ALBANY, NY – The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center announced today that the hours of operation have expanded to accommodate an increasing interest from the public. With the addition of Mondays, the Discovery Center will now be open daily year-round and admission continues to be free.
Discovery Center Director Jeffrey Folmer said, “The decision was made to offer greater access to the growing number of visitors as well as more opportunities for schools and special interest groups to schedule field trips and programs. And frankly, it was just hard to see the look of disappointment on the faces of children and parents who arrived on Mondays. So thanks to the help of both staff and volunteers we will now welcome visitors seven days a week.”
Christopher Hawver, Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Commission said, “The Discovery Center’s popularity has grown significantly over its first five years. It’s become an important resource for the community – not just for the outstanding exhibits and educational programs – but also for the options the building provides as a meeting location and learning facility.”
The Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art interactive visitor’s center that serves as the gateway to the globally-rare Albany Pine Bush. As one of only twenty inland Pine Barrens ecosystems remaining in the world (uniquely different from coastal Pine Barrens), the Albany Pine Bush has the distinction of being considered the best remaining example. Through exhibits, an interpretive Discovery Trail, and year-round educational programs for schools, scouts, private groups and the general public, the Discovery Center teaches visitors about the unique ecology, natural history and cultural history of the Pine Bush.
The Discovery Center is a “green” building that features exhibits on its eco-friendly technology and design. Certified by the U.S. Green Building council with a prestigious LEED Gold certification, the building includes solar technology, repurposed and recycled materials, native plant landscaping, outdoor composting toilets, indoor water-and energy-saving restrooms, and more.
The Discovery Center and its meeting rooms are also available for private rental. The facility is used frequently for training sessions, meetings, small conferences, special events, business retreats and private parties.