Have you ever seen newts running around on any of the amazing hiking trails in the Finger Lakes region? If so, you’ve been in a thriving ecosystem.

During our first community meeting of the school year, Tina announced that year 10 at New Roots is “The Year of the Newt,” and told the history of why the newt is our school mascot. Students from the first year of our school in 2009 chose this friendly little adolescent salamander as our mascot because it reflects our school values and mission, in contrast to more traditional school mascots that are usually a lot more aggressive than these friendly little adolescent salamanders.

Newts are “teenagers,” in the same powerful stage of development as our New Roots students.  Next time you see these vibrant creatures on one of your hiking explorations in a Finger Lakes gorge, give thanks for their existence!  Newts are a great indicator of a thriving ecosystem, as they are generally one of the first species to disappear when an ecosystem is unhealthy.  We are grateful to our founding students for the legacy of our awesome and unique mascot.