Albany Pine Bush News

LF 2015 Post Cardv2


ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will host its ninth Lupine Fest on Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 11:00AM to 5:00PM at the Discovery Center. The event celebrates Pine Bush neighbors and the Capital Region’s globally rare, nationally significant, and locally distinct Albany Pine Bush. The annual spring festival honors the beautiful lupine wildflower and its importance to the conservation of several endangered butterflies. The Commission will highlight what a unique and special place it is through a fun day of music, games, crafts, snacks and more.

Christopher Hawver, Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission said, “The Albany Pine Bush is a National Natural Landmark and the best remaining example of an inland pitch pine – scrub oak pine barrens in the world. The Preserve’s 3,200 acres are also a unique part of a neighborhood we share with nearly 1 million people in the Capital District. We manage the Preserve to restore and protect its plants and animals and provide our neighbors with opportunities to enjoy nature. It’s important to celebrate how it helps to bring people closer to nature and why it’s worthy of protection.”

“The block party will offer visitors a chance to connect with us and enjoy many different activities,” said Erin Kinal, Education Program Director. “The day will feature something for all ages, including a fun day of music with The Whippersnappers and a free concert by The Refrigerators, games, crafts, face painting, a make your own tie-dye party, live local wildlife programs, nature walks, food and much more!” Guests can also meet many of the Preserve’s friends and partners like representatives from LLBean’s Outdoor Discovery School, Whole Foods, the Albany Mounted Police, the City of Albany Fire Department, the Guilderland YMCA and others.

According to Hawver, “rain or shine – Lupine Fest: A Pine Bush Block Party will offer fantastic family fun for everyone.” The festival will be held at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. Like Albany Pine Bush on Facebook or visit and click on Events Calendar for the full program schedule and more details. Parking for Lupine Fest is just across the street at Apollo Drive with shuttle rides to and from the parking area. Follow the PARKING signs. On-site handicap parking available.

IMG_0956 Lupine K Breisch

Wild Blue Lupine

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 including 55 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, and 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.


IMG_9470Collaboration offers unique learning opportunity for local University students and Preserve staff.

Union College Professor, Dr. Jeffrey Corbin, and his students, Sonia Sandoval and Natasha Jhala have been working with Preserve Conservation Director, Neil Gifford, to investigate mercury contamination in food webs surrounding several Preserve wetlands. In 2013 and 2014, they sampled insects and spiders, as well as blood and feathers from birds. After analyzing 145 samples, they report finding low concentrations of mercury in nearly all samples. From this they conclude that the Albany Pine Bush is a relatively uncontaminated site. The project is part of the Biodiversity Research Institute’s international effort to evaluate environmental mercury contamination. To learn more about this project visit the Center for Mercury Studies at

Photo: Swamp Sparrow captured as part of this project.

Wendy @ 10:06 am