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Mark Your Calendar: Bergen Swamp preservationists hosts free public event April 28 about the sensitive ecosystem -- see live snakes, spotted turtle, too

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The Bergen Swamp Preservation Society is hosting a free public presentation on endangered species at the Gillam Grant Community Center on Saturday, April 28, to encourage Bergen Swamp community members to be aware of the sensitivity of this ecosystem.

The society wants to bring awareness about the need to preserve the rare animals in the swamp, discourage poaching or killing these animals, and how to identify and report some non-native invasive species.

Bergen Swamp Preservation Society's “Meet and Greet” at the Gillam Grant Community Center will begin at 4 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. The center is located at 6966 W. Bergen Road in Bergen. Refreshments will be available.

The Bergen-Byron Swamp is a refuge for a diversity of wetland plant and animal life. How many people have actually seen some of the most famous animals of the swamp? Now is your chance to meet some of these animals in person with Seneca Park Zoo herpetologists.

These professional herpetologists will share with the public a live Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, a black rat snake and a spotted turtle.

Learn about the natural history of the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, as well as some of the other reptile species found in the swamp. Learn why these reptiles are an important part of the ecosystem and what you should do if you encounter one!

Bergen Swamp Preservation Society trustees will also be on hand to answer any questions about the swamp’s special flora, fauna and geology. Learn about a new non-native invasive grass, brachypodium sylvaticum -- commonly known as false-brome, slender false brome or wood false brome -- that threatens the Bergen Swamp and what we can do to mitigate its threat.

Also, please note that Bergen Swamp Orchid tour will be held Saturday, May 19th. Tours are at 9 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. and meet at the Gillam Grant Community Center on West Bergen Road, Bergen.

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