The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center will host its annual Smokey Bear Day on the Columbus Day Holiday, Monday Oct. 14, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Smokey Bear will come to the Discovery Center for a fun-filled day of activities and displays to teach visitors about wildfire prevention and the use of prescribed fire as an important management tool in the Pine Bush Preserve.
Jeffrey Folmer, Director of the Discovery Center said, “Out of our countless programs throughout the year, this annual event is one of the most exciting for kids, yet interesting for adults as well. Fire plays an important role in this globally rare ecosystem and Smokey Bear Day offers a terrific opportunity to learn more about it while having fun.”
There will be a fire truck and equipment on hand for visitors to see and try out, a relay race for kids, games, crafts and Smokey goody bags for visitors to take home. The NYSDEC Forest Ranger for Albany and Schenectady Counties and the fire management staff of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve will be raising awareness of fire and the role it plays in the Pine Bush as well as demonstrating the use of fire equipment used for prescribed fire.
Christopher Hawver, Executive Director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission noted that “the Pine Bush is considered the best remaining world-wide example of an inland pine barrens, and this type of controlled fire is crucial to restoring and maintaining the natural ecology of the preserve as well as helping to promote the recovery of the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Commission staff, representatives, and volunteers are specially trained in the safe and proper use of prescribed fire.”
All ages are welcome to this free event which will be held rain or shine from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany. Visit AlbanyPineBush.org for more details, and click on Events Calendar or call 456-0655.
Located within the Capital District Region, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve’s gently rolling sand plain is home to a variety of rare plants and animals, including the Federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. The 3,200-acre Preserve, also creates a special habitat for a number of other rare and unique plants and animals, while providing visitors with 20 miles of trails for an assortment of non-motorized recreational opportunities including hiking, jogging, nature study, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing.
The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center is open daily weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m., weekends 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day). The Discovery Center is also ideal for training sessions, meetings, small conferences, special events, business retreats and private parties. For more information, visit www.AlbanyPineBush.org or call 456-0655