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ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission will host its tenth Lupine Fest on Saturday, May 14, 2016 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 Preserve. This year the festival honors not only the wild blue lupine and its importance to the conservation of several endangered butterflies but the entire pine barrens ecosystem. The Commission will highlight what a unique and special place it is through a fun day of live music, games, crafts, food 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 a Kid’s Sing-A-Long and Parade, a free concert by The Refrigerators, 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 are celebrating our tenth Lupine Fest this year with 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 demonstrate 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: A Pine Bush Block Party will offer fantastic family fun for everyone. Guests can meet many of the Preserve’s friends and partners like representatives from LLBean’s Outdoor Discovery School, Whole Foods, the Albany Mounted Police, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Guilderland Library 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 302 Washington Avenue Ext. with shuttle rides to and from the parking area. Follow the PARKING signs. On-site handicap parking available.
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 63 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.