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  • Columbia County

    Flying Deer Nature Center
    5 Abode Rd., New Lebanon, NY 12125. Phone: 518-794-6687.

    Flying Deer Nature Center is a wilderness school and community dedicated to mentoring children, youth, adults and families in deep connection to nature, self, and others. Since Flying Deer’s inception in 1995, more than 2,500 children and adults have participated in our nature education programs, wilderness adventures, coming-of-age experiences, and community activities.

    Dutchess County

    Stonykill Environmental Center
    79 Farmstead Lane (Rt 9D), Wappingers Falls, NY 12590. Phone: 845-831-8780.

    Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center’s 1,000+ acres of rolling farmland with cultivated crop lands, pastures, thickets, hardwood forests, swamps, ponds and streams provide a rich variety for plant and wildlife communities and their study along the 7 miles of interpreted trails. Outdoor exhibits include native tree species, birds, herb garden and perennial garden. Hours: Grounds open daily, sunrise to sunset, year-round.

    Long Island

    Caleb Smith State Park Preserve
    581 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787. Phone: 631-265-1054.

    Caleb Smith State Park Preserve offers environmental education programs year round for schools at all grade levels. The preserve also offers interpretive programs for youth organizations and the general public including Tiny Tots (3-5 year olds), Fun for Kids, Family Adventures, and Adult Ed-ventures.

    The nature museum is in the Smith Family home built in 1751. Nature trails lead you through a variety of habitats typical of the north shore of Long Island where many species of plants and animals are found. Most of the preserve’s 543 acres are undeveloped, allowing views of its many different habitats, including freshwater wetlands, ponds, streams, fields, and woods. The preserve is a refuge for wildlife and its diverse habitats support a variety of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and ferns. It offers hiking opportunities and also operates a nature museum with wildlife displays and nature programs for children and adults. The Nature Museum has been recently renovated and showcases natural history exhibits including a Great Blue Heron, Red Fox, Flying Squirrel and a River Otter.Hours: Trails and museum open 8am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday. Price: Free; $8 parking Memorial Day through Labor Day.

    Center for Science Teaching and Learning
    Tanglewood Preserve Park, 1 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre, NY 11570. Phone: 516-764-0045

    Amazing Animals Exhibit Admission – $6/person, Open 10am – 4pm (Closed Mon. & Tues), Grounds and Nature Trails – FREE (Mon.-Sun., 9am-5pm)

    CSTL’s Amazing Animals Exhibit is located at the Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre, NY. Visitors can enjoy the preserves streams, ponds, and nature trails any time. Amazing Animals features 2,000 sq/ft of reptiles, mammals, birds, and amphibians.  You’ll see baby alligators, fish, reptiles and amphibians. This is a good place to visit animals in indoor and outdoor environments. Most are rescued creatures that can’t be reintroduced into the wild. Staffers will take animals out of their living areas to give visitors a closer look. CSTL is located at Tanglewood, a beautiful 11-acre nature preserve. The campus is comprised of restored turn-of-the-century buildings including an exhibit hall, multi-purpose room, and barn which can accommodate large groups simultaneously. Throughout the preserve, Tanglewood has peaceful ponds, streams, and nature trails for visitors to enjoy.

    Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium
    1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724. Phone: 516-692-6768

    Admission fee charged. Hours: Open Daily: 10am-5pm; June, July & August: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm and Sat & Sun 10am-6pm. Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

    Founded in 1883 as a state facility, the Hatchery now serves as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing effective, relevant environmental education about the aquatic resources of New York.  This unique facility houses New York State’s largest collection of native freshwater fish, reptiles, and amphibians. It offers many interesting exhibits, including forty Aquariums with over sixty species of New York freshwater fish, an outdoor Turtle Habitat and indoor Turtle Room with a complete collection of freshwater turtles, displays highlighting amphibians of New York State, an indoor stream exhibit that highlights the main Aquarium Building, and much more.  Thousands of trout are still hatched here every year, and visitors can witness the process through six outdoor rearing pools that hold the fish in various stages of development, from four-month old fingerlings to adult sized trout.

    Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
    50 Barry Dr.,Glen Cove, NY 11542. Phone: (516) 571-8010.

    The Museum is a center for research on Long Island geology and a valued resource in the study of Long Island’s Native American archaeology. Reference collections of original archaeological artifacts and geological phenomena are maintained. These are used in exhibits and Museum educational programs and are available for special research purposes. With interactive exhibits and dioramas of the daily life of the Native Americans who once lived in this area, Garvies Point Museum and Preserve shows visitors the cultural and natural history of this area.  Museum maps and exhibits explain how Long Island was formed when glaciers deposited debris in the area.  The preserve consists of 62 acres of glacial moraine covered by forests, thickets, and meadows. There are about five miles of marked natured trails including trails for the blind. Life forms typical of the north shore of Long Island are abundant along the rocky shoreline. The woods and meadows, with their varied plant life, attract more than 140 species of birds, notably, scarlet tanagers and many varieties of warblers. A trail guide to the preserve is available at the museum.   Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., school groups by appointment Tuesday to Friday, closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays. Admission: Adults:$3.00, children 5-12 years: $2.00

    Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve
    200 New Highway, Commack, NY 11725. Phone: (631) 543-7804.

    The Hoyt Farm Nature Center is an exciting and educational place. They have many live animals, including snakes, frogs, salamanders, turtles, and fish. The educational displays describe life on Long Island from the beaches to the trees and you can’t miss the Native American artifact collection. Nature Center Hours of Operation: Open Memorial day to Labor day -7 days a week 1 pm – 4 pm.

     

    Suffolk County Farm and Education Center
    350 Yaphank Ave.,Yaphank, NY 11980. Phone: (631) 852-4600.

    Tens of thousands of visitors join us every year at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center–a real working farm in action! Families can participate in our many special events and get up close to the farm animals. The century-old Farm offers unique educational programs for children Pre-K thru 12th grade, summer day camps, showgrounds, special events, a butterfly house, a certified Nature Explore Classroom and much more. The farm is open to the public — year round, seven days a week from 9 am to 3 pm.

    Sweetbriar Nature Center
    62 Eckernkamp Dr., Smithtown, NY 11787. Phone: (631) 979-6344

    Sweetbriar Nature Center is a private not-for-profit corporation which exists to provide natural science education services for Long Island residents of all ages and to engage in native wildlife rehabilitation services. Through education and examples, ECSS encourages responsible decision making, appreciation, and respect for the unique wildlife and ecosystems found on Long Island. Sweetbriar Nature Center is situated on 54 acres of varied garden, woodland, field and wetland habitats on the Nissequogue River. Hundreds of species of plants and animals make homes here.

    Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center
    134 Cove Rd., Oyster Bay, NY 11771. Phone: (516) 922-3200.

    Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center, located in Oyster Bay, was established in 1923 as the first Audubon Songbird Sanctuary in the nation. Twelve acres were donated by W. Emlen and Christine Roosevelt in memory of their cousin, the late Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. The Sanctuary’s original purpose was to provide a protected environment for songbirds whose populations were declining due to habitat loss. Today, it is a vibrant resource offering a wide variety of activities, including environmental education, wildlife research, and conservation advocacy.

    Hours of operation: Monday-Friday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Saturday-Sunday & Holidays: noon- 4:00 pm

    FREE admission.

    Upland Farm Nature Sanctuary
    250 Lawrence Hill Rd., Cold Spring Harbor, NY Phone: 631-367-3225.

    True to its name, Uplands Farm Sanctuary retains the appearance of an old dairy farm, complete with a silo and open fields that were once cattle pastures. Today, the old farm buildings serve as an office for The Nature Conservancy’s Long Island Chapter. A double-loop trail meanders from bird and butterfly meadows, through deciduous forests, into a white pine-shaded ravine.

    Orange County

    Hudson Highlands Nature Museum
    The museum has two locations 1.5 miles apart.: Outdoor Discovery Center: 100 Muser Dr., Cornwall, NY. Phone: 845-534-5506. Wildlife Education Center: 25 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson. Phone: 845-534-778

    The nature museum includes the two centers listed above, 1.5 miles apart, along with pond, field, and woodland hiking trails. Hiking trails and weekend programs. See website for more information.

    Putnam County

    Constitution Marsh Audubon Center & Sanctuary
    127 Warren Landing Rd.,Garrison, NY 10524. Phone: 845-265-2601.

    Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary, is a unique 270-acre tidal marsh located in Cold Spring. The mission at Constitution Marsh Sanctuary is twofold: to provide stewardship of this fragile wetland and to teach others about it. They believe there is no substitute for a trip to the shoreline, where one can explore and discover the river first hand. The marsh is irreplaceable habitat and provides refuge to the wildlife of the Hudson River Estuary. Common breeding birds include Marsh Wren, Louisiana Waterthrush, Spotted Sandpiper, Virginia Rail and many others. The Education Center’s exhibits, highlighted by a 500-gallon aquarium and a live video of nesting Eastern Phoebes (seasonal), allow visitors to come face to face with fish, crabs and other wildlife of the Hudson River. Jim’s Walk — the marsh’s 700-foot boardwalk, is accessible to families, birders, artists, or anyone who wants to experience the natural side of the beautiful Hudson! Hours: Grounds: Open daily 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM // Nature Center open Tues. – Sun. 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

    Rockland County

    Rockand Lake State Park Nature Center
    Rt. 9W, Rockland Lake, NY 10989. Phone: 845-268-2503

    The Rockland Lake Nature Center is part of a large recreational area at Rockland Lake North State Park. Re-opened in 2003, the nature center provides interpretative trails through wetland areas as well exhibits on local wildlife and history. New exhibits feature the wildlife of Rockland Lake, the story of the formation of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, and the history of the Davies family of Dr. Davies Orchards fame. New exhibits join a permanent display on the rich ice harvesting history of Rockland Lake. Interpretative walks and programs are run every weekend on local history and wildlife. OPEN SUMMER ONLY.

    Trailside Museums and Zoo
    Rt. 9W Bear Mountain, NY 10911. Phone: 845-786-2701 ext 263

    Built on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River, Trailside Museums and Wildlife Center is comprised of four comprehensive museum buildings connected by the oldest continually-operated nature trail in the United States. Hours: Trailside: Sept – May: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM Daily; June – July: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  Four museums (Herpetology, Nature Study, Geology, and History); river overlooks; archaeological remains of Fort Clinton; indoor and outdoor animal exhibits.

    Ulster County

    Belleayre Mountain Interactive Nature Center
    Belleayre Mountain Rd., Pine Hill, NY 12465. Phone: 845-254-5600 ext 303.

    The Belleayre Mountain Interactive Nature Center is a seasonal, hands-on learning experience for everyone. Visitors to the Nature Center are strongly encouraged to look, touch, feel, smell and examine. From “eating” like a bird, stroking the fur of a Coyote or Bobcat, watching fish, or picking up some very informative literature, there is something for everyone. The Nature Center invites everyone from local community, to area visitors, to school group and more to come, see and feel for themselves how fun and informative nature can be.

    Forsyth Nature Center
    Lucas Ave.,Kingston, NY 12401. Phone: 845-331-1682 ext. 132

    Owned and operated by the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department, the Forsyth Nature Center offer’s year round environmental education programs at its facility in Forsyth Park as well as its Hudson River Parks. The nature center offer’s 18 hand’s on animal exhibits and a variety of gardens. The facility also provides year round bird walks, kayaking, snowshoeing, school and private programs as well as summer week long nature programs geared for children. The Forsyth Nature Center has been growing and changing for many years. The Mission of the Forsyth Nature Center is “To foster the exploration of the natural world in and around our community through educational programming and contact with flora and fauna at an interpretive facility”. The Forsyth Nature Center has 24 animal exhibits and a dozen gardens that contain a variety of native flora found right here in the Hudson Valley.  Hours: Open Year Round, Mon. – Fri.: 7:00 AM – 5:00PM // Sat. – Sun.: (in May – October) 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (October – April) 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

    Frost Valley Environmental Education Center- Frost Valley YMCA
    2000 Frost Valley Rd.,Claryville, NY 12725. Phone: 845-985-2291.

    CALL AHEAD FOR FEE INFORMATION AND PROGRAMS.  A 6000-acre facility in the Catskills, Frost Valley provides programming for schools and conference groups year round. Programs include natural science, adventure education and wilderness experience. A teaching staff of 21 is available mid-week for residential school programs and weekends by arrangement. Specialty programs include maple sugaring, cider pressing, gardening, US Geological acid rain survey station, canoeing, wildlife studies, ice cutting and winter recreation programs. Hours: Guided programs year-round. Interpretive building – 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. FEES APPLY- CALL FOR INFO.

    Minnewaska State Park Preser
    5281 Route 44-55, Kerhonkson, NY 12446. Phone: 845-255-0752.

    Small, seasonal nature center in majestic Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Minnewaska Nature Center is perched above Divers’ Cove on Minnewaska Lake, offering a bird’s eye view of the lake below. The center features interactive nature education displays for families and is conveniently located close to the Wildmere parking area. Public environmental education and recreation programs are offered year-round and feature interpretive hikes and snowshoe outings. Topics of interest on such outings include wildlife tracking, wild edibles, winter tree identification, the cultural history of the site and much more. Regularly scheduled programs include “Wellness Walks” on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from November through June, “Early Morning Birders” outings every Tuesday morning from April through October and Junior Naturalists and Junior Rangers, a summer series designed for school aged children and offered twice each summer. Education programs are offered for school groups, clubs and other organizations. Hours: Open Sat. – Sun. 10:00 AM -12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, as staff is available.

    Mohonk Preserve
    3197 State Route 55, Gardiner, NY 12525. Phone: 845-255-0919.

    The Mohonk Preserve protects the Shawangunk Mountains by inspiring people to care for, enjoy, and explore the natural world. As New York State’s largest non-profit nature preserve, we protect nearly 7,000 acres of forests, fields, streams and lakes, mountain ridges, and other unique environments and provide habitat for wildlife. The Preserve welcomes 150,000 annual visitors who come to rock climb, mountain bike, hike, ski, and study and enjoy nature. The Preserve provides education to school children and the public; is the site of cutting-edge research on climate change, wildlife, water quality, and other critical issues; maintains 70 miles of carriage roads and trails for public benefit; and works with neighbors, local municipalities, and conservation partners to protect open space region-wide.

    Westchester County

    Beczak Environmental Education Center
    35 Alexander St.,Yonkers, NY 10701. Phone: 914-377-1900.

    The Beczak Environmental Education Center is a non-profit environmental education facility that presents exhibits and programs for all ages to raise environmental awareness and to encourage informed stewardship of the Hudson River, the Saw Mill River and the Bronx River. Located on the banks of the Hudson in the City of Yonkers, at River Mile 18, the Beczak Environmental Education Center is an adaptive reuse of the former Social Club for Habirshaw Cable & Wire. This spacious interpretive center has several fish tanks, telescopes trained on the Palisades cliffs and rotating exhibits. Outside, the two-acre park features a welcoming riverfront lawn, an easily accessible tidal marsh and a beach used for river exploration and seining. Approximately ten feet off shore is an Estuary Monitoring System, the first computerized water and weather monitoring station in the Hudson that posts real-time data on Beczak’s Website.

    Cranberry Lake Preserve
    1609 Old Orchard St.,, West Harrison, NY 10604. Phone: (914) 428-1005

    Cranberry Lake Preserve is a 190-acre park operated by the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation. A variety of habitats including a four-acre lake, cliffs and scrubland, mixed hardwood forest, vernal pools, and a swamp. Visitors can learn about the area’s past by following the History Trail to the remains of a 19th-century farmhouse and early 20th-century stone-mining operation. The Nature Center offers family-oriented nature programs most weekends and houses a variety of interactive, educational displays. Nature programs are offered to the public nearly every weekend.

    Croton Point Nature Center
    Croton Point Ave., Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520. Phone: 914-862-5297

    The Croton Point Nature Center is located at the 504-acre Croton Point Park, the largest peninsula on the Hudson River. The building houses exhibits on local flora and fauna (including Hudson River specimens), local and Native American history and hands-on-activities. Restrooms, maps and information are also available in the nature center. This park offers year-round events and activities and has facilities for camping, hiking and swimming. The park, rich in natural and human history, is also the site of historic wine cellars that are thought of be the oldest in New York State and the Croton Point Nature Center.

    Edith G.Read Wildlife Sanctuary
    Playland Parkway, Rye, NY 10580. Phone: (914) 967-8720.

    Great Blue HeronLocated on the shore of the Long Island Sound, along a migratory flyway, this 179-acre sanctuary is home to a great diversity of marine life. In winter months, the 85-acre lake, a mixture of salt and fresh water, hosts over 5,000 ducks. The sanctuary has been recognized by the national Audubon Society of New York as an Important Bird Area due to its significant habitats and flyway.

    There are three miles of trails through forest and field. Along the half-mile of publicly accessible shore, the intertidal habitat harbors a wide diversity of plants and animals. Restrooms, maps and information are available at the nature center. The building also houses a small number of exhibits on the ecology of the area. Checklists of seasonally distinct bird species are available.

    Greenburgh Nature Center
    99 Dromore Rd. (off Central Park Ave.,), Scarsdale, NY 10583.

    The Greenburgh Nature Center (GNC) is a 33-acre nature preserve with trails, a pond and gardens. More than 70,000 visitors come to the GNC each year. The property is a significant wildlife habitat refuge, both for indigenous species and for the hundreds of species of migratory birds that use it as a resting place on their spring and fall travels. The property includes 30 acres of woodland, two significant wetland sites, and an old orchard succession site, which is used as a nesting area for Eastern box turtles.

    Lenoir Preserve
    Dudley St., Yonkers, NY. Phone: (914) 968-5851.

    Lenoir Preserve is a 40-acre nature preserve comprising of woodlands and field habitats. It is adjacent to the Old Croton Aqueduct on slopes overlooking the Hudson River, providing spectacular views. Every spring and autumn, bird watchers gather to observe major hawk migrations. Nature enthusiasts can learn about raptor identification markings, such as flight patterns and silhouettes, and can take part in official tracking counts of raptors. In summer, the butterfly garden is at its height, visited by a wide variety of butterflies. Nearby, a dragonfly pond provides the necessary habitat for numerous aquatic insects and attracts birds and other wildlife. The Nature Center houses many different nature exhibits.

    Marshlands Conservancy
    Route 1, Rye, NY 10580. Phone: (914) 835-4466

    Marshlands Conservancy is a 147-acre wildlife sanctuary composed of diverse habitats. Forest, meadow, salt marsh and shore can be explored and appreciated here. There are three miles of trails and one-half mile of shoreline along the Long Island Sound. Located along the Atlantic migratory flyway, Marshlands is an excellent birdwatching location. More than 230 species have been sighted. The Marshlands salt marsh is one of few in New York accessible to the public for study and enjoyment. Nature Center exhibits: The building displays a small number of changing exhibits and saltwater aquaria containing representative species of marine life.

    Rye Nature Center
    873 Boston Post Rd., Rye 10580. Phone: 914-967-5150.

    City-owned facility of 47 acres of wildlife preserve with ponds, streams and hiking trails that provide a full range of environmental education programs and activities. Open year-round, Monday – Friday, 9-5pm; Saturday, 10-4pm.

    Teatown Lake Reservation
    1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining, NY 10562. (914) 762-2912.

    Teatown Lake Reservation’s 875-acre nature preserve spans into three towns (Yorktown, Cortlandt and New Castle) located in the northwest section of Westchester County, New York.  The property provides a unique glimpse of the biological diversity and fragile ecosystem of the entire Hudson Hills and Highlands bioregion. Visitors are awed by the beauty of the preserve, which includes streams, hardwood swamps, mixed forests, meadows, hemlock forests, laurel groves and a scenic gorge.

    FIFTEEN MILES OF HIKING TRAILS: There are nearly 15 miles of hiking trails marked throughout Teatown’s preserve for visitors to traverse and enjoy.  The trails are open daily from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. NATURE CENTER : Teatown’s Nature Center houses nature education exhibits and a live animal collection of a variety of amphibians, reptiles, birds of prey, and mammals.  There is free admission to both our indoor and outdoor exhibits. The Nature Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. DIVERSE HABITATS: Teatown Lake Reservation’s abundant fields, mixed forests, lakes, streams, swamps and farmland provide a unique glimpse of the biological diversity of the region. Some featured destinations include Teatown Lake, Shadow Lake, Hidden Valley, Griffin Swamp and Cliffdale Meadows.

    Trailside Museum – Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
    Routes 35 and 121, Cross River, NY 10518. Phone: (914) 864-7322.

    The Trailside Nature Museum, established in 1937, is one of the oldest of its kind in the United States. The museum is home to a large collection of mounted animals, American Indian artifacts, educational exhibits, child-friendly interactive displays, and nature-oriented artwork. During the summer months, butterfly and moth hatcheries are maintained inside the museum for a close look at the miracle of metamorphosis. Be sure to go butterflying at the outside demonstration butterfly garden which attracts parades of butterflies. The brochure Butterflies of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation lists 83 species that have been seen on the grounds. Birds of field and forest abound throughout the year. Birds of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation contains a checklist of the 184 species recorded in the park to date.

    In addition, there is a one-half acre wildflower garden containing more than 80 different kinds of labeled wildflowers. There are several self-guided nature trails – directions and pamphlets are available in the museum.

    Weinburg Nature Center
    455 Mamaroneck Rd., Scarsdale, NY 10583. Phone: 914-722-1289

    Nature sanctuary and home to a wide variety of animals and birds, with a meadow, fruit orchard, butterfly and hummingbird garden, Japanese-style Zen meditation garden and outdoor Native American Village. The Trailside Museum offers nature-related exhibits and eductional programs focusing on local environment and wildlife, archaeology and Native American culture. The trails are open dawn to dusk seven days a week. The Trailside Museum is open year round from 9-5pm, Wednesday – Sunday. (Summer from 9-5pm, Monday – Friday).

    Westmoreland Sanctuary
    260 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Bedford Corners, NY 10549. Phone: 914-666-8448.

    Westmoreland is a 625 acre wildlife sanctuary located in Westchester County. A reconstructed 200 year old building serves as a museum and nature center. There are 8 miles of trails which are open dawn to dusk. Educational programs are offered to schools, scouts and the general public. Programs offered include pond ecology, bird banding, tree identification, mammals, bluebird house construction and general nature hike. We also offer a variety of weekend programs for the general public.

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