Kids' Corner - November Newsletter

Have you ever walked in Goffle Brook Park and looked at the trees?  Now that it is fall you must have noticed the brilliant red, yellow, and orange leaves that fill the trees and the ground. Have you ever wondered what makes the leaves change?

Why do Leaves Change Colors?

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Most trees in Goffle Brook Park change their leaf color in the fall.  Trees that lose their leaves are called deciduous trees.  During the summer months, these trees store chlorophyll that makes the leaves green.  As winter approaches these leaves are busy storing sunlight during photosynthesis.  The deciduous trees go into a resting state and start to lose their chlorophyll. That is why we start to see that bright green color disappear and those red, yellow, and orange colors start to appear.  




  • Pot of boiling water (adults only)

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Small containers with lids 

  • Different colored leaves (We used a green, green & red, yellow, and brown)


1.  Place leaves in a boiling pot of water for 5 minutes. While they are boiling, fill up small containers with rubbing alcohol.

2.  When the five minutes are up, use the tongs to remove the leaves and place each one in the rubbing alcohol making sure to sort by color if you are using multiple leaves.

3.  Observe what color the alcohol is. Come back throughout the day and check to see if the alcohol has changed color.  Let your experiment sit overnight and in the morning the colors will be even darker!


Leaf Luminaries


  • Leaves

  • Clear Glass Jar

  • Modge Podge Glue (substitute thin Elmer’s Glue) 

  • Paintbrush

  • No flame tea lights 


  1. Collect leaves of different colors and sizes.  Wash them and lay them out to dry.

  2. Next using the paintbrush coat each leaf with the modge podge glue or Elmer’s glue.  

  3. Put glue on the jar where you want to place the leaf.

  4. Then stick it on the outside of the jar. Repeat this step until the whole jar is covered.

  5. Make sure that the leaves are covered with glue on the jar. 

  6. Once your jar is dry, add a no flame tea light inside and you have a beautiful lantern.


Please send your photo of the finished projects to or Facebook Hawthorne Environmental Commission/Green Team.