Audubon Presenting Allegany Nature Pilgrimage – Beyond the Park Events

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Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, again in 2021 the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage has been reimagined. Instead of a big gathering at Allegany State Park, sponsoring organizations–including Audubon Community Nature Center–are presenting smaller opportunities.

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Audubon Community Nature Center

Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) is presenting four different Allegany Nature Pilgrimage – Beyond the Park events on Saturday, June 5.

For more than 60 years, the weekend after Memorial Day has been reserved by many for the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage, an outdoor learning experience that combines fun with a variety of nature-oriented activities.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 events were presented on the internet via Zoom and Facebook instead of its usual large gathering at Allegany State Park in Cattaraugus County, N.Y.

Since its founding by Jamestown’s Gib Burgeson, the Pilgrimage has been a cooperative presentation of Allegany State Park and volunteers from Audubon Community Nature Center, Buffalo Audubon Society, Rochester’s Burroughs Audubon Nature Club, and Erie’s Presque Isle Audubon Society.

Reimagined again for 2021, to provide real experiences versus virtual ones, each of these organizations is presenting programs for small groups, much like the Pilgrimage does.

Four programs by ACNC are scheduled for Saturday, June 5.

Beginning at 8 a.m., retired teacher and nature enthusiast Tim Baird will take you on a two- to three-hour hike to introduce you to The Nature of Little Rock City. This “’rock city” north of Salamanca lies within the Rock City State Forest, a habitat of mature trees that hosts many interesting plants and animals, including several species of birds.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Nancy Jager is leading “Shades of Green: Wild Plants in Your Backyard” from 10:30 a.m. to noon. On your stroll of the grounds at Audubon, you will learn about some wild plants that grow in your backyard, some that don’t, some that are edible and beneficial, and one or more of the invasives.

Glenn Wahl, who teaches geology at Jamestown Community College, leads the 1 – 2 p.m. indoor program, Bones: What Can We Learn From Them? You can learn how to tell herbivore from carnivore skulls in mammals and birds, discover how nature recycles bones and antlers, learn about examples of convergent evolution (like beavers and crocodiles), and delve into several miscellaneous concepts of natural history.

From 2 to 3 p.m. Western New York Land Conservancy Deputy Executive Director Jajean Rose-Burney is leading a virtual tour of the Allegany Wildlands. The Land Conservancy is raising funds to buy, protect and open to the public this magnificent 200-acre privately-owned forest near Allegany State Park that is part of a globally significant Important Bird Area. Some of our region’s most iconic mammals, such as black bears, bobcats, porcupines, and fishers, all likely roam there.

Enrollment is limited for all of these except Allegany Wildlands, and paid reservations are required by Thursday, May 3, 2021. The prices for Little Rock City are $16, $12 Nature Center members and children 3 – 15, free 2 and under. For Shades of Green and Allegany Wildlands they are $8, $6 for Nature Center members and children 3 – 15, free 2 and under. For Bones, the prices are $8 or $6 for Nature Center members and children 9 – 15.

For more information and to register, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or go to AudubonCNC.org and click through “Upcoming Programs.”

For details of all the Beyond the Park events, visit AlleganyNaturePilgrimage.com/BeyondThePark.html.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. While practicing safe social distancing measures, you can enjoy the six miles of trails on the 600-acre nature preserve from dawn to dusk daily.

The Nature Center building includes the Blue Heron Gift Shop, live animals, and the winning photographs from the 2020 Nature Photography Contest. Visitors are welcome Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is by donation.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345, visit AudubonCNC.org, or find Audubon Community Nature Center on Facebook.