Albany Pine Bush News

Capital District families celebrate Earth Day 2019 with the #exploremore Family Scavenger Hunt

ExploreMore Press Event April 18 2019 (153) (Large)ALBANY, N.Y. — Bethlehem Children’s School (BCS), in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, and Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, today announced the launch of its #exploremore Family Scavenger Hunt. Beginning April 19, the 8-week real-world scavenger hunt will encourage families to witness the awakening of spring and explore the outdoors together in the Capital Region’s naturally preserved spaces.

The Scavenger Hunt is timely, with Earth Day being celebrated on April 22. BCS hopes this event serves as an opportunity for children and their families to see nature up close and fosters the next generation of conservationists, all while increasing the amount of time children play and explore outside.

“The Bethlehem Children’s School is proud to join our local conservation partners in presenting the #exploremore Family Scavenger Hunt, which was born from our desire to get families outside and into the Capital Region’s treasure trove of preserved spaces,” said Christine Vaughan, Head of School at Bethlehem Children’s School. “Not only does it provide families a healthy activity to share each week, it also aligns beautifully with our school’s mission of ‘Nature, Wisdom, Wellness,’” she continued. “Teaching our children to embrace nature while they’re still young will help them grow to respect—and, we hope, protect—the natural world they live in, and all those creatures they share it with.”

Each Friday, beginning April 19, BCS and its partner organizations will post a clue to their Instagram and Facebook accounts. Participants will have until the following Thursday to adventure out and search for the answer to the clue on any one of 30-odd local preserves. When participants post a geotagged photograph of the answer, accompanied by the hashtags #exploremore and #naturewisdomwellness, to their Instagram or Facebook account, they’ll be registered in a weekly drawing for prizes. At the end of eight weeks, on June 14, a week before summer solstice, all participants will be entered into a grand prize drawing to earn a free week of Summer Camp at Bethlehem Children’s School.

exploremore-Family-Scavenger-Hunt1 (Large)“Every child should have the opportunity to explore and discover the wonders of our natural world,” said Paul Gallery, New York Preserve Stewardship Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy. “Today’s kids will be tomorrow’s stewards, and the #exploremore project is a fun and engaging way for children and their families to enjoy nature together.”

“The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is honored to participate in the #exploremore Family Scavenger Hunt with our local conservation partners, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy,” said Executive Director Christopher Hawver. Hawver continued, “We thank the Bethlehem Children’s School for organizing this 8-week program to provide local fun and healthy outdoor activities for families of our region.

The Scavenger Hunt announced today by Bethlehem Children’s School was held at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center, with local politicians David VanLuven, Dan Coffey and Darius Shahinfar also in attendance. For more info, including complete participation rules, visit: http://bethlehemchildrensschool.org/wordpress/exploremore (live at 3pm on Thu, Apr. 18)

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Established in 1995, Bethlehem Children’s School offers year-round progressive education programs for children ages 2.5 through 5th grade, with an emphasis on nature, wisdom and wellness. Students are supported academically and nurtured creatively as they grow into thoughtful, well-rounded individuals. Bethlehem Children’s School inspires a lifelong love of learning, while developing a deep connection to self, others and the world. Find out more at http://bethlehemchildrensschool.org.

Media Inquiries
Peter Koch
Director of Marketing, Bethlehem Children’s School
peter@bethlehemchildrensschool.org
716-213-3631

Paul Gallery
Stewardship Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy
paul.gallery@tnc.org
518-690-7850 ext. 7867

Wendy Craney
Communications Director, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission
wcraney@albanypinebush.org
518-456-0655 ext. 1211

Wendy @ 1:16 pm

Rediscovering the Past
By Jacqueline Citriniti, Lead Educator

Historical Marker TruaxThey say “it takes a village”.  Well, this project truly would not have happened without the support of many individuals. The Friends of the Pine Bush Community generously support intriguing staff projects. Back Yard Fence-owners Jerry and Melissa Haley, bigheartedly donated the fencing and materials to protect the gravesite. Casale Rentals donated the use of heavy equipment for staff to clear the area around the gravestones. Our stewardship staff worked diligently to clear and remove vegetation and debris around the gravesite and lastly Christopher White, a local genealogist/historian/conservator repaired and cleaned gravestones.

Photo above: Visible from King’s Road in the Town of Colonie, a historic marker erected by the Pine Bush Historic Preservation Project marks the vicinity of the Truax burial grounds. 

It was a sunny, warm, spring day when our education staff decided to venture out to find the historic Truax burial grounds that are located here in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. “They must be here somewhere” we kept calling out to each other as we walked through a tall thicket of shrubs, vines, fallen trees, roots and stumps.

In the mid to late 1700s, the Truax family operated taverns along the Kings Highway. These taverns provided rest and refreshment to those traveling between Albany and Schenectady, NY. Although the tavern buildings are now gone, the history of the Truax family is preserved thanks to the years of effort by local historians, conservationists and government officials. Our search that spring day was for the gravestones of tavern keeper Isaac Truax and his family.

Truax GravesiteAfter walking for quite some time, we came upon an overgrown area that had two upright gravestones in their original placement and two gravestones obviously broken, leaning against two separate trees. We realized right away that if something was not done to preserve the burial grounds, this important piece of history might be lost. This began my year-long project to restore the Truax burial grounds and help preserve the history of this family and a piece of Pine Bush history.

This was just the beginning. After many months of internet research, phone calls, emails, reaching out to local individuals, I finally had enough information to move forward with the project. First, I approached the Friends of the Pine Bush to help financially with the purchase of a fence. Once that was in place, I reached out to a local fencing company, Back Yard Fence, had both a deep adoration for the Pine Bush because their children grew up visiting the preserve and wanted to help us with the project. They generously donated any amount of fencing that we would need for enclosure of the gravestones. We were now ready…

In the fall of 2018, the Albany Pine Bush stewardship team began an arduous month of clearing brush, cutting down trees and removing stumps. Once that was all finished they were ready to install the fence. I had tried many times in the previous months to find someone who had expertise in cleaning and restoring gravestones. So I gave one last attempt and thankfully the Albany Rural Cemetery, gave me the name of Christopher White. Within two days of my call, Chris came out to the site, evaluated the area and left us with a proposal on moving forward with the gravestones. He worked diligently, fighting against the cold, snowy weather, to complete the following tasks; uprighting the two gravestones, finding the bases of the gravestones that were broken off, making new bases and putting them back in place. He also found and repaired a footstone of one of the graves, repaired the gravestone that was broken into three pieces, clean and restored all four stones and give us a list of names of the names that were on the four gravestones.

The project was now complete.

Restored Truax GravesiteBut wait… If you look closely at the photo, you will notice a gravestone laying on its side against the gravestone in the foreground. This was uncovered, literally under a foot of soil, while the stewardship staff was installing the fencing. Therefore, Chris White will be coming back in the spring of 2019 to search the entire area for possibly more Truax family gravestones. Now with the gravestones back in place, visitors can see the Truax burial grounds are more than the historical marker.

This has been an exciting undertaking and I am honored to be part of this historical venture.

 

ALBANY NY – On November 30, 2018 from 6:00 pm to 7:30pm the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center will host the unveiling of their fifth juried photo exhibit, celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

Jackie Citriniti, Lead Educator and show designer said “The photo exhibit is an amazing display of local talent. Out of hundreds of submissions, it is a daunting task to choose the finalists.” Citriniti continued, “Each photograph reveals incredible features of this rare ecosystem, from macro to micro, from flora and fauna to landscapes, from color to black and white. This is a great opportunity to not only view breathtaking art up close and personal but experience this globally rare, nationally significant, and locally distinct preserve.”

The exhibit will be open through the end of February 2019 and is sponsored by L.L.Bean and Friends of the Pine Bush Community. Friends’ president Richard Naylor said, “The Friends are pleased to celebrate and recognize all of the photographers who captured so many exceptional perspectives on the Albany Pine Bush. We hope the images exhibited will inspire others to go afield with their camera and experience something new.” Juror selected awards will be presented during the opening and light snacks will be provided.

All ages are welcome. This free special event will be held rain or shine at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are not required for special events, but knowing how many people are coming helps with planning, so please sign up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up by calling 518-456-0655 or visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events.

The 3,300+ – 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 76 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.
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2018 Night at the DC flyer2ALBANY, NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will host its second Night at the Discovery Center on Tuesday November 20, 2018, 4pm – 7pm at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. Visitors are invited to stop by the Discovery Center after normal business hours to play games, go on a moonlit walk and see the exhibits come to life.

Christopher Hawver, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Executive Director said, “We invite the community to come out and enjoy this free event. This is an opportunity for us to say thank you for your support of this globally-rare ecosystem and National Natural Landmark.”

Erin Kinal, Education Program Director said, “Visitors will meet Pine Bush characters from the past and present and enjoy interactive exhibits, games, moonlit walks that test your senses, storytelling and more!” Event highlights include live local wildlife programs by Michael Clough from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum, a visit from the Lupine Lady from the book Miss Rumphius and historic re-enactors in period clothing that bring exhibits to life. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet Albany Pine Bush prescribed fire and science research crews as you explore the Discovery Center or take a moonlit walk to Karner Barrens overlook.

AllIMG_0838 ages are welcome. This free special event will be held rain or shine at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are not required for special events, but knowing how many people are coming helps with planning, so please sign up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up by calling 518-456-0655 or visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events.

IMG_0878BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE PINE BUSH:
The 3,300+ – 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 76 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.

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is looking for neighbors that live within half a mile of the preserve to help track changing weather patterns by measuring the depth of snow in their own backyard. On Wednesday, October 10 from 7:00-8:00pm come to the Discovery Center to learn how to collect and submit measurements.

Snow Pack Research in the Albany Pine BushRegionally, climate change is altering seasonal weather patterns, especially temperature and precipitation, but little is known about specific changes in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is therefore asking preserve neighbors to help fill this knowledge gap by inviting them to participate in a citizen-science project to document snow depth around the preserve.

“Many plants and animals have evolved to require cold, snowy winter weather”, said Neil Gifford, Conservation Director for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission. “For example, such conditions appear essential to the success of the endangered Karner blue butterfly’s eggs, which overwinter under the snow. Prolonged cold temperatures also provide the refrigeration critical to the germination of many native plant seeds, and snow can affect how much water is in vernal ponds for frog and salamander breeding in spring.”

According to Gifford, understanding how weather patterns in the preserve are changing is the first step to understanding what the Commission can do to improve the long-term survival of the Karner blue butterfly as well as 75 other rare wildlife listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New York State.

This program is free and recommended for ages 10+. Snow monitoring materials will be provided. Participants must live within one half mile of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Pre-registration is required for all programs. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany. To sign up please visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

The 3,300 – 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 76 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.

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Sep
17
2018

Smokey Bear Day 2018

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will host its annual Smokey Bear Day on Monday October 8, 2018, 10am – 2pm at the Discovery Center.

APB Smokey Bear Day 2016 by Krishna Hill (181)Christopher Hawver, Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Executive Director said, “We invite the community to come out and enjoy this free annual event. Smokey Bear Day provides a family-friendly opportunity to learn why fire is an important natural component of this globally-rare ecosystem.”

Visitors will learn how the Commission uses prescribed fire to keep the Pine Bush Preserve, listed as a National Natural Landmark, a healthy habitat for the unusual species of plants and animals that thrive there. Smokey Bear and a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger will make appearances throughout the day, and Commission Fire Management and Education staff will be on hand.

Erin Kinal, Education Program Director said, “There will be interactive exhibits on prescribed fire, refreshments and Smokey goody bags for visitors to take home. Visitors will have opportunities throughout the event to meet Smokey Bear.”APB Smokey Bear Day 2016 by Krishna Hill (177)

All ages are welcome. The event will be held rain or shine at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany. This is a free event. While reservations are not required for special events, knowing how many people are coming helps us to plan, so please let us know if you plan to attend! Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. For more details and to make reservations, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655.

ALBANY, NY – The Karner Kids Film Festival will take place on Wednesday August 29, 2018 at 6:30pm at the Albany Pine Bush Discover Center. “Join us to see some amazingly creative Pine Bush films made by young people,” said Education Program Manager, Sara Poggi-Decker. The Karner Kids Film Festival features Pine Bush-themed films made by kids ages 10-17. The films are original creations of 5 minutes or less and all feature the Pine Bush.

“It is always exciting to see how people express their Pine Bush experiences through art,” continued Poggi-Decker. The film makers, their families and friends, as well as the general public are invited to walk the red carpet into the Discovery Center to view the accepted films, explore film festival activities and enjoy light refreshments.

This is a free event. While reservations are not required for special events, knowing how many people are coming helps us to plan, so please let us know if you plan to attend! Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Make reservations by calling 518-456-0655 or visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events. The Discovery Center is located at 195 New Karner Road in Albany.

The 3,300+ – 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 76 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 fee for some 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 @ 2:14 pm

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 8 – 14, 2018. Invasive Species Awareness Week is an annual educational campaign coordinated by the Invasive Species Council, the Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the eight PRISMs (Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management), and their partner organizations. “As a member of the Capital-Mohawk PRISM, 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 76 wildlife species of greatest conservation need that live there.” The Commission will kick off the week with the Pine Bush Invasive Species Awareness hike on Sunday July 8, 2018 1:00pm at the Discovery Center. This program will be a chance to learn about some of the invasive species here in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and how to report them. On Wednesday July 11, 2018 there will be two programs. The first is a morning workday focused on removing invasive honeysuckle shrubs. This program will meet at the Discovery Center at 9:00am before caravanning to another part of the preserve. Participants must provide their own transportation and be dressed to work off trail. Join us at 6:30pm for Protecting Biodiversity in our Backyard, a program focusing on helping the future survival of native species through landscaping choices. For more information and to make reservations for a program visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org/events or call 518-456-0655. Reservations are required.

The 3,300+ – 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 76 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.
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May
22
2018

Lupine Fest 2018

18LupineFest.card.home_Page_1

Click here for event schedule and highlights

ALBANY NY – The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission rejoices in the arrival of spring with their 14th annual Lupine Fest for the local community, held at the site of the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road in the City of Albany on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 10AM to 4PM.

Wild blue lupine is a beautiful native wildflower that blooms in May and June, and is the only food source for the caterpillar of the state and federally endangered Karner blue butterfly.

Through interactive programs that showcase the globally rare, nationally significant and locally distinct Albany Pine Bush, the festival celebrates the wild blue lupine and the inland pitch pine- scrub oak barrens. Visitors can also enjoy nature walks, hands-on activities with community partners, music with the Whipper Snappers and B95.5, games, crafts, food, vendors and more.

APB Lupine Fest 2017 by Krishna Hill (69) (Large)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 3,300 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.”

APB Lupine Fest 2017 by Krishna Hill (220) (Large)“This free event offers 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, games, craft vendors, face painting, a make your own tie-dye shirt, live local wildlife programs, nature walks, food and much more!” Kinal continues, “We’re celebrating spring again this year with the Lupine Lady. Come hear a reading of the book Miss Rumphius and join her in scattering some lupine seeds.”

According to Hawver, “Rain or shine – Lupine Fest 2018 will offer fantastic family fun for everyone. Guests can meet many of the preserve’s friends and partners like representatives from Friends of the Pine Bush Community, L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Boy Scouts, the Guilderland Public Library, Guilderland Chamber of Commerce 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 at 302 Washington Avenue Ext. with shuttle rides to and from the parking area. Follow the PARKING signs. On-site handicap parking available. No pets allowed at this event.

The 3,300+ – 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 75 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.
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DEC CONFIRMS SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE IN ALBANY PINE BUSH

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in cooperation with the United States Forest Service and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC), has confirmed the presence of southern pine beetle (SPB) in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. A single beetle was caught in a trap near Rapp Road in Albany. This is the farthest north SPB has ever been confirmed in the Northeastern United States.

“The southern pine beetle poses a significant threat to New York’s pine forests,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “DEC is actively fighting the infestations of this invasive pest and continues searching for signs of the beetle in Upstate New York, to help stay ahead of these destructive pests. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership in increasing New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, DEC will be able to strengthen our work to slow the spread of the southern pine beetle and increase the long-term health and sustainability of our pine forests.”

SPB, a bark beetle native to the southern United States, has steadily expanded its range north and west, most likely in response to climate change. Considered one of the most destructive forest pests in the United States, SPB attacks several species of pine including pitch pine, an iconic species of the Pine Bush and other pine barrens throughout the state. Trees can die quickly from repeated beetle attacks, often succumbing within two to four months.
DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests and the APBPC began placing early detection traps in the preserve in 2015. Additional traps set in the Hudson Valley by DEC and partners confirmed the presence of SPB in Minnewaska State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Schunnemunk State Park, and Roosa Gap State Forest in 2016 and 2017. Despite these detections, infested trees have not yet been found north of Long Island. The beetles are likely persisting at low levels upstate and therefore not causing the widespread tree mortality like that observed on Long Island. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will be added to the locations identified for continued aerial and ground monitoring to search for infested trees.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the forest health experts at DEC to monitor invasive forest pests in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve,” said Christopher Hawver, APBPC Executive Director. “It’s important in aiding our understanding of the dynamics of the Pine Barrens here in Albany.”

The APBPC does extensive forest thinning and prescribed burning to restore the globally-rare inland pine barrens and in the process, have created young forest habitat, increased populations of the endangered Karner blue butterfly, and improved ecosystem health. This habitat management has the added effect of reducing the likelihood of an outbreak of SPB because healthier pines are better equipped to withstand attack by the beetles. A more open forest structure also disrupts the beetle’s chemical communication, preventing them from attacking in large groups and overwhelming a tree’s defenses.
“Healthy ecosystems better tolerate potentially invasive species,” said APBPC Conservation Director, Neil Gifford. “Based on what we know about the management of this insect in its native range to the south, thinning and burning to restore the barrens should also help us make sure SPB does not decimate pitch pine in the preserve.”

In 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo targeted $3 million from the Environmental Protection Fund to help manage the spread of SPB. The additional funds bolstered DEC’s ongoing efforts to manage the invasive pest, which has killed thousands of pine trees on Long Island since it was first discovered in 2014. The 2018-19 budget proposes an additional $250,000 for prescribed burns, which will help increase forest health and resistance to SPB on Long Island.

DEC is asking the public to report any recently dead or dying pitch pine and red pine they encounter outside of Long Island, especially if there are several trees grouped together and they are dying quickly. Sightings may be reported to the Forest Health Diagnostic Lab through the toll-free information line, 1-866-640-0652 or by email, foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. If possible, accompany any email reports with photos of the trees and close-ups of any damage. Please include something in the photos for scale, such as a penny, to help with identification. For additional information, please visit https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/99331.html.

Wendy @ 1:39 pm
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