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Volunteer Science Corps Soars at 1st Annual Montezuma Audubon Center Wildlife Festival
May 5, 2007

The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC) officially opened its doors to the public on Saturday May 5, 2007 providing visitors with an exciting opportunity to learn about and experience the most magnificent freshwater wetlands complex in the northeast. The new nature center, designed under LEED certified criteria, features amazing exhibits highlighting the remarkable biodiversity found throughout the area.

The 1st Annual Montezuma Audubon Center Wildlife Festival provided visitors with the opportunity to discover and celebrate the unique natural and cultural history of the wetlands complex. This family fun festival was alive with outdoor education activities and showcased new outdoor recreation products for the bird watching, fishing, hunting, canoeing, and hiking enthusiast.

An enthusiastic team of 17 ESF students, staff and extended family volunteered for this very special event. Volunteer Science Corps led educational activities that included a macroinvertebrate display, bluebird house construction, and nature crafts like Fashion a Fish and creating Footprint Bandanas.

Special acknowledgement goes out to all that helped out that day – Tom Hughes, Kelly Gonzalez, Ryan Wynne, Ian Blackburn, Carol Thomas, Mandy Fritzen, Lee Raza, Susana DelGranado, Katie Barnhill, Terhi Majanen, Alex Yates, Beth Hodson, Nicole Pritchard, Kimberly May, Laura Hahn, Kate Zogby, and Stephanie Johnson.

The newly formed partnership between SUNY-ESF and the MAC continued through the summer of 2007 as the MAC and National Grid hosted 5 day-long visits to the Center that reached nearly 150 Syracuse City youth.

During the Audubon’s Citizen Science Days with ESF SCIENCE, middle school students spent the day learning about, through hands-on and interactive activities, the important role citizens can play in helping scientists better understand and conserve birds and other wildlife. Audubon and ESF SCIENCE staff exposed the students to citizen science programs, such as eBird; guided students through a bird survey; and presented new opportunities for the students to use these newly developed skills as Citizen Scientists to help experts better understand the wildlife in their own urban neighborhoods.

The MAC is located approximately 1.5 miles north of the Hamlet of Savannah and is west of NYS Route 89 immediately north of the Crusoe Creek.

For more information on the programs visit the Wildlife Festival website: www.friendsofmontezuma.org/wildlifefestival.html or email montezuma@audubon.org.

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