Latest News

Night at the Disco ... 11/9/17

Visitors are invited to stop by the Discovery Center after normal business hours to play games, go on a guided hike and discover on this night, the exhibits come to life.

Smokey Bear Day 10/4/17

We will host our annual Smokey Bear Day on Monday October 9, 2017, 10am – 2pm at the Discovery Center.

See What's Underground!

Special Interest Groups

Do you want to get your scout group, church or community organization outside to experience a local and rare natural community?

If so, then a trip to Albany Pine Bush Preserve is the right choice for you. We have several programs to choose from and each program is led by a well trained and experienced guide. Our programs are designed to promote hands-on, inquiry-based learning. We look forward to seeing you!

How do I sign up for a program?

Take a look at the programs below and decide which one is right for your group. Then contact us at (518)456-0655 x1250 or info@albanypinebush.org to sign up. Programs need to be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance.

How much does it cost?

Click here for an updated fee schedule and guidelines.

Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center Special Interest Group Programs

Fall

Seeds of change (1.5 hours)

The Pine Bush needs our help! Join us in an exploration of how and why we are restoring the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. During this program we will investigate the tools that are used to maintain this globally rare ecosystem. Participants will also have the opportunity to be a part of our restoration program by participating in a seed collection activity within the Pine Bush Preserve. The seeds that we collect will be used to restore degraded areas of the Pine Bush to healthy pine barrens.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

Buckmoths (2 hours)

Did you know the Albany Pine Bush has a greater number of moth and butterfly species than the entire state of New Jersey? Join us as we discover the diversity of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) that thrive in the Albany Pine Bush. Meet up close one of our most rare moths — the inland barrens buckmoth. Participate in authentic buckmoth research along the trails of the Pine Bush Preserve, experience buckmoth habitat first hand and learn why this insect needs the Pine Bush.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

Discover the Albany Pine Bush: A unique habitat (1.5 hours)

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve represents one of the best remaining examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem in the world. Join us on a journey to the Pine Bush to explore what makes this ecosystem so unique. Through authentic firsthand experience, students will be introduced to the Albany Pine Bush and the natural forces of fire and ice that have shaped this ecosystem yesterday and today. We’ll also explore the unique diversity of life that depends on the pine barrens for its survival.

Suggested age group: 5 years–adult

Forces at work (1.5 hours)

The Albany Pine Bush is a dynamic place, shaped by forces of nature. Most prominent are the forces of weather and fire. This program begins with an introduction to the Pine Bush and the forces that have shaped it for thousands of years. Students will then participate in a hands-on activity that further explains how the forces of weather and fire continue to shape the Pine Bush today.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

A point in time (Part 1: 1 hour at your location, Part 2: 1.5 hours at the Discovery Center)

The landscape of the Pine Bush has changed dramatically over the past 60+ years. From unbroken tracts of pine barrens to a highly fragmented Preserve, the Pine Bush hardly resembles the vast barrens it once was. In Part I of this program (at your location), students will learn about the basic ecology of the Pine Bush and through hands on discovery, learn to use a compass and global positioning system unit (GPS). In Part II of this program (at the APBP), students will hike in the preserve, observe and track ongoing changes using established photo points. Students will use hand held GPS units to locate the photo points, then use a digital camera and compass bearing to photograph a scene that had been photographed one month to 40 years before.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

Winter

Where do all the wild things go? Explore on snowshoes Pine Bush winter ecology (2 hours)

How would you survive living outside for the winter? The Albany Pine Bush is a year-round home to many animal species. Where do they go and how do they survive during the winter? In this program, students will discover how animals are adapted to winter survival. Students will also learn how to search for and identify animal activity. The Discovery Center will provide all students with snowshoes for this program.

Suggested age group: 7 years–adult

Discover the Albany Pine Bush: A unique habitat (1.5 hours)

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve represents one of the best remaining examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem in the world. Join us on a journey to the Pine Bush to explore what makes this ecosystem so unique. Through authentic first hand experience, students will be introduced to the Albany Pine Bush and the natural forces of fire and ice that have shaped this ecosystem yesterday and today. We’ll also explore the unique diversity of life that depends on the pine barrens for its survival.

Suggested age group: 5 years–adult

A point in time (Part 1: 1 hour at your location, Part 2: 1.5 hours at the Discovery Center)

The landscape of the Pine Bush has changed dramatically over the past 60+ years. From unbroken tracts of pine barrens to a highly fragmented Preserve, the Pine Bush hardly resembles the vast barrens it once was. In Part I of this program (at your location), students will learn about the basic ecology of the Pine Bush and through hands on discovery, learn to use a compass and global positioning system unit (GPS). In Part II of this program (at the APBP), students hike in the preserve, observe and track ongoing changes using established photo points. Students will use hand held GPS units to locate the photo points, then use a digital camera and compass bearing to photograph a scene that had been photographed one month to 40 years before.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

Spring

Help a habitat (Part 1: 1 hour at your location, Part 2: 1.5 hours at the Discovery Center)

Participate in the restoration of the endangered Albany Pine Bush landscape and “help a habitat.” In the first part of this two-part program, students learn about the natural history of the Albany Pine Bush ecosystem and the challenges the Pine Bush faces today. Students then participate in a hands-on habitat restoration project for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. Seeds of the Karner blue’s host plant, the wild blue lupine, are planted in provided containers. Participants then care for seeds and seedlings until they are ready for planting. In part two of the program participants visit the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center and transplant their lupine seedlings to a Karner blue butterfly habitat restoration area in the Pine Bush Preserve.

Suggested age group: 6 years–adult

Exploring life in a pine barrens vernal pond (2 hours)

You might call it big puddle or a little pond, but the temporary pools of water we find in the spring are actually “vernal ponds.” Come out to the Pine Bush and explore the plants and animals that make use of these special water bodies. Discover what characteristics make up a Pine Barrens vernal pond, create your own field notebook, and experience a habitat that is full of life.

Suggested age group: 8 years–adult

The future of the Karner blue is in our hands (1.5 hours)

Within the Albany Pine Bush lives the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. Join us for an exploration into why this beautiful butterfly is nearing extinction. Learn about how we are trying to save the Karner blue and how you can help.

Suggested age group: 5-8 years

Discover the Albany Pine Bush: A unique habitat (1.5 hours)

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve represents one of the best remaining examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem in the world. Join us on a journey to the Pine Bush to explore what makes this ecosystem so unique. Through authentic firsthand experience, students will be introduced to the Albany Pine Bush and the natural forces of fire and ice that have shaped this ecosystem yesterday and today. We’ll also explore the unique diversity of life that depends on the pine barrens for its survival.

Suggested age group: 5 years–adult

Forces at work (1.5 hours)

The Albany Pine Bush is a dynamic place, shaped by forces of nature. Most prominent are the forces of weather and fire. This program begins with an introduction to the Pine Bush and the forces that have shaped it for thousands of years. Students will then participate in a hands-on activity that further explains how the forces of weather and fire continue to shape the Pine Bush today.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

A point in time (Part 1: 1 hour at your location, Part 2: 1.5 hours at the Discovery Center)

The landscape of the Pine Bush has changed dramatically over the past 60+ years. From unbroken tracts of pine barrens to a highly fragmented Preserve, the Pine Bush hardly resembles the vast barrens it once was. In Part I of this program (at your school), students will learn about the basic ecology of the Pine Bush and through hands on discovery, learn to use a compass and global positioning system unit (GPS). In Part II of this program (at the APBP), students hike in the preserve, observe and track ongoing changes using established photo points. Students will use hand held GPS units to locate the photo points, then use a digital camera and compass bearing to photograph a scene that had been photographed one month to 40 years before.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

Summer

Discover the Albany Pine Bush: A unique habitat (1.5 hours)

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve represents one of the best remaining examples of an inland pine barrens ecosystem in the world. Join us on a journey to the Pine Bush to explore what makes this ecosystem so unique. Through authentic firsthand experience, students will be introduced to the Albany Pine Bush and the natural forces of fire and ice that have shaped this ecosystem yesterday and today. We’ll also explore the unique diversity of life that depends on the pine barrens for its survival.

Suggested age group: 5 years–adult

Forces at work (1.5 hours)

The Albany Pine Bush is a dynamic place, shaped by forces of nature. Most prominent are the forces of weather and fire. This program begins with an introduction to the Pine Bush and the forces that have shaped it for thousands of years. Students will then participate in a hands-on activity that further explains how the forces of weather and fire continue to shape the Pine Bush today.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

A point in time (Part 1: 1 hour at your location, Part 2: 1.5 hours at the Discovery Center)

The landscape of the Pine Bush has changed dramatically over the past 60+ years. From unbroken tracts of pine barrens to a highly fragmented Preserve, the Pine Bush hardly resembles the vast barrens it once was. In Part I of this program (at your school), students will learn about the basic ecology of the Pine Bush and through hands on discovery, learn to use a compass and global positioning system unit (GPS). In Part II of this program (at the APBP), students hike in the preserve, observe and track ongoing changes using established photo points. Students will use hand held GPS units to locate the photo points, then use a digital camera and compass bearing to photograph a scene that had been photographed one month to 40 years before.

Suggested age group: 10 years–adult

Exploring life in a pine barrens vernal pond (2 hours)

You might call it big puddle or a little pond, but the temporary pools of water we find in the spring are actually “vernal ponds.” Come out to the Pine Bush and explore the plants and animals that make use of these special water bodies. Discover what characteristics make up a Pine Barrens vernal pond, create your own field notebook, and experience a habitat that is full of life.

Suggested age group: 8 years–adult

We can come to you!

If you can’t come to us, let us bring our program to you! If your group would like to learn about the Pine Bush in the comfort of your meeting space we’re happy to join you. Please give us a call to arrange an Outreach Program (518)456-0655 and press 1.