Albany Pine Bush News

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
2006KBreisch oriental bittersweet

Celastrus orbiculatus, also known as “bittersweet,” girdles and kills native trees. Its stems and berries have been used in fall decorations which has spread this invasive species to new locations.

Whether or not you’re aware of it, you’ve almost certainly been in contact with an invasive species. You may have pulled them from your garden, brushed their pollen from your clothes, seen signs of them in the yellowing leaves of forest trees, or heard them calling from window ledges in your neighborhood. Without training to recognize these species, however, most of us don’t experience them as anything out of the ordinary. Shrub Honeysuckle, for instance, appears as just another bush with bright berries, Purple Loosestrife adds color to the roadside at a certain time of year, and House Sparrows simply contribute to the chatter above our heads in spring. While they may appear innocuous, or even beautiful, invasive species like these are leading to the loss of native plant and animal species throughout the State, degrading our ecosystems and our health along with them.

So, what exactly is an invasive species? Invasive species are plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and, yes, even viruses that have arrived someplace new, only to wreak havoc on what was there before. By most definitions, including the one used by the New York State legislature, in order for a species to be invasive, it must be non-native and pose a significant threat to the economy, the environment, or human health. Thus, invasive species are, by definition, causing big problems ­– even as we fail to notice them in our day-to-day lives. It is for this reason that State legislators have followed the lead of the federal government, and created an annual NY Invasive Species Awareness Week (this week!) to help all of us become a little better at spotting the things that don’t belong and taking action to make things a little better.

What do invasive species have to do with the Albany Pine Bush Preserve? The short answer: a lot. Invasive species are particularly prevalent in places where there are many people bringing in goods from far-off places. Transportation has played a large role in Albany’s economy for hundreds of years, with people and goods from around the world passing through the city. Non-native species are one legacy of this past. Today, more than 28 species listed by NYS as highly invasive have been recorded in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. We know this number precisely because Preserve staff are dedicated to monitoring the ecosystem, identifying invasive species, and taking action to reduce or remove them. As the organization in charge of protecting one of the largest, publicly accessible, natural areas within Albany County (also a National Natural Landmark), the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission has a great responsibility to ensure that native plants and animals will continue to persist here. This means keeping invasive species in check.

This picture shows Black Locust trees that were removed from a site near Washington Ave. Extension, Albany

This picture shows Black Locust trees that the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission removed from a site near Washington Ave. Extension, Albany

One of the highly invasive plant species that preserve managers at the Albany Pine Bush have been successful in removing from many locations is Black Locust. This tree was introduced to the Northeast from the southeastern United States because of its value for fence posts, erosion control and firewood. Unfortunately, when this species becomes established in pine barrens, it can decimate the ecosystem. It is a fast-growing and tenacious species, that outcompetes native pine barrens plants, reduces the amount of light reaching the ground, and prevents ecologically necessary wildland fire.  It is able to send up new sprouts from from stumps and roots, and dramatically alters soil chemistry to the detriment of native plants. Recently, managers at the Albany Pine Bush cleared Black Locust from large sections of Preserve land along Washington Avenue Extension, a process that involved removing the trees and digging up the interconnected root system of the expansive locust grove (also called a clone).

A critical part of the restoration process at the Albany Pine Bush is making sure that once invasive species are removed, another invasive species will not simply take its place. To prevent this, Preserve managers quickly plant native species where invasive species have been eliminated. Once the vegetation in a site is restored to native plants, hand pulling, targeted herbicide, mowing, and periodic prescribed or controlled fires are used to keep invasive species from returning. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission also works with municipalities, agencies, and our neighbors to reduce the risks of invasive plants by providing information about invasive species and about native species alternatives that can be used in landscaping. Conservation of the Albany Pine Bush will require that we all do what can to protect this globally rare, nationally significant, and locally distinct natural area.

To find out more about invasive species and events happening in throughout NY in recognition of Invasive Species Awareness Week, please follow the links below:

http://www.nyis.info/blog/

http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/1980.html

Grace Barber @ 5:51 pm

Kbb on displayALBANY, NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission invites the public to the Discovery Center for a rare opportunity to view Karner blue butterflies raised for release as part of its effort to recover this endangered species. The butterflies can be seen at the Discovery Center, located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany, through July 20 and perhaps longer depending on the rate at which they emerge from their chrysalises.

According to Executive Director Christopher Hawver, “This is a shining example of the outstanding work being done by our conservation science team on this globally-rare Preserve. It also showcases how the Discovery Center serves as a public resource connecting people directly to nature and science.”

After more than 50 years of decline, the Karner blue has returned to many of its former haunts throughout the 3,200-acre Preserve. This insect, first studied and named by zoologist and renowned author Vladimir Nabokov in 1944, can now be found at nearly 60 sites covering more than 400 acres of the Preserve.

“The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is one of several locations in New York State supporting Karner blue butterflies. Efforts to secure habitat for the Karner blue go a long way toward achieving the goal of restoring at least three populations in Glacial Lake Albany, the expansive sandbelt that extends from Albany to Lake George”, said NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Biologist, Kathy O’Brien, who coordinates statewide Karner blue butterfly recovery.

“Releasing butterflies into newly restored habitat is an important step in getting this iconic species off state and federal endangered species lists”, says the Commission’s Conservation Director, Neil Gifford. Gifford added, “The captive rearing program is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service New York Field office. We are incredibly grateful for that support and for the work of the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, who raise the butterflies for us at their facility in Concord, New Hampshire.”

“The Service is proud to be a partner in this successful collaboration. The APBPC is one of the leaders in Karner blue butterfly conservation and recovery, and their efforts can serve as an example for other recovery areas in New York and across the range of the species” said Robyn Niver, endangered species biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We should celebrate the conservation success embodied in the Preserve’s work to restore the Pine Bush in general, and the Karner blue butterfly in particular,” said Patty Riexinger, Director of the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources for DEC. “This is such a clear and motivating example of how we can contribute towards the restoration of imperiled species with direct, meaningful, and goal-oriented on-the-ground conservation work. This effort is certainly inspirational to all of us working in the conservation community.”

According to Gifford, “Twenty one adult female Karners were captured in the Preserve in June and transported to New Hampshire, where the eggs they produce were raised to chrysalises that were returned to the Commission last week. The resulting adults emerge at the Discovery Center and are released daily into the Preserve’s restored habitat”. In many cases these “new” colonies represent the return of this animal to the very locations where it was once abundant. According to Gifford, “we have returned Karners to 21 locations across the Preserve since 2008 and they all continue to support self-sufficient populations”. Gifford closed saying “We anticipate that this is the final year of our Accelerated Colonization program. With over >14,000 adult Kbb at >20 sites, in every section of the Preserve, we expect that natural colonization will be suitable to maintain/expand our metapopulation as we continue to restore additional habitat.”

“The work to restore habitat and recover the Albany Pine Bush Karner blue butterfly population has also improved habitat for dozens of other wildlife species listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the New York State Wildlife Action Plan, including the red-headed woodpecker, prairie warbler and eastern hognose snake”, according to Joe Racette, State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator for DEC.

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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LF 2015 Post Cardv2

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL PROGRAM SCHEDULE

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will host its ninth Lupine Fest on Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 11:00AM to 5:00PM at the Discovery Center. The event celebrates Pine Bush neighbors and the Capital Region’s globally rare, nationally significant, and locally distinct Albany Pine Bush. The annual spring festival honors the beautiful lupine wildflower and its importance to the conservation of several endangered butterflies. The Commission will highlight what a unique and special place it is through a fun day of music, games, crafts, snacks 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 3,200 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.”

“The block party will offer 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 with The Whippersnappers and a free concert by The Refrigerators, games, crafts, face painting, a make your own tie-dye party, live local wildlife programs, nature walks, food and much more!” Guests can also meet many of the Preserve’s friends and partners like representatives from LLBean’s Outdoor Discovery School, Whole Foods, the Albany Mounted Police, the City of Albany Fire Department, the Guilderland YMCA and others.

According to Hawver, “rain or shine – Lupine Fest: A Pine Bush Block Party will offer fantastic family fun for everyone.” 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 AlbanyPineBush.org and click on Events Calendar for the full program schedule and more details. Parking for Lupine Fest is just across the street at Apollo Drive with shuttle rides to and from the parking area. Follow the PARKING signs. On-site handicap parking available.

IMG_0956 Lupine K Breisch

Wild Blue Lupine

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 including 55 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, and 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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What’s the buzz?
Insect Research in the Preserve!

The globally rare pitch pine scrub oak barrens in the Albany Pine Bush are famous for its unique and rich insect diversity. Entomologist M. Sam Adams will be working for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission this summer to study Pine Bush beetle and bee communities. Using plastic cups buried in the sand, we will investigate how ground beetles recover and recolonize recently burned sites. To sample bees, we will be employing malaise traps. These traps look like camping tents but are designed to catch flying insects, which once in the tent, fly up to the top where they are collected. The study will compare the present day bee community in pitch pine scrub oak barrens with samples collected over 20 years ago by NYS Museum Entomologist Dr. Timothy McCabe. We are eager to see what we will find and excited to share it with you! If you come across one of traps this summer, please leave it to do its work and help us to learn more about this locally unique wildlife habitat.

Pit Fall Trap

 

 

 

Malaise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALBANY, NY – The globally rare, nationally significant and locally distinct Albany Pine Bush Preserve provides the ideal setting to celebrate Earth Day. With an array of activities and programs, children, families, neighbors and volunteers can enjoy all that the 3,200-acre Preserve and its state-of-the-art “green building” interpretive center have to offer.

The activities begin on Tuesday, April 14 at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center with the Friends Annual Meeting and Woodcock Walk at 6:00pm. The FRIENDS of the Pine Bush Community Inc. invite you to attend their 2015 Annual Membership Meeting and Potluck Dinner, followed by the program: The Wild and Wacky Woodcock, led by Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission staff.

On Thursday, April 16 at 7:00pm, the Discovery Center’s Environmental Educators will offer a program called Monarch Butterflies: An Endangered Migration. The Pine Bush provides habitat for more butterfly species than any place in New York State. Ernest Williams, professor of biology at Hamilton College and butterfly ecologist for more than 30 years, discusses the long-term decline of North America’s much beloved monarch butterfly and describes conservation initiatives aimed at reversing the downward trend.

On Saturday, April 18th volunteers are invited to gather at 9:00am at the Discovery Center to work on a variety of conservation projects suitable for all ages including: trails work, pulling invasive honeysuckle, tree planting, and trash clean-up. All equipment will be provided. Please dress appropriately for the weather and outside working conditions and bring drinking water. Projects will end at noon and lunch will be provided for all volunteers.

Programs on April 14, 16 and 18 are free. Pre-registration is required for all programs. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. To sign up for any of these programs, please visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org and click on “Events Calendar” at the top of the page 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 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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