Albany Pine Bush News


Over the Top!

Donors help Friends climb beyond $5,000 goal.

New memberships and contributions from generous donors throughout 2015 helped the Friends of the Pine Bush Community surpass a $5,000 match challenge that began in spring 2015.

match progress 12-31-15 crop (Medium)

It was many caring seventh-graders in Dr. Alan Fiero’s classes at Farnsworth Middle School, Guilderland Central School that put the Friends over the $5,000 amount just before the holidays. The students’ holiday fundraiser benefited the “Ticket to Ride” program. Students collected money in lieu of gifts for their teachers and made a mural to promote the giving. As the money collected grew they added children’s faces to the buses.

In front of a mural depicting buses heading to the Pine Bush, Farnsworth student Molly DiCaprio stands with classmates Austin Durant and Liam Kerr to hand a $755 check to Darwin Roosa, president of the Friends.

In front of a mural depicting buses heading to the Pine Bush, Farnsworth student Molly DiCaprio stands with classmates Austin Durant and Liam Kerr to hand a $755 check to Darwin Roosa, president of the Friends.

“The Farnsworth students’ fundraiser was an incredible expression of holiday giving for helping to share learning experiences in the Pine Bush with students in other districts,” said Darwin Roosa. “Recognition and thanks go to Farnsworth Middle School and Dr. Fiero.”

However, end-of-year generosity didn’t stop there. Contributions continued to come in from current and new Friends members bringing the total amount raised during the challenge to $5,770.

Everyone’s contribution of any amount mattered. The match challenge helped make the Friends tenth anniversary year its most successful year to date. A special thank you goes to Mr. Suozzo for helping the Friends become a true community of people who care about the Albany Pine Bush and about helping children and visitors of all ages learn about protecting this unique ecosystem.

Category: Pine Bush Friends
Friends @ 3:19 pm
Worker ants of the species commonly called the Odorous House Ant tend a Karner Larvae at the Albany Pine Bus Preserve.

Worker ants of the species commonly called the Odorous House Ant tend a Karner Larvae at the Albany Pine Bus Preserve.

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and Friends of the Pine Bush Community will cohost a lecture on January 21st as a part of their monthly Science Lecture Series at the Discovery Center. The lecture, which starts at 7:00pm, will be conducted by recent UMass Amherst graduate and Albany Pine Bush Outreach Coordinator Grace Barber on Ants of the Albany Pine Bush.

“The Albany Pine Bush Preserve appears to host an unusually high density of ant species for the region. During a summertime walk through the Preserve, a visitor could stumble upon a virtual river of slave-maker ants, unwittingly walk past species that have never been found anywhere else in the state, or open an acorn to reveal an entire colony of tiny ants” says Barber.

In 2014, Grace Barber earned an M.S. from UMass Amherst after studying ants at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and other inland pine barrens in NYS for two years. At this lecture, Ms. Barber will share her findings about the impressive diversity of ants at the Albany Pine Bush, their biology, and how they are influenced by differences in habitat. “Ants are not only fascinating, but they are important to our local ecosystems. They are major players in processes like soil aeration and seed dispersal, and there is still so much to learn about them!”, continued Barber.

This program is free and is recommended for ages 15+. Pre-registration is required for all programs. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. To sign up, please visit and click on “Events Calendar” at the top of the page or call 518-456-0655.

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 64 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.


Hungry for Milkweed by Jason MatheronThe Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission in partnership with the Friends of the Pine Bush Community held its second Pine Bush Perspectives Photo Exhibit November 1, 2015 – January 2, 2016. A total of 41 people entered 111 photos. From those photos the judges had the difficult job of choosing the 30 photos that appeared in the show. At the exhibit opening on November 1st five awards were presented. The judges of the exhibit also gave a brief overview of all of the entries and explained how they made their selections and presented the awards. First place was awarded to Kat Fitzpatrick for her photo Bright Fences – Dark Storm. Justin Scott was awarded second place for his photo Dragonfly Eyes. The Budding Talent award was given to Jeremy Collison the photographer of the best photo taken by someone under the age of 18 and honorable mentions were awarded to Noami King and Angel Rios. There were about 70 people in attendance at the opening. Visitors to the exhibit were invited to vote for their favorite photo and today we are excited to announce the winner of the People’s Choice Award, Jason Matheron for his photo Hungry for Milkweed. Thank you to all of the participants for sharing your perspective through photos!

Wendy @ 2:37 pm