ALBANY, 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.