Albany Pine Bush News


Restoration Station

It’s here! The new Exploration Station is now open at the Discovery Center! This temporary exhibit is full of information and activities about restoration (keeping the Pine Bush healthy) in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. This exciting exhibit has a giant life-size board game, hands on activities and crafts. There is something here for all ages from an animal headband craft to details about some of the different types of management used in the Preserve. Next time you are at the Discovery Center come check it out!

Sara @ 11:06 am

We have a new Storywalk®!
The pages of the book Miss Rumphius written by Barbara Cooney are posted along the Discovery loop and part of the blue trail out behind the Discovery Center.
Seeking adventure in faraway places, Miss Rumphius fulfills her dream and then sets out to make the world more beautiful.
This is a fun opportunity to get outside and read.
Come check it out!

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library.


Barbara Cooney and her twin brother were born on August 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York to Russell Schenck Cooney and Mae Evelyn Bossert. Because her father was a stockbroker, her family lived in suburbia, which Barbara disliked.

Cooney attended a boarding school as a child. Never considering an art school and wanting a liberal arts education, she later attended Smith College where she studied art history and received her degree in 1938, a decision she was later to regret.

Realizing that she needed to make a living at something, she decided that illustrating books was a career as good as any. She attended classes on etching and lithography at the Art Students League in New York City.

She quickly received assignments after getting a portfolio together and schlepping it around to publishers, but, unfortunately, World War II postponed her new career for a bit. Recalling an earlier trip to Germany prior to the war and the horrors that she had seen there, she was compelled to join the Women’s Army Corps during the summer of 1942.

She enrolled in officer training and achieved the rank of second lieutenant, but was honorably discharged the following spring because of marriage and the pregnancy of her first child, Gretel. She married Guy Murchie, Jr., a war correspondent, in December of 1944. In 1945, the young couple bought a farm in Pepperell, Massachusetts where they ran a children’s camp during the summer months. One can only imagine that, perhaps, family life didn’t suit Mr. Murchie and the couple divorced in March of 1947, but not before having one more child, Barnaby.

With a young family to support, Cooney resumed her career in book illustration. She married Charles Talbot Porter, a physician, on July 16, 1949, and the couple had two more children, Charles Talbot Jr. and Phoebe Ann.

By this time, Cooney was illustrating several books a year and even wrote one herself now and then. In fact, it was for her adaptation of Chaucer’s The Nun Priest’s Tale that she won the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1959.

Cooney was a stickler for details and traveled extensively to support her research. A visit to Mexico was required to study at the art and anthropological museums there. A visit to Finland was in order to meet with artist, writers and folklorists there.

Cooney died on 14 March, 2000 at the age of 83. Her last book was Basket Moon published in September of 1999

In the later part of her career Cooney focused on writing and illustrating more books of her own, and these were equally well–received. Miss Rumphius, for which the author won both the American Book Award and a New York Times citation in 1982, was inspired by the true story of a woman who traveled the world collecting flower seeds and came home at last to make something beautiful. Her most recent books include Hattie and the Wild Waves.


Wendy @ 11:05 am

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center will host the seventh annual Lupine Fest on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. In addition to celebrating the wild blue lupine and its importance to the endangered Karner blue butterfly, this year’s theme celebrates the Pine Bush’s history and the 25th anniversary of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission. A full day of programs is planned including presentations, demonstrations, music, games, face painting, crafts, guided hikes, food vendors and more.

Christopher Hawver, Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission said, “For a festival that has been growing annually, this year is especially important as we reflect on all of the remarkable accomplishments we’ve made over the past 25 years.”

“Visitors will travel back in time on a journey from the end of the Ice Age through today to discover the Pine Bush past,” said Erin Kinal, Albany Pine Bush Education Director. “The day will feature something for all ages including music by the Whippersnappers, a guided Storywalk®, Shaker broom making, a ‘Legends and Lore Walk’ to name a just a few of the exciting things we’ve planned.” Highlights of the event include storytelling by nationally-acclaimed author Joe Bruchac and a multimedia talk for all ages on “The Ancient Sport of Falconry” by Beth Bidwell from Wild Things Environmental Education featuring live birds of prey.

According to Discovery Center Director Jeffrey Folmer, “Last year’s attendance was record-breaking and everyone had a great time, including staff and volunteers. We’ve been planning all year for this major event, and we all really look forward to it.” This will be the second Lupine Fest for Folmer who added, “The Pine Bush boasts a rich and truly amazing natural and cultural history, and the state-of-the-art interactive exhibits at the Discovery Center do a great job of interpreting this globally-unique treasure!”

Lupine Fest: Living History will offer FREE fantastic family fun for all – rain or shine. The festival will be held at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany. Like AlbanyPineBush on Facebook or visit for more details, and click on Events Calendar.

Located within the Capital District Region, the Albany Pine Bush’s gently rolling sand plain is home to a variety of rare plants and animals, including the Federally-endangered Karner blue butterfly. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve also creates a special habitat for a number of other rare and unique plants and animals, while providing visitors with an assortment of non-motorized recreational opportunities including hiking, jogging, nature study, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing.

The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center transforms this globally unique destination into an exciting adventure where learning comes naturally through hands-on activities. As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center introduces visitors to everything that makes the Preserve rare and adventurous. With the help of many volunteers, the Discovery Center offers monthly outings and programs about the ecology, natural and cultural history of the Pine Bush area. Admission is free. The center is open Tuesday-Friday 9AM-4PM, Saturday and Sunday 10AM-4PM, and on most holiday Mondays. The center is also available for private parties and meeting rentals. For more information, visit or call 518-456-0655.