For the fifteenth consecutive year, during the months of October and November, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will continue improving the overall health of Pine Bush habitat by mowing selected areas of the Preserve with large, heavy duty equipment. The 80 acres scheduled to be mowed this fall are located in the region of the Preserve east of Old State Road between Siver Road and East Lydius Street.
By mowing areas of high priority for restoration, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission continues to expand the number of acres it can manage and restore annually. Stewardship Director, Joel Hecht said that “mowing these areas is designed specifically to expedite restoration efforts. By mowing areas of dense pine barrens vegetation, the wildlife habitat is enhanced while it is also preparing these areas for future prescribed burns. Areas mowed are then easier to safely manage with fire since the vegetation size is significantly reduced.”
Mowing is expected to take about a month to complete. Due to the large size of the equipment used and its ability to throw debris, a portion of the Preserve’s purple trail between Madison Avenue Extension and Old State Road will be closed while the mowing is taking place. Hecht continued, “Visitors are encouraged to explore other areas of the Preserve during this time such as trailhead #11 located in DiCaprio Park off of East Lydius Street.” Several large signs will be temporarily placed along Old State Road to alert motorists that this mowing benefits wildlife and is helping to keep the Pine Bush healthy.
For more information on all Preserve management activities please visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org, the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany or call (518) 456-0655 x1213.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE PINE BUSH:
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 www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 518-456-0655.