CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (News10)-End-of-the-year activities and field trips are being impacted by poor air quality in New York’s Capital Region. The hazy conditions due to smoke caused by Canadian wildfires have school districts following NYS Department of Health guidelines. They are now canceling outdoor activities and P.E., as well as rescheduling or simply getting creative when it comes to field trips.

At Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar, visiting students were invited to participate in indoor activities. Displays that featured a rescued owl, a bee enclosure, and several turtles, instead of exploring the trails and natural highlights outside.

During a Thursday press conference, Governor Kathy Hochul urged New Yorkers to play it safe when it comes to field trips and outdoor activities. “So, let’s just keep monitoring the news,” said Hochul. “We will make sure that everybody has, in real-time, when we get the information. But right now, I would say if it’s a week or so out, it’s too early to say what the situation will be. But today and tomorrow, not a good idea to be out.”

One way to avoid the issue altogether was to go deep, as in under the ground. The 4th-grade class with St. Pius X School enjoyed their field trip at Howe Caverns located in Howes Cave. “And the air quality was amazing,” said 4th-grade teacher Chantale Milano. Milano told News10’s Anya Tucker that it was pure luck and timing that the school from Loudonville had scheduled the trip for this week. “It just happened by coincidence that we had planned on going there. It tied in beautifully with the science unit that we were doing, which is rock formations and fossils and stuff like that.” But she added that other annual events, such as the school’s Spirit Day may look a bit different, shifting re-scheduling outdoor activities to inside, due to the poor air quality conditions.