to foster innovation and creative problem solving,” says Liz Callahan, the Museum’s executive director.  “Kids can explore topics highlighted in Mill tours like power, energy, technology, and sustainable resources. And, because young children learn through play, we have lot of fun activities for kids to choose from.”  She noted that the Learning Lab is included with regular admission.

“We are looking forward to having the space filled with children, and hope that local families will view this as a resource they can visit again and again,” said Callahan. “It is an enjoyable, meaningful and affordable way for families to spend time together.”

June 17 is a Free Family Saturday at Hanford Mills Museum, so any adult who is accompanied by a child under 18 receives free admission. Children and teens also receive free admission that day.  Additional Free Family Saturday dates at Hanford Mills are July 22, August 12, and September 2.

Hanford Mills staff worked with museum education consultant Katie Boardman of the Cherry Valley Group and Museum Studies students from the Cooperstown Graduate Program to create a space especially for children 8 and under. The planning was supported in part by a grant from the Museum Association of New York.

Hanford Mills will continue to add activities to the Learning Lab, and will be installing solar panels on the roof of the building soon to provide opportunities to talk about solar power. The Learning Lab is located across the Mill pond from the Museum’s historic sawmill and woodworking shop.

About Hanford Mills Museum
As one of only a handful of operating water-powered mills, Hanford Mills Museum has earned a place on both the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places.  The mission of Hanford Mills Museum is to inspire audiences of all ages to explore connections among energy, technology, natural resources, and entrepreneurship in rural communities with a focus on sustainable choices.

Hanford Mills Museum is located at 51 County Hwy. 12, at the intersection of Delaware County Routes 10 and 12 in East Meredith, NY, 10 miles from Oneonta and 15 miles from Delhi. The Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm, and also on Labor Day and Columbus Day. Children 12 and under receive free admission, as do Museum members, anyone with an EBT card, and Museum neighbors who live in the following zip codes: 13757, 13739, 13786, 13750, and 13806.

For more information, visit www.hanfordmills.org or call 607.278.5744.




CONTACT:        Liz Callahan, [email protected] 607.278.5744