Albany Pine Bush News

ABN Community Mark-FinalALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve, via the not-for-profit Friends of the Pine Bush Community, will receive support from the “Community Giving Day” at Whole Foods Market Albany on January 15, 2015. To thank shoppers for their support that day, representatives from the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) and the Friends group will host an Albany Pine Bush information display at the Colonie Center Whole Foods Market store from 11am – 7pm. The store will dedicate 5% of sales that day to the Friends in support of their programs to protect the Albany Pine Bush and educate under-served students.

“The Friends of the Pine Bush Community has been a fantastic partner for Whole Foods Market Albany. With a core value of supporting our local community, Whole Foods Market is ecstatic to support their efforts to help conserve and educate the community about the Albany Pine Bush Preserve” said Keri O’Brien, Whole Foods Market Albany.

Christopher Hawver, the APBPC’s Executive Director said, “This is an easy way for the community to support the important work we’re doing here in managing and protecting this globally-rare National Natural Landmark. We’re grateful to Whole Foods Market and encourage all those who care about the Preserve, nature, wildlife, open space, scientific research, land protection and education to support the Friends of the Pine Bush simply by shopping that day.”

Robin Cabanos, President of the Friends group added, “The Friends of the Pine Bush Community appreciates the support of Whole Foods Market and its customers, and is pleased to be the recipient of this community giving day. The proceeds donated will be used to increase the number of schools and students we can serve through our Ticket to Ride program.”

Whole Foods Market team members are part of the local community and they are passionate about supporting the local causes that are important to their shoppers and neighbors. Several times a year, their stores hold Community Giving Days (otherwise known as “5% Days”) where five percent of that day’s net sales are donated to a local nonprofit or educational organization.

The Friends’ Ticket to Ride program that the Community Giving Day will help fund fulfills two of Whole Foods Market’s major interests: environmental preservation and education. For many children the only thing standing in the way of a trip into the natural world of the globally-rare Albany Pine Bush is the cost of a school bus trip. The average cost per child for a school bus trip to the Pine Bush is only $5. To date the Friends have helped more than 2,362 children through their Ticket To Ride program that grants qualifying schools transportation funding to bring students to the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center and Preserve.

Hawver continued, “Bringing under-served students to the state-of-the-art Discovery Center and the Preserve is an important part of our mission. We’re not only giving kids in need a potentially-life changing experience, but we’re helping to build a broader base of future supporters.”

The Friends group currently receives many more requests than it can satisfy and have a goal of increasing their resources so they can accommodate the growing need. More information will be available at the display on the January 15th Community Giving Day, or call the APBPC at 518-456-0655 or visit

The 3,200 – acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent habitat provides homes for many plants and animals and contains 55 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. The Preserve is a National Natural Landmark, a New York State Unique Area, Bird Conservation Area and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the Preserve offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. A visit to this unique destination is an exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush. Admission to the Discovery Center is free (there is a small fee for programs). The Center is open daily weekdays 9am-4pm, weekends and most holidays 10am-4pm. For more information, visit or call 518-456-0655.