Every spring since 2003 Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) education staff have raised scholarship funds through their Birdathon on the first Saturday in May. Participants look for as many species as possible and generous supporters pledge an amount, either per species or in total.
For the first time, this year’s birdathon extends over nine days, from May 1 to May 9. Amounts raised above the $500 for the Ryan Exline Memorial Scholarship will go toward the Pamela A. Westrom Wildlife Habitat now under construction (AudubonCNC.org/pawwh).
Tim Galati, a senior at Southwestern Central School, is the 2021 recipient of this scholarship that is awarded to a local resident pursuing a degree in the natural sciences. The son of Amy and Tony Galati, Tim plans to earn a Bachelor’s degree through the Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation program at Canisius College in Buffalo. His interests include playing soccer on his school team, boating, fishing, and volunteering throughout the community, especially the SPCA foster program.
Ryan Exline was an early recipient of the scholarship now named in his memory. The Russell, Pa., resident assisted with Audubon gardening, eagle care, live animal care, and education programs. He was pursuing a master’s degree at Duke University when he died in a car accident.
To learn more about, participate in, and/or contribute to ACNC’s 2021 Birdathon, visit AudubonCNC.org/Birdathon. Winners of individual and team prizes and incentives will be announced on May 13. With a challenging $10,000 goal this ear, contributions can also be made at 99pledges.com/fund/AudubonCNC.
Previous scholarship winners include Hannah Hornyak, Diego Rey, Christina McMillan, Heather Zimba, Taylor West, Brandon Allen, Connor Clendenen, Allison Cramer, Alex Kulakowski, Elyse Johnson, Brenton Maille, Alyssa D’Alessandro, Alexa Vazquez, Tricia Bergstue, Karen Eckstrom, Bill Langworthy, Rex Everett, Ryan Exline, and Eve Gaus.
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 only.
To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call (716) 569-2345, visit AudubonCNC.org, or find Audubon Community Nature Center on Facebook.
Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.