Jamestown, N.Y. – Upwards of 4,500 schoolchildren will visit Audubon Community Nature Center this spring to take Discovery Walks and learn about the natural world.

Audubon recently received a significant grant from the Patrie-Leamon and Mabel Anderson Funds at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF) that will help fund this program.

Playing outdoors has many benefits for children that aid them in school, from enhancing their cognitive abilities to improving their academic performance to reducing attention deficit disorder. But not all children are comfortable outside.

Through Audubon’s outdoor programs children become more at ease in outdoor settings, and each year hundreds of schoolchildren take field trips to Audubon. But the schools alone do not have the resources to fund all the related costs. The award from the Community Foundation helps cover the gap between what the schools can afford to pay and its actual cost.

“We are grateful that CRCF’s Patrie-Leamon and Mabel Anderson Funds enable us to provide this wonderful experience for Chautauqua County children,” said Audubon Program Director Jennifer Schlick.

Audubon’s basic field trip is called a Discovery Walk. In small groups guided by Audubon naturalists or trained volunteer trail guides, children explore fields, forests, and ponds for about an hour and a half. What they discover depends on the season and the weather. Many groups like to schedule extra time to take a self-guided tour through the Nature Center building or to have a picnic lunch.

To learn more about Audubon field trips and how to schedule them, call (716) 569-2345 or at auduboncnc.org/Schools.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. The three-story Nature Center building contains interactive displays, a collection of live animals, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop.

Building hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. The 600-acre wetland preserve with more than five miles of trails and Liberty, the non-releasable Bald Eagle, can be visited from dawn until dusk daily.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programscall (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit auduboncnc.org.

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