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Audubon, home to giant spotted salamander

Submitted Photo. While the new Spotted Salamander at Audubon Community Nature Center is expected to be enjoyed primarily by kids, staff members Katie Finch (left) and Kim Turner demonstrate that adults can use it for a bench as well. The addition to Audubon’s Nature Play Area was created and donated by Mike Whitmire of Whitmire Outdoor Living in Starbrick, Pennsylvania.

JAMESTOWN — A new creature is making its home at Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC).

Measuring roughly 14 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail, a spotted salamander is now part of ACNC’s outdoor Nature Play Area.

The enormous concrete sculpture was designed, created, and donated to Audubon by Mike Whitmire of Whitmire Outdoor Living in Starbrick, Pennsylvania.

The salamander sits across the trail from Tank the Turtle. It weighs less but is about two feet longer than Tank, the 1500-pound creature that Whitmire made and gave to ACNC last fall.

The Nature Play Area’s many young visitors will enjoy climbing on the salamander just as they do the turtle. Adults will find that the salamander makes a great bench for taking a breather or just relaxing and appreciating the outdoors.

ACNC’s education team is delighted with this most recent unique gift and most grateful to Whitmire for giving visitors yet another reason to come and explore all Audubon has to offer.

Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. The three-story Nature Center contains interactive displays, a collection of live animals, and the Blue Heron Gift Shop. Building hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.

The 600-acre wetland preserve with six miles of hiking trails, a native tree arboretum, gardens, natural play space, and exhibit of Liberty, the non-releasable bald eagle, can be visited from dawn until dusk daily.

To learn more about Audubon and its many programs, call 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.

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