ELEVENTH ANNUAL LUPINE FEST: Take a Walk on the Wild Side
ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will host its eleventh Lupine Fest on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM at the Discovery Center. This year the festival honors the diverse wildlife of the Albany Pine Bush as well as the wild blue lupine flower and its importance to the conservation of several rare butterflies. Visitors will experience a celebration of our local wildlife through live animal shows, wildlife workshops and nature walks. All are invited to come discover the animals that call the Albany Pine Bush home through hands-on activities with community partners, music with the Whipper Snappers and B95.5, games, crafts, vendors, 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 3,300 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.”
“This free event offers 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, games, craft vendors, face painting, a make your own tie-dye party, live local wildlife programs, nature walks, food and much more!” Kinal continues, “We’re celebrating Lupine Fest this year with the second running of the Karner Kontraption. Come watch our Pine Bush Rube Goldberg-inspired machine designed by volunteer Jane Tatlock as it demonstrates the process of restoring the Pine Bush. With multiple moving parts, our machine will show the various strategies we use to restore and manage this globally rare, nationally significant and locally distinct ecosystem.”
According to Hawver, “Rain or shine – Lupine Fest: Take a Walk on the Wild Side will offer fantastic family fun for everyone. Guests can meet many of the Preserve’s friends and partners like representatives from Friends of the Pine Bush Community, L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Into the Wild, the Boy Scouts, the Guilderland Public Library, Guilderland Chamber of Commerce and others.” 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 www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events for the full program schedule and more details. Parking for Lupine Fest is at 302 Washington Avenue Ext. with shuttle rides to and from the parking area. Follow the PARKING signs. On-site handicap parking available.
The 3,300+ – 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 75 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.