Jamestown, N.Y. Audubon Community Nature Center’s (ACNC) Interactive Nature Sidewalk got spruced up this summer with help from a Projects Pool grant from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County (UAA). 

To engage children along the path that leads from the parking lot to the outdoor nature play area, a year ago last spring Audubon painted four interactive sidewalk elements. They feature local nature-based images, such as ponds, animal tracks, honeybees, and flowers.

The images engage children and even adults in movement-based activities as they follow the honeybee, hop between the lily pads, and identify letters that are painted on the vines.

With the increase in the number of outdoor visitors this past year, not only was the path well-used, but the weather and winter snow had caused some of the images to fade away. ACNC used the UAA grant to purchase materials to revive and improve the designs as well as expand the interactive segment of the trail. The actual painting was done by summer interns.

Summer Day Camp Programs in 2021 included 276 children who attended 35 different camp sessions over the course of eight weeks, many of them attending multiple weeks. The demand was so high and waitlists were so long that Audubon hired an additional intern to offer six sessions beyond the original schedule. As this program continues to grow, ACNC is thrilled to be able to provide even more children with real and healthy connections to nature through exploration, discovery, and play.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. You can enjoy the grounds, with its six miles of trails, and view Liberty, Audubon’s non-releasable Bald Eagle, dawn to dusk daily, free of charge. 

The three-story Nature Center building houses interactive displays, a collection of live animals including the new Hellbender exhibit, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop. Visitors are welcome Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Sundays, 14:30 p.m. Nature Center members enjoy free building admission daily, and building admission is free every Sunday for non-Nature Center members. 

ACNC does not require face coverings outdoors for programs and events with fewer than 50 people. Face coverings  are required for all (despite vaccination status) inside the Nature Center building. 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.