Jamestown, N.Y. – When you were growing up, did you enjoy wading in the creek catching critters? Do you know what a hellbender is? Would you like to hold one?
Then Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) has an Audubon Exclusive experience for you.
On Monday, July 2, you can be part of a Hellbender Survey. After meeting at 8:30 a.m., you will spend until 4:30 p.m. assisting fisheries professionals as they work to capture, process, and then return hellbenders — a species of giant aquatic salamander — to streams of the Allegheny National Forest. (Rain date is Monday, July 16.)
ACNC board member Nate Welker, a fisheries biologist with the Allegheny National Forest, will lead this Audubon Exclusive, a distinctive opportunity and unusual experience that helps fund programs at Audubon.
Wear clothes that can get wet and muddy, as you will be in knee-deep to waist-deep water all day. You will need to dress for the weather and wear proper wading shoes with hard soles and ankle support. The intent is to get out on a hot, sunny, summer day, so hip and chest waders will be too warm.
Water, lunch, and snacks are provided, along with lots of laughs and some great memories. Children aged nine and up are welcome when accompanied by an adult.
Each participant is responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the survey site near Kelletteville, Pa. Carpooling from the rendezvous point in the Lowe’s parking lot in North Warren is encouraged.
The donation is $40 per person, and space is limited. Reservations are required by Friday, June 22, and can be made online through the Programs and Events or Audubon Exclusives pages at 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. Visit at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa., or online at auduboncnc.org.