Nature Walk – Septmber 12

Enjoy a Walk with a Nature Center Naturalist

Jamestown, NY – With its variety of colors, smells and sounds, autumn is the favorite season of many people.

The Audubon Nature Center invites you to join a naturalist for a meandering walk on the Nature Center’s trails during the beautiful transition from summer to autumn.

On Saturday afternoon, September 12, at 1 p.m., Senior Naturalist Sarah Hatfield will lead an hour-long walk.

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Early autumn is a perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the Audubon Nature Center. On Saturday afternoon, September 12, you can take a walk on the trails with Senior Naturalist Sarah Hatfield.

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The focus will be on whatever catches the group’s attention, perhaps flowers or trees or dragonflies. General nature knowledge will be shared, along with enthusiasm and curiosity.

Come prepared for a walk outdoors. Sturdy walking shoes and long pants are recommended. If there is heavy rain the walk will be rescheduled.

The fee for the walk is $8, $6 for Friends of the Nature Center and children 3-15, and free for children two and under. Reservations are not required.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. The building, with its collection of live animals, interactive exhibits and the Blue Heron Gift Shop, is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays. The grounds, including trails, gardens, picnic tables, arboretum, and Liberty, the Bald Eagle, are open from dawn until dusk daily.

To learn more about the Nature Center and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in News Release, Program

Stoller Walks – 1st Three Thursdays in September

Nature Center Leading Stroller Walks on Warren Bike Trail

Jamestown, NY – Babies love to be outdoors!

The Audubon Nature Center is offering a special opportunity for you to take your baby on a stroll to explore the sights, sounds and smells of nature, while you get to spend time with other adults.

walker 2 with stroller

The mom pictured here brought her baby to the Audubon Nature Center’s Wild 5K Run/Walk in July. Now there’s another opportunity for moms, babies and strollers: On the first three Thursday mornings in September, you can take your baby on a stroll along the Warren-North Warren Bike Trail to explore the sights, sounds and smells of nature with a Nature Center naturalist.

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On the first three Thursday mornings in September – September 3, 10 and 17 – Nature Center Senior Naturalist Jeff Tome will lead walks on the Warren-North Warren Bike Trail for anyone who brings a young one in a stroller. The outings will begin at 10 a.m. and last for an hour.

Babies need stimulation. They love to look at new things, explore, and have fun with their favorite grown-ups. This walk will be full of new ways to explore things outside. You can meander up the bike trail while learning what plants babies like to smell, feel, and play with as you go.

The father of two, Tome has used outings along the bike trail and other places as a way to get his children to play creatively, sleep deeply, and be more observant.

Participants will meet at the East Street parking area of the Warren-North Warren Bike Trail. To reach that location, go east off Market Street (Route 62) onto 5th Avenue, then turn left on East Street and go to the end of the road.

Remember to bring a child in a stroller, everything they need, and wear comfortable walking shoes.

The fee for each walk is $8, $6 for Friends of the Nature Center and children 3-15, and free for children two and under. Space is limited.

Reservations are required by the Monday prior to each walk. Call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or use the online form by clicking on “Warren Stroller Walks” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org. If you are not pre-paying at the time of registration, please bring exact change.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Nature Center and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in News Release, Program

Shelter

Shelter
by Sarah Hatfield

Shelter me. Keep me safe. Protect me from that which may do me harm. Some may call that a prayer, some may call it a plea. Some may call it a request or a favor. To nature, it is a daily, or nightly, sentiment.

barn swallow chicks

Third graders know this. “What do all animals need in order to survive?” I ask. Sometimes with hands raised and other times in jubilant voices they shout the answers, “Food! Water! Shelter! Air! Space!” And in fact, even plants and inanimate objects need those things, in a sense.

Do the things in the forest know for what they ask? Do the moths in the rainstorm know the significance of what they seek? It is one of the essential needs of life, rounding out the list with water, food, and air. It is shelter.

kids on playscape

What comes to mind when I say shelter? House? Tent? Evergreen trees or cave? What images do you conjure to define the word? Your home? Your parent’s home? The rambling farm you grew up on? The Eastern forest, American West, or city streets? Is it the arms of a loved one wrapped around you or an umbrella in a rainstorm? What is shelter?

Well, that’s depends on who, or what, you are.

To the sparrow, shelter is an apple tree. Perched high atop it, singing with passion, the sparrow only has to dip into the tangle of branches to escape the hawk. From the driving wind and rain, the leaves are a roof, shielding it from all but the most furious gusts. Shelter is an apple tree.

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To the apple tree, shelter is a farm. With full sun and plenty of rich soil, the apple tree thrives. On the edge of a two-hundred-year-old field, it soaks up rain and is lovingly maintained. It does not compete with weeds, and while it was young the farmer kept the deer from nibbling the tender shoots. Shelter is a farm.

To the farm, shelter is a human. To be everything it could be, to be better than it once was, the farm needs a human. The human plows the ground and fixes the barn and harvests the hay. The human keeps the fields ready for crops and the forest as bountiful as it was. The human knows the farm has a soul, one older and tied to the ground, and keeps the ground in good health. Shelter is a human.

To the human, shelter is a house. One standing for a century and a half and counting. Made of wood from the farm, heated with wood from the farm, built from the land the house protects the human from cold and rain, snow and wind. It keeps out predators and keeps in comfort. Shelter is a house.

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Shelter is a tree, a farm, a house, a human, a hole, a rock, an old piece of tin. Shelter is Zone 5, forest, topsoil, or temperate regions. Shelter is the place that keeps harm from reaching you. There are so many things in the world that cause harm and as a result there are just as many places that can be called shelter.

I know – the farm and the tractor and house aren’t “alive” and so don’t need shelter, except that they do. A farm without a human can’t stay a farm – harm befalls it in the form of storms and rot and erosion. A tractor without a barn (or human) becomes static, stuck in place, and eventually is no longer a tractor. Shelter provides the opportunity to survive to continue. It doesn’t always work, but often it does. The apple tree will fall one day. The sparrow may get eaten. The house may get bulldozed and the farm may fade to forest. But that safe place exists for each – in time and in space. It is something we all seek, all the time.

As you walk around, shift your thoughts for a minute… that isn’t a pile of sticks but rather shelter for a mouse or rabbit. That isn’t just a bunch of rocks in a ditch but rather shelter for insects and snails. That isn’t just trash in a field (though it is also that) but it is shelter for voles, and snakes, and crickets and weasels.

And it gets deeper. That isn’t just a hospital waiting room, it is shelter for a worrying heart. It isn’t just a city park, but shelter for natural sounds in an urban setting. It isn’t just a few tomatoes in a bucket, but rather shelter for a way of life that once included living off the land. It isn’t just a nature center, but rather it is shelter for the childhood we all want our children to have.

To a bumblebee, shelter is a thistle blossom. A soft place to spend the night, surrounded by spikes as formidable as the front line of cavalry. It is protection from the damp ground and insect-eating mammals that roam dark fields and forests. It is a sunny perch to catch the next morning’s warmth and launch into the new day. Shelter is everything.

You can visit the Nature Center anytime from dawn to dusk to discover myriad shelters. The building is open from 10:00am until 4:30pm daily except Sundays when we open at 1:00pm. We are located at 1600 Riverside Road, just off Route 62 between Warren and Jamestown. Call (716) 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org for more information.

Sarah Hatfield is a naturalist at Audubon Nature Center.

Posted in Article, Sarah Hatfield

Life Long Learning

Life Long Learning
by Katie Finch

Many people are marking this weekend or next as the last weekend of the summer. School starts soon and we move from the freedom of the summer to a more formal schedule of buses, classes, practices and activities. And kids are going to learn! And hopefully didn’t forget over the summer all the things they learned last year.

Nature Nuts June 30-July 3

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsLearning. Most of us have been in school for 12 or more years with that goal in mind. We’ve been extrinsically motivated by teachers, parents, grades, awards and rewards. For many, graduation is seen as a freedom from learning and from being told what we should be doing in regards to our education and our life. Really that’s a myth- a naïve misunderstanding about life. We spend the rest of our life learning, building connections between one concept and another to make sense of the world. We are year round, life-long learners. But how do we find the passion to learn when it comes time to take responsibility for it ourselves?

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And while we want our children to graduate being able to spell, write, use math to solve problems and generally sound intelligent in conversation, I think we want more than that too. We want to instill in our children- our future adults- a sense of wonder, curiosity and awe. We want them to explore how the world works, ask why things happen the way they do, to marvel at both the beauty and the tragedy and to find more joy and understanding than sorrow.

This kind of learning can happen in schools, families and in the community. Upon reflection of a busy, dirt filled, adventurous summer of Day Camp, this is what we strive to do at the Nature Center. Through hands-on outdoor activities, games and activities in camp we hope we demonstrate that the world is BIG. It is made of amazing, small pieces, some which we understand but many we don’t. We want to show that exploration of this world can be fun and joyful. And that we are one of those pieces. And in being a part of the world, our choices affect other pieces, including our interactions with each other.

But what we also want is the motivation to explore and learn to be more intrinsic and less extrinsic. We want kids to have positive experiences outdoors so they learn to love it.

Sometimes I’m concerned that we only teach that nature is cool but don’t cover enough “serious” topics like conservation, preservation and the like. But, frankly, nature is cool. I’ve been watching Monarch caterpillars transform into a chrysalis this week and “cool” may not even being to describe what I’ve witnessed.

And before you get to those “serious” topics you have to believe what you are working on is cool and worthwhile. Even E.O. Wilson, a renowned environmental writer, teacher and foremost expert in ants, grew up poking around in ant piles as a kid.

And even if you never get to those serious topics, knowing from experience that nature is cool is enough in my book. To describe the level of seriousness or experience a person has on a given topic we often use the words “amateur” and “professional”. When you hear the word “amateur” it often has a negative connotation. An amateur doesn’t know much, hasn’t had the experience, and may be wrong. What you want to a professional. But “amateur” originated from the Latin meaning “lover”. Amateurs follow a pursuit- a sport, a hobby, a topic not for the payment or other extrinsic awards but for the love of the thing itself. Maybe it is a wonderful thing to be an amateur in something.

We are providing the opportunity for adults to be amateurs and to be awed and wonder at the nature world in a new program we are (so creatively) calling Adult Day Camp. The joy of and adventure in the outside world is not exclusive to kids. Many of the same activities, adapted to an older audience will be on the schedule. Discover what creatures live in the ponds and what they mean to the health of the pond. Go on a hunt for salamanders and dragonflies. Each of the classes will be taught by the naturalists at the Nature Center. They will be teaching the topics they love the most and are excited to bring you along to share their enthusiasm with you.

The very first Adult Day Camp will run the mornings of Wednesday, September 9 through Friday, September 11, 2015 from 9:00am-12:30pm. For more information contact the Nature Center.

Audubon Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road in the town of Kiantone, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York and Warren, Pennsylvania. Learn more about the Nature Center and the many programs and events by visiting http://jamestownaudubon.org or by calling (716) 569-2345.

Katie Finch is a naturalist at Jamestown Audubon.

Posted in Article, Day Camp, Katie Finch, Program

Go on Safari – virtually at the Nature Center – Sept 4 2015

Go on a “Kenya-Tanzania Safari” at Nature Center’s First Friday

Jamestown, NY – You are invited to meet the fascinating native people of Eastern Africa, enjoy the stupendous landscapes of this part of our world, and embark on a safari (photos only!) in search of astounding wildlife.

Giraffe in Storm

You are invited to take a virtual safari to Kenya and Tanzania at the Audubon Nature Center on September 4, 2015. At this First Friday Lunch Bunch, Kathy and Bob Barber will share their photographic adventure of eastern Africa. Kathy took this picture of a giraffe in a storm.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsAt the Audubon Nature Center’s First Friday Lunch Bunch on September 4, 2015, Kathy and Bob Barber will take you on a virtual safari to Kenya and Tanzania.

The photographic adventure begins at 11 a.m., when you will visit a primitive Maasai Village in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, explore Ngorongoro Crater where all of Africa’s “big five” (elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, lion, and leopard) reside together, be surrounded by a huge herd of elephants, and see thousands of wildebeest migrate across the Serengeti.

Then you will marvel at the colorful birds and varied foliage, encounter a Black Mamba, the most venomous snake in the world, and visit Oludvai Gorge, where Mary Leakey discovered a 1.8 million year old “human” skull.

You will return home with a better understanding of this part of the Dark Continent and a new appreciation of its people, scenery, and wildlife.

Both Barbers retired from Jamestown Community College in 2007, Bob from his position as Vice President and Dean of Administration and Kathy from her position as College English teacher. Jamestown residents, they are parents of two daughters and two sons and grandparents of nine.

Following the program, coffee and tea will be provided for a BYO brown bag lunch. The fee for attending is $8 or $6 for Friends of the Nature Center. Reservations are not required.

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

To learn more, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in News Release, Program

Day Camp – for ADULTS! – Sept 9-11 2015

Nature Center Offering Adult Day Camp, September 9-11

Jamestown, NY – All summer long the Audubon Nature Center has been swarming with children excited to play, hike, have fun, get dirty and learn a lot.

The staff at the Nature Center got to wondering: Why should kids get to have all the fun?

Riverwalk training

When the kids go back to school, it’s time for grown-ups to have fun learning about the world around them. From Wednesday to Friday, September 9-11, the Audubon Nature Center is offering Adult Day Camp. This is your opportunity to play, hike, have fun and learn a lot – just like the Nature Center’s Day Camp for kids.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsSo when the kids go back to school, the Nature Center is offering this same opportunity to adults – though getting dirty is not required!

From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday, September 9-11, will be the first-ever Adult Day Camp, an all morning nature experience with a full staff of naturalists.

The Adult Day Camp will be an intensive nature learning experience combined with fun and games. Each of the Nature Center’s naturalists will take a chunk of time to teach a topic they are passionate about, from salamanders to birds to insects and more.

There will be a lot going on. The group will venture off the trails to see what it happening in some of the Center’s most unique areas. They might explore the Spatterdock Underworld and get a close-up look at the salamanders, snails and odd slugs that live on the property. Or they might even play with nets to catch insects on the wing and underwater to learn about some of the seldom noticed creatures that share our world.

The program will follow the passion and skills of the Nature Center’s Education Staff — Katie Finch, Sarah Hatfield, Jennifer Schlick and Jeff Tome — each of whom has a wealth of knowledge about nature. They will teach the topics they love the most and are excited to bring you along to share their enthusiasm with you.

Remember to dress for the weather. Programs will happen rain or shine.

The fee is $72 or $54 for Friends of the Nature Center, and space is limited. Paid reservations are required by Saturday, September 5: call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or use the on-line form by clicking on “Adult Day Camp” 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. The building, with its collection of live animals, interactive exhibits and the Blue Heron Gift Shop, is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays. The grounds, including trails, gardens, picnic tables, arboretum, and Liberty, the Bald Eagle, can be visited from dawn until dusk daily.

To learn more about the Nature Center and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in Day Camp, News Release, Program

Monarch Butterfly Festival – Aug 29 2015

So Much to See and Do at the Nature Center’s Butterfly Festival

Jamestown, NY – How would you like to have a day when you could watch beautiful butterflies in a room full of wildflowers, get your picture taken as a giant butterfly or caterpillar, entertain the kids with great crafts, enjoy yummy taste treats, and more?

Using a Monarch Cut out

Being photographed as a giant butterfly or caterpillar is just one of the many fun and learning opportunities at the Audubon Nature Center’s Monarch Butterfly Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

If this sounds like a good time, then you will want to be at the Audubon Nature Center’s Monarch Butterfly Festival on Saturday, August 29.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Nature Center will celebrate this beautiful creature that is experiencing serious population decline.

Visitors can see Monarchs in their egg, chrysalis and caterpillar stages, watch experts tag the butterflies with stickers, and ask questions about raising them, growing milkweed (the only food of monarch caterpillars), planting a butterfly garden, and establishing a monarch way station to help these distinctive travelers.

More festival fun includes tours of the butterfly garden; exhibits of live fish, reptiles, and amphibians; Liberty, the Nature Center’s resident Bald Eagle; the Ted Grisez arboretum; and miles of nature trails.

The Blue Heron Gift Shop will feature butterfly items from books to t-shirts in addition to its usual treasure trove of puppets, puzzles, jewelry, notecards, handcrafted walking sticks, books and field guides, and bird feeders and seed. Locally produced taste treats are honey, jams, Stedman Corners coffee, and maple syrup.

At 4 p.m. the tagged butterflies will be released to fly to Mexico, where their tags will help scientists track the migration of this rapidly dwindling species.

Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts of any age group can earn the right to a Monarch Butterfly patch by completing activities on a list they can request on arriving. Once they complete at least four of the activities, they can take their list to the front desk and buy a patch for $3. Children who are not Scouts are also welcome to participate, including purchasing a Monarch patch.

Festival admission is $8 or $6 for Friends of the Nature Center and children ages 3-15. Two and under are free.

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

This event is made possible by the dedication of volunteers, several of whom are registered with RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

Monarch Butterfly Festival sponsors are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Allegheny National Fish Hatchery, Native Roots, Kings’ Heating & Cooling, Lena’s Pizza, and Frewsburger Pizza Shop.

Details of the Festival are at http://www.monarchbutterflyfestival.wordpress.com. To learn more about the Nature Center and all its programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in Butterflies, Event, Fundraiser