Albany Pine Bush News

Pine Bush Dreamscape by Noel Payton

Pine Bush Dreamscape by Noel Payton

ALBANY NY – Pine Bush-inspired art and traditional quilts will be on display at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center from Friday June 24 – Sunday July 10, 2016 during normal Discovery Center hours. The quilts were crafted by members of the QUILT Guild of Delmar, NY and each quilt depicts the Pine Bush from the quilter’s own perspective.

Blake Etchison, Discovery Center Manager, said “Each quilt is a stunning representation of the preserve’s uniqueness and the quilter’s skill.” Visitors to the Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany, are asked to weigh in on their favorite quilt by voting for the winner of the People’s Choice award.

For more details, 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 63 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.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAALBANY, NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will host a series of programs as part of New York State’s Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 10 – 15, 2016. “As a member of the Capital-Mohawk PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management), we are pleased to provide opportunities to raise awareness on the need to manage invasive species”, said Neil Gifford, Conservation Director with the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission. PRISMs were created by the New York State Invasive Species Task Force to coordinate invasive species management and education with public and private landowners throughout the state.

A wide variety of invasive species are a threat to the health of this National Natural Landmark as well as many other places throughout New York State. According to Gifford, “invasive species pose one of the most serious threats to the Preserve’s globally-rare inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens and the 63 wildlife species of greatest conservation need that live there.” The Commission will kick off the week with the Pine Bush Invaders hike on Sunday July 10, 2016 1:00pm-2:30pm at the Discovery Center. This 0.9 mile hike teaches about the invasive species in the Pine Bush and some of the things that are being done to reduce their impacts. This program is free and best suited for ages 10 and up.

Each morning from 9:30am-11:30am during the week of Monday July 11 – Friday July 15, 2016 the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will hold Invasive Honeysuckle Removal programs. Volunteers meet at the Discovery Center each morning and then caravan to a work site. Participants must provide their own transportation and be prepared to work off trail. These programs are all free and are for ages 15 and up. Pre-registration is required for all programs. For more information and to sign up 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 63 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.

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Wendy @ 1:38 pm

Albany Pine Bush pine barrensALBANY, NY – In March 2016, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area officially designated the Albany Pine Bush as a Heritage Site. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission chose the occasion of the 10th anniversary of their annual Lupine Fest to celebrate the high honor by unveiling a new National Park Service Passport Cancellation Station in the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center.

Christopher Hawver, Commission Executive Director, said, “This important national recognition further substantiates the Albany Pine Bush as a globally-rare treasure with unique geology and ecology. It also gives us an opportunity to focus on the incomparable cultural and historical Hudson River Heritage experience that the Pine Bush provides.”APB Discovery Center National Parks Cancellation StationThe Albany Pine Bush was selected because of its unique combination of outstanding ecological (pitch pine – scrub oak barrens) features and its rich human history which starts with Native Americans who settled in this area almost 10,000 years ago. The Mohawks and Mahicans sold the furs they harvested from the Pine Bush to Europeans at Fort Orange, present day Albany. Both settlers and Native Americans used the “Mohawk Path” later named the Kings Highway, as a travel corridor through the Pine Bush. For centuries the Albany Pine Bush has provided resources of many different kinds for people. It provided land for farms, sand for glass manufacturing, trees for lumber and posts and was a place for hunting and food gathering.

Mark Castiglione, Acting Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, said, “The Albany Pine Bush Preserve connects people to an amazing and rare ecosystem to educate the public on environmental issues and also provides unique recreational opportunities. The Pine Bush Preserve is a great place for people to learn about natural history, both in the educational center and also along the miles of recreational trails.”

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area was designated by Congress in 1996 and is one of the now forty-nine federally-recognized National Heritage Areas throughout the United States. Through a partnership with the National Park Service, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area collaborates with residents, government agencies, non-profit groups and private partners to interpret, preserve and celebrate the nationally-significant cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley. In this way, they encourage public stewardship for these resources as well as economic activity at the local and regional level. The Heritage Area is managed by the Hudson River Valley Greenway.
To improve awareness of these resources, they have established a network of designated Heritage Sites, classified by theme and amenities. This network helps to better interpret the individual sites and also helps to better interpret the “big picture” story of the entire region and how those individual sites have worked together to shape our national history.

Hawver said, “This prestigious designation, along with the opportunity for the Pine Bush to participate in the National Park Service Passport to Your National Parks program, will draw attention to the remarkable story the Pine Bush has to tell, and its many unfolding layers of amazing facts.” The National Park Service Passports and new Cancellation Station will be located in the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center Gift Shop.

APBP Earth Day 2015 Krishna Hill (15)ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will host its 5th annual Earth Day celebration at the Discovery Center on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. “This is a wonderful day to meet many of our neighbors dedicated to helping the preserve” said Lead Educator, Jackie Citriniti. The event will consist of many different projects such as trash collection, tree planting and invasive species removal. There will be something for all ages. “It’s always amazing to see how much we get done in just a few hours! If you’re looking for a great way to contribute to helping a rare ecosystem right here in your backyard, join us on April 16th to celebrate Earth Day” continued Citriniti. As a thank you to all the volunteers for their hard work, lunch will be provided at noon.

John McConnell, a peace activist, first proposed Earth Day at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco to be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring, to honor the earth and the concept of peace. A month later on April 22, 1970 Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin organized a second Earth Day as a national teach-in on the environment. Earth Day is now an annual occasion, a day on which events are held around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

APBP Earth Day 2015 Krishna Hill (81)The Albany Pine Bush Earth Day celebration is a free event. Pre-registration is required for all programs. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. To sign up, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

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 63 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.

APBP Earth Day 2015 Krishna Hill (44)
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.

Snow Pack Research in the Albany Pine BushALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is looking for neighbors that live within half a mile of the Preserve to help track changing weather patterns by measuring the depth of snow in their own backyard. On Sunday, January 10 from 2:00-3:00pm come to the Discovery Center to learn how to collect and submit measurements.

Regionally, climate change is altering seasonal weather patterns, especially temperature and precipitation, but little is known about specific changes in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is therefore asking Preserve neighbors to help fill this knowledge gap by inviting them to participate in a citizen-science project to document snow depth around the Preserve.

“Many plants and animals have evolved to require cold, snowy winter weather”, said Neil Gifford, Conservation Director for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission. “For example, such conditions appear essential to the success of the endangered Karner blue butterfly’s eggs, which overwinter under the snow. Prolonged cold temperatures also provide the refrigeration critical to the germination of many native plant seeds, and snow can affect how much water is in vernal ponds for frog and salamander breeding in spring.”

According to Gifford, understanding how weather patterns in the Preserve are changing is the first step to understanding what the Commission can do to improve the long-term survival of the Karner blue butterfly as well as 63 other rare wildlife listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New York State.

This program is free and recommended for ages 15+. Snow monitoring materials will be provided. Participants must live within one half mile of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Pre-registration is required for all programs. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. To sign up please visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org 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 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.

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Fecon Mower in the APBALBANY, NY- The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is protecting and managing the globally rare inland pitch pine – scrub oak barrens known locally as the “Albany Pine Bush.”

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.

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Wendy @ 2:01 pm

Smokey Bear Day 2012 (39)This Monday, October 12th, Smokey will be visiting the Discovery Center to raise awareness about the role of fire and fire safety in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve!

It may at first seem strange that Smokey would support the use of prescribed fire at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. But wait! With a little information, this turns out to makes a whole lot of sense.

Fire is an essential, and inevitable, part of the Pine Bush. The dry, sandy soil that underlies much of the Capital Region makes it easy for fires to start and spread quickly. In fact, frequent fire is a big part of why the Pine Bush has such a special assortment of plants and animals, many of which are rare and some are endangered. In order to protect these natural resources, fire has become part of the Albany Pine Bush management plan.

A true wildfire is an out-of-control fire. If a wildfire occurred in or around the Pine Bush Preserve it could be disastrous for those who live and work in the area.

So why is it okay, or even a public good, for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission to deliberately set fires in the Preserve?

Because small, controlled fires protect both people and wildlife from huge, out-of-control fires.

Using prescribed fire – fires that are carefully planned, tailored to a particular environment, and applied by trained fire managers – the Pine Bush Preserve Commission burns away fallen leaves and sticks. This greatly reduces the amount of burnable material and the risk of wildfire, and that is a goal Smokey supports.

Come meet Smokey at the Discovery Center!

Monday, October 12, 2015

10:00am – 2:00pm

 

Grace Barber @ 11:18 am

2014 APB Photo exhibit winnersALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is now accepting submissions for the second Pine Bush Perspectives juried photo exhibit.

Environmental Educator Sara Poggi-Decker, the project coordinator said, “So many visitors to the preserve capture amazing moments on camera and this is the perfect opportunity to share those with the Albany Pine Bush community.” Entrants may be any age or skill level. Minors must have parental permission in order to submit photos. She continued, “Photos can range from a butterfly, a perfectly framed landscape or hikers on the trail. Share your perspective of the Pine Bush and help us to display this globally rare ecosystem.” Photos must be submitted by the original photographer and must have been taken in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Each photographer can submit up to three photos. Entries can be submitted online at www.AlbanyPineBush.org/Photo-exhibit.

The deadline to submit photos is September 15, 2015. Entries will be judged by jurors selected by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Juried Photo Exhibit Committee. Submission does not guarantee entry. Entrants will be notified by October 5, 2015 of their entry status. All accepted photographs will require final preparation by the artist and must be framed and have wire for hanging. Some accepted photographs may be used in magnets to be sold in our gift shop and other locations. The exhibit will open on November 1, 2015, with an awards presentation and small reception in the Discovery Center. For more details, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/Photo-exhibit 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 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.
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The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center will be closed to the public for one day on Thursday, August 6, 2015. All Preserve trails will remain open and the Discovery Center will re-open on August 7, 2015.

Wendy @ 11:00 am
A Blunt Knapweed Flower Weevil in a Spotted Knapweed flower.

A Blunt Knapweed Flower Weevil in a Spotted Knapweed flower.

Last week was NY Invasive Species Awareness Week, a week dedicated to getting the word out about the threats posed by invasive species. At the Albany Pine Bush, visitors learned about invasive plants in the preserve and Field Ecologist, Amanda Dillon, took to the managed barrens around the Discovery Center, sweep-net in hand, to investigate the status of some very special insects. She was on the hunt for any of the 13 species of insects released at locations around the country over the past 40 years to help control invasive knapweed plants.

In the Albany Pine Bush, one species in particular, Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), mostly occurs along the edges of hiking trails, with occasional patches scattered throughout the Preserve. Knapweeds are much more problematic in western parts of the country. There, knapweed can out-compete most of the native prairie species, creating large monocultures – areas where knapweeds are virtually the only plant species present.

Emergence hole in the seed head of a Spotted Knapweed plant. The small hole in this seedhead is the point at which a larvae of one of the seed-eating insects chewed its way out of the plant after consuming many of the seeds.

Emergence hole in the seed head of a Spotted Knapweed plant. The small hole in this seedhead is the point at which a larvae of one of the seed-eating insects chewed its way out of the plant after consuming many of the seeds.

They’re here! Dillon found not one, but three of the species of insects that biologically control the spread of Spotted Knapweed. The species she found included the Banded Knapweed Gall Fly (Urophora affinis), UV Knapweed Seedhead Fly (Urophora quadrifasciata), and Blunt Knapweed Flower Weevil (Larinus obtusus). While knapweed may never be totally eradicated from the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, these insects in combination with mechanical management and prescribed fire can give the native plants of this rare ecosystem a competitive advantage.

 

 

 

References:

Wilson, L.M., Randall, C.B., 2003. Biology and Biological Control of Knapweed. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, Technology Transfer. Available online at http://www.invasive.org/weeds/knapweedbook.pdf

Grace Barber @ 3:14 pm
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