Community Matters: Albany Pine Bush Preserve

pinebushAlbany Pine Bush Preserve

CONTACT: Wendy Craney
(518) 456-0655, ext.1211
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve will host its annual Smokey Bear Day on Monday October 12 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany.
Christopher Hawver, 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, recently listed as a National Natural Landmark, a healthy habitat for the unique species of plants and animals that thrive there. Smokey Bear and a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger will be on hand throughout the day, as will commission fire management and education staff.
Erin Kinal, education program director said, “There will be prescribed fire equipment on site for visitors to see, a relay race for kids, and Smokey goody bags for visitors to take home. Everyone will get the opportunity to meet Smokey Bear and hear him promote wildfire prevention and fire safe behavior.”
The 3,200-acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve, located in New York’s Capital Region, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent habitat provides homes for many plants and animals and contains 55 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and miles of trails, the preserve offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing.
pinebush2As 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 Discovery Center is open weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm and on weekends and most holidays from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information, visit or call (518) 456-0655.

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