Jamestown, N.Y.Bring your loose change when you come to the lobby of Audubon Community Nature Center and you can “vote” on a  name for the 12-foot concrete turtle that lives near the Nature Play Area.

Last fall, the 1500 pound, larger-than-life turtle was created and donated to Audubon by Mike Whitmire of Whitmire Block and Outdoor Living, Starbrick, Pa.  In seeking help for a name for the popular feature, staff selected six finalists from those submitted to Audubon’s website and in person.

Through Sunday, June 30, Nature Center visitors can cast their vote for their favorite name by using their loose change. The intention is to encourage children to participate in the voting process as much as possible. Each coin will count as one vote.

The turtle name will be revealed and the winner(s) announced on Thursday, July 4. The winner(s) will receive a personal Meet and Greet with some of Audubon’s live turtles and a Nature Center Family Membership.

The following are the finalists, along with the explanations given for the nominations:

  1. Audie: “It’s a nickname for Audubon.” (Debbie)
  2. Hah-nu-nah: “This is the name of the Haudenausaunee turtle that holds up the world.” (Kathleen)
  3. Homer: “Levi, my 3 year old, wanted to name his baby brother Homer. We said no, so he thought maybe you’d use this name for the turtle!” (Erin)
  4. Shelldon (yes, with two “l”s): “Because its my favorite singer and he has a shell and he looks like a boy.” (Adam) And “It has a huge shell, and is a clever name for the giant!” (Antoinette)
  5. Tank: “… if a turtle was a machine it would be a tank.” (Wyatt) And “It’s big, strong, indestructible shell is camouflage green, like a military tank.” (Elaine)
  6. Whitty: “I think it is a good name because Mr. Whitmire was creative and made him. And I think Whitty goes well as a first name for a giant concrete turtle.” (Madysen)

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 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 has 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 programs, call (716) 569-2345 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 ways.