Christopher Hawver, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Executive Director said, “We invite the community to come out and enjoy this free annual event. Smokey Bear Day provides a family-friendly opportunity to learn why fire is an important natural component of this globally-rare ecosystem.”
Visitors will learn how the Commission uses prescribed fire to keep the Pine Bush, listed as a National Natural Landmark, a healthy habitat for the unique species of plants and animals that thrive there. Smokey Bear and a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger will make appearances throughout the day, and Commission Fire Management and Education staff will be on hand.
Erin Kinal, Education Program Director said, “There will be interactive exhibits on prescribed fire, refreshments and Smokey goody bags for visitors to take home. Visitors will have several opportunities throughout the event to meet Smokey Bear.”
All ages are welcome. The event will be held rain or shine at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany. For more details and to pre-register, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events 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 ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals and supports 69 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, 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 APBP 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.