DEC tree and shrub sale encourages native growth

Photo by Gene Pauszek These seedlings of Venus fly traps were purchased from a floral shop for some of the cast members of Dunkirk High School’s musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.” Feed me, Seymour!

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Saratoga Tree Nursery is currently offering over 50 species of tree and shrubs to the public, private land owners and schools for planting. Spruces, pines shrub willows, dogwoods, high bush cranberry, winged sumac, white cedar, and wetland rose are part of the species available.

The sale will be low cost native tree and shrub seedlings from New York seed sources to enable and encourage landowners to enhance the states environment for future generations.

This project can also help out butterflies, as caterpillars and moths must feed on plants first, and without enough of the right plants, many of the insects will not make it to adulthood. Many of the Saratoga nursery seedlings are native, which are preferred by native caterpillars. Many songbirds need a diet rich in protein, that can be found in caterpillars. To successfully raise bird chicks, a clutch may have to feed on thousands of caterpillars before they “fledge.” Not all trees are equal, either. Oak trees support over 400 varieties of caterpillars, while the invasive “tree of heaven” doesn’t support any. Plant the correct trees and you can provide food sources for butterflies, moths and birds and even bees. By planting trees and shrubs at right angles, you can create an effective wind break too.

Schools across New York are eligible to receive free seedlings for planting through the DEC’s School Seedling Program. If you are interested, call the Saratoga Tree Nursery at 518-581-1439, or call the nearest DEC Regional forestry office, to request a “School Seedlings” brochure. Applications must be received at the nursery by March 31.

The excellent fishing opportunity on the Dunkirk pier has slowed, with the recent wind shift that brought a lot of ice into the Dunkirk Harbor and surrounded the pier area. Next week looks like another warming trend will be moving in, so be prepared.

Calendar: The WNY Safari Club International will host Ernie Calandrelli from Quaker Boy Calls as the guest speaker at the March 7 meeting at Michael’s Banquet Facility, located at 4885 Southwestern Blvd. Hamburg. Ernie will talk turkey about spring turkey hunting and those in attendance will have a chance to win a Mossberg turkey gun and hunt with Ernie. The event starts at 7 p.m. Call Terry at 472-2380 for information.

The next gun show is on March 3-4 at Hickory Post VFW, located at 5550 East State St., Hermitage, Pa.

Another gun show will be on March 17-18 at the Harborcreek Fire Department Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road, U.S. Route 20 (located between North East, Pa. and Harborcreek, Pa.)

There will be a pistol course on Sunday March 11 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 2:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. There is a mandatory fee of $75 for this course. To register or for information call Gary at 366-3397.

There will be a free Hunter Safety Training course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on March 28-29 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Two day attendance mandatory. Call Dudek for registration information, or go to the DEC email address.

There will be a free Hunter Safety Course at the Con Club on April 18-19 from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Two day attendance. Call Gary at 366-3397 for information.

On April 14-15, there will be a gun show at Ashtabula County Fair Grounds at the Expo Center Building, located at 127 North Elm St., Jefferson, Ohio. For more information, contact Larry Spicer at 792-9972 or email

There will be a sportsmen flea/yard sale at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club today from noon until 5 p.m. Bring or look for old-new fishing, hunting, trapping, camping equipment etc. NO GUNS. Call Paul at 680-4629 for information.

The Western New York Sport & Travel Expo held at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg will be a four day event from March 8-11. Check out for more information.

Billed as New York’s longest running tackle show, The Lockport NY 2018 Icebreakers will be held at the Elks Lodge, located at 6791 Canal Road, Lockport, on Saturday, March 24 from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. This is a great place to see old tackle, and connect with people involved with buying and selling antique fishing gear. For more info call Dan Bedford at 713-9410 or email

The first annual Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show is scheduled for April 21 at the Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. They are still looking for vendors. Call 366-3000 ext. 420 or email

Monday night, free fly tying courses at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club are from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tying vises, instruction and materials are all provided free. No registration is necessary. The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club is located on Mullet Street in Dunkirk. Turn towards the lake at the Country Fair store located on Lakeshore Drive West (Route 5).

The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. Classes are Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 410-7003 or

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big-game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email

photo 1) These seedlings of Venus fly traps were purchased from a floral shop for some of the cast members of Dunkirk High School’s musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.” Feed me, Seymour!