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Audubon lights adds Thursday opportunities

Photo by Gary Lester Following an amazing opening weekend, Audubon Community Nature Center is adding Thursday nights to the first two Fridays and Saturdays in April when you can experience Audubon Lights. More than 10,000 low energy use LED lights bedazzle the forests, ponds and structures around the Nature Center.

Visitors were so enthralled with the first weekend of Audubon Community Nature Center’s Audubon Lights that the schedule has been expanded.

“After an unfortunate power outage on opening night, Audubon hosted more than 150 people on the second evening of the event. Young and old, our visitors were entranced by the uniquely Audubon light show,” said Jeff Tome, Audubon senior nature educator. “And the spring peepers were out in full force, making it an experience for the ears as well as the eyes!”

With the addition of Thursdays, area residents can welcome spring back with a walk through a trail of lights at Audubon on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, April 1-3 and 8-10 through trailside forests and ponds lit with spotlights on trees, lasers on the Blue Heron overlook and more than 10,000 low-energy-use LED lights to create a delightful trail of illumination around the Nature Center.

The self-guided walk follows a luminary-lit trail that starts near the parking lot and circles almost half a mile to the nature center. Sections of the trail may be darker than others so flashlights are allowed but not necessary.

Glasses will be for sale that cause the lights to twinkle and glow, as well as wearable LED lights.

Audubon Lights is also an opportunity to see the new Pamela A. Westrom Wildlife Habitat while it is under construction. The building will include an animal care room as well as three to four animal enclosures. It is being built next to Liberty the Bald Eagle’s enclosure to create a corridor of wildlife for visitors to enjoy.

Program admission each night is limited to 20 people per time slot to keep visitors spread out and socially distanced.

To view the display sign up for a start time between 8 and 10 p.m. on any of those dates. Many times are already full.

Be sure to dress for the weather. Audubon Lights happens rain or shine but will be canceled in extreme weather.

Face coverings are required for outdoor programs during which participants cannot maintain six feet of distance between family groups. Please have a face covering available.

Admission is $10 for adults, $7.50 for Nature Center members and children 3-15, and free for ages 2 and under.

Space is limited to 20 people per time slot. Paid reservations are required the day before the program. They can be made by calling 569-2345 during business hours or going to AudubonCNC.org and clicking on “Upcoming Programs.”

WNY P-TECH STEM College and Career Academy students created displays.

Support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and business sponsor FSC Communications make the event possible.

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