Learn about Volunteering at the Nature Center – July 13

Learn About Volunteering at the Nature Center

Jamestown, NY – With programs reaching nearly 19,000 students and a similar number of visitors each year, the Audubon Nature Center could not survive without the dedication and commitment of a strong volunteer crew.

IMG_4240View-scape Team

On Monday morning, July 13, the Audubon Nature Center is presenting “Intro to Volunteering,” to share the many fun and rewarding opportunities for new and prospective volunteers. Pictured is Terry LeBaron (at right), the Nature Center’s buildings and grounds supervisor, with a crew of volunteers that removed invasive plants during last spring’s Volunteer Day.

In 2014, almost 300 active volunteers worked more than 12,000 hours to support the Nature Center’s mission to connect people to nature and promote environmentally responsible behaviors through education. On any given day, volunteers can be seen working on the trails, leading school groups, managing the membership program, feeding animals, and more.

From 11 a.m. to noon on Monday, July 13, Nature Center naturalist and volunteer coordinator Katie Finch will present “Intro to Volunteering at the Nature Center.”

This introductory training will cover a brief history of the Audubon Nature Center, review the many facets of the organization in which volunteers are involved, and introduce participants to faces and places at the Nature Center. The training is appropriate for people interested in volunteering as well as new volunteers.

Participants can bring a bag lunch and enjoy some camaraderie after the program. Coffee and tea will be provided.

Participation is free. Reservations are requested by Sunday, July 12. For more information and to register online click on “Intro to Volunteering at the Nature Center” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org or call (716) 569-2345.

Visitors are welcome to the Audubon Nature Center at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

Hours for the building and Blue Heron Gift Shop are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sundays 1-4:30 p.m. The arboretum, gardens, picnic area, more than five miles of trails, and exhibit of Liberty, Audubon’s resident non-releasable Bald Eagle, are open dawn to dusk daily.

For more information about all the events and opportunities at the Nature Center, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

###

Posted in News Release, Program, Volunteering

Raising Monarchs – July 16, 2015

Nature Center Teaching How to Raise Monarch Butterflies

Jamestown, NY – It is a sad fact that Monarch Butterflies are disappearing. Few Monarch caterpillars even survive to become butterflies.

At the Audubon Nature Center on Thursday evening, July 16, 2015, you can learn how to raise Monarch caterpillars and release the butterflies to help increase their numbers.

Monarch Release-8

You can learn how to raise Monarch Butterflies at the Audubon Nature Center on Thursday evening, July 16. Participants may be able to raise a butterfly for Audubon’s popular Monarch Butterfly Festival in late August. This picture of a Monarch on Coneflower was taken by Nature Center senior naturalist and workshop instructor Jeff Tome.

At the 6-8 p.m. “Raising Monarchs” workshop, you will also learn how to find Monarch eggs and caterpillars and how to avoid butterfly diseases and parasites that infect the caterpillars.

Depending on the local Monarch Butterfly population and the success of Audubon’s breeding program, you may be able to take a caterpillar home to care for.

The Audubon Nature Center has been raising and releasing large numbers of Monarch Butterflies for ten years as part of the annual Monarch Butterfly Festival in late August.

Butterflies are fun to raise with kids, grandkids, or on your own, and this project can increase the local population of a butterfly that has been hard to find in recent times.

Following devastating declines, thanks at least in part to human efforts, last year there were 150% more Monarchs on their wintering ground than there were the year before. Populations are still near record lows. You can be a part of the solution to help Monarchs survive by finding and raising Monarchs found in the wild, where many are eaten by other insects.

The workshop will be at the Audubon Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. Mostly an indoor program, it will include a short walk outside to see the milkweed patch, the only food of Monarch caterpillars.

Instructor Jeff Tome is a naturalist at the Nature Center who has been raising and caring for Monarch caterpillars for more than a decade. He spends many hours during the summer raising butterflies that will be released at the Monarch Butterfly Festival on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, August 29.

Class size is limited. While geared to adults and older children, the program is available to all ages.

Cost is $16, $12 for Friends of the Nature Center and children 3-15, free for children 2 and under.

Paid reservations are required by Monday, July 13, 2015, and can be made by calling (716) 569-2345 or clicking through “Raising Monarchs” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

Nature Center education programs are funded with support from the Carnahan Jackson Foundation, Jessie Smith Darrah Fund, Holmberg Foundation, Hultquist Foundation, Johnson Foundation, and Lenna Foundation.

For more information on this and other Audubon opportunities, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

###

Posted in Conservation, News Release, Program

Volunteers Still Needed for Water Chestnut Pulls

Nature Center Reports on Water Chestnut Removal: Volunteers Still Needed

Jamestown, NY – In the Audubon Nature Center’s just-published July-August newsletter, President Ruth Lundin reported on the progress that has been made in controlling the Water Chestnut invasion on the Nature Center property.

WNY PRISM

While great progress has been made with removing the invasive Water Chestnut infestation from the ponds at the Audubon Nature Center, many volunteers are still needed to complete the task. You can call or register online to get in on the wading and kayaking fun.

“Great progress has been made,” Lundin said, “but we are still looking for volunteers willing to wade or use kayaks to help with removal.”

Water Chestnut is an invasive plant that floats on the water with a single root to the bottom. If left alone, plants grow to cover an entire water body so densely that nothing can easily navigate through them, reducing the light to the bottom and significantly impacting populations of other plants and animals in the pond.

Lundin said, “It is vitally important to control this infestation and to keep it from spreading to other lakes and waterways in the region, including Conewango Creek and Chautauqua Lake.”

In 2014, private donations enabled the Nature Center to hire a Water Chestnut Coordinator, Joanne Miller, who organized volunteers to hand-pull plants in the Nature Center’s Big Pond and Spatterdock Pond. More than 500 volunteer hours made significant inroads in the removal.

However, the bulk of Big Pond, approximately 21 acres, went untouched.

After extensive study and review of the options, the Nature Center decided to apply for a permit from the New York State Department of Environment Conservation to allow chemical treatment. NYS Senator Cathy Young submitted a grant request on Audubon’s behalf for invasive species control.

“We were approved to apply the herbicide and have received word that New York State will provide funding,” Lundin said. “We are still waiting for approval of the Full Environmental Impact form and Wetlands Permit Application before we can go ahead.”

In the meantime, Joanne Miller is again organizing volunteer crews to hand-pull in areas where plant density does not warrant use of herbicide, and many volunteers are needed.

Service clubs, church groups, Scouts, families and individuals are invited to choose times when they can volunteer. Individuals who can bring kayaks, canoes or chest waders should mention this when signing up.

Pulls are scheduled when groups have made a commitment. Those dates, further details, and online sign-up can be found by clicking on “Waterchestnut Pulls” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org or by calling (716) 569-2345 or e-mail waterchestnut@jamestownaudubon.org.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62, between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

For more information on all Audubon programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

###

Posted in Conservation, News Release, Volunteering

Pizza Hut Sponsored Walking Field Trips

Nature Center Receives Pizza Hut Grant

Jamestown, NY – This spring the Audubon Nature Center received a grant from the Pizza Hut Raising Dough for Kids Foundation to support its Walking Field Trips.

Walking Field Trip in Allen Park

This spring the Audubon Nature Center received a grant from the Pizza Hut Raising Dough for Kids Foundation that funded walking field trips. Pictured here are fourth graders from Bush Elementary School with Nature Center naturalist Katie Finch in Jamestown’s Allen Park.

Nature Center Program Director Jennifer Schlick said, “The intent of the Walking Field Trip program is to introduce children to the resources in their own neighborhoods with the hope that they will return often with their families.”

Schlick noted that the Pizza Hut grant funded eight classrooms, five from Jamestown’s Fletcher Elementary School and three from Bush Elementary School, on walking field trips to Allen Park. Students got healthy exercise in the outdoors, explored their local park with Audubon naturalists, and played nature-games.

“We really appreciate Pizza Hut’s help in making this valuable program possible,” Schlick said.

In 2002 the locally owned and operated Hospitality West, LLC, d/b/a Pizza Hut, formed Raising Dough for Kids, a non-profit organization to raise monies for Western New York children’s charities. Since then Pizza Hut restaurants have raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Buffalo, Jamestown and Elmira area charities.

Visitors are welcome to the Audubon Nature Center at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

Hours for the building and Blue Heron Gift Shop are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sundays 1-4:30 p.m. The arboretum, gardens, picnic area, more than five miles of trails, and exhibit of Liberty, Audubon’s resident non-releasable Bald Eagle, are open dawn to dusk daily.

For more information about all the events and opportunities at the Nature Center, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

###

Posted in Grant, News Release, Program

Photography Walk – July 8

Nature Center Offering Photography Walks

Jamestown, NY – Following up on the excitement generated by its recent day-long Photography Intensive Workshop, the Audubon Nature Center is offering “Photography Walks” where you can take your nature photography to new levels.

IMG_1021

You can take your nature photography to new levels by participating in the Audubon Nature Center’s “Photography Walks” offered this summer. The first Walk, on Wednesday evening, July 8, will be led by professional artist and photographer Kimberly Turner.

Walks are scheduled for Wednesday evenings, July 8 and 22, and August 5 and 19, 2015. From 7-8:30 p.m., expert photographers will share tips and tricks as you walk along the Nature Center trails.

The July 8 Walk will be led by professional photographer and artist Kimberly Turner. No matter what camera you have, this session will give you fresh ways to approach making photographs. In addition to the traditional “rules” of composition, Turner will offer ideas that will take you to new creative places.

Turner began her artistic education at SUNY Fredonia, where she graduated with a BFA in both Photography and Illustration. She continued on to graduate school at Indiana University at Bloomington where she obtained an MFA with a concentration in Photography. She has taught photography at Indiana University, Northern Illinois University, and Michigan State University. Turner’s website is http://www.kimberlyturnerart.com.

Dress for the weather and consider insect repellent. Classes are adaptable to the indoors, so they will be held regardless of the weather.

Cost is $12 or $9 for Friends of the Nature Center and children ages 9-15.

Reservations for the July 8 Walk are requested by Monday, July 6. Call (716) 569-2345 or register online by clicking on “Photography Walks” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

For more information on all Nature Center opportunities, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

###

Posted in News Release, Photography, Program

MAPS Bird Banding at the Nature Center

MAPS Bird Banding Returns to Nature Center

IMG_9819

Again this summer, the Audubon Nature Center is participating in a continent-wide bird study, giving you several opportunities to observe this fascinating bird banding. Here bird bander Emily Perlock removes a Pileated Woodpecker from the mist net.

Jamestown, NY – You are invited to join research ornithologists – scientists who study birds — as they capture, band, and release birds, recording information for science.
The Audubon Nature Center has been doing bird banding demonstrations in the spring since 2007. This is the fifth year it has hosted the MAPS research program that is specifically timed to target breeding birds.

MAPS stands for Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship. The MAPS Program is made up of a continent-wide network of hundreds of mist netting stations that capture and band birds for study. The data gathered during these sessions help bird scientists understand more about longevity, breeding, and movement of bird species in our region and beyond.

The banding is done by ornithologist Emily Perlock and the Penn State students she mentors. The public is invited to observe them at the Nature Center on the mornings of:
• Saturday, June 6
• Friday, June 12
• Saturday, June 27
• Friday, July 3
• Saturday, July 11
• Wednesday, July 22
• Saturday, August 8

The protocol requires opening the nets at dawn and monitoring birds for six hours, so while the actual times vary, the hours are roughly between 6 a.m. and noon.

Species that may be banded include Tufted Titmice, Baltimore Orioles, House Wrens, Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Swamp Sparrows, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, and many more.

Perlock has worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station’s Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Irvine, Pennsylvania, and is currently employed as an Instructor in Wildlife Technology at Penn State DuBois. Having banded more than 4000 birds, she holds a Master Banding permit and is a certified as a bird bander by the North American Banding Council. She established a banding program at The Arboretum at Penn State and has participated in banding programs for Audubon and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

Visitors are advised to dress for the weather, and wear boots or shoes that can get muddy. If the weather is particularly foul and could endanger birds caught in the nets, banding will be rescheduled.

You may want to bring binoculars and your camera.

For more information on the national MAPS program, visit http://www.birdpop.org/pages/maps.php.

This opportunity is free, but donations are appreciated. Reservations are not required.

Bird banding at the Nature Center is made possible in part by the Northern Allegheny Conservation Association of Warren, Pennsylvania.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

The program is in the pavilion located on the west side of the property. The gate at the west entrance is unlocked on bird banding days and a sign is placed at the road.

For more information, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org. Also check this website for updates and date changes caused by foul weather.

###

Posted in Uncategorized

Orienteering with a Compass – July 7

Learn to Find Your Way with a Compass at Nature Center Workshop

Jamestown, NY – Orienteering – that is, navigating with a compass — is an important, but often forgotten, outdoor skill in this technological world.

IMG_3790

At the Audubon Nature Center you can learn how to take your bearing on a compass to find your way. On Tuesday evening, July 7, Nature Center naturalist Katie Finch will teach the basics of orienteering — that is, using a map and compass to navigate from point to point.

Finding our way today with GPS or internet maps is fine, but when the batteries go dead or the cell service is poor, a compass can be a reliable tool for outdoor adventures.

From 6:30-8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7, the Audubon Nature Center is offering a workshop where you can learn to use a map and compass to navigate from point to point. After participants feel comfortable with the basics, they will be able to try a compass course around the Nature Center grounds, with a treasure at the end.

Even if serious hiking is not in your plans, orienteering can be a fun activity for the entire family. Once you learn the basics, courses and activities are a great way to spend time outside and get some exercise.

Instructor Katie Finch is a Nature Center naturalist who has taught compass and GPS orienteering for several years.

Compasses will be provided during the class or you can bring your own. They can also be purchased in the Nature Center’s Blue Heron Gift Shop.

Participants are reminded to dress for the weather.

Cost for the class is $12; $9 for Friends of the Nature Center and children ages 9-15.

Workshop size is limited to 20, and registration is required by Friday, July 3. To register, call (716) 569-2345 or click on “Orienteering” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

Nature Center education programs are funded with support from the Carnahan Jackson Foundation, Jessie Smith Darrah Fund, Holmberg Foundation, Hultquist Foundation, Johnson Foundation, and Lenna Foundation.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. Hours for the Nature Center and Blue Heron Gift Shop are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sundays 1-4:30 p.m. The arboretum, gardens, picnic area, more than five miles of trails, and exhibit of Liberty, Audubon’s resident non-releasable Bald Eagle, are open dawn to dusk daily.

For more information on this and all Audubon programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

###

Posted in Uncategorized