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May 4, 2019 - 2:54pm

Spring into Nature connected lots of people to nature and conservation at the Iroquois wildlife refuge

Above, ladies from the Alabama-Basom Methodist Church held a bake sale at the Spring Into Nature event. From left are Gladys Phillips, Janice Snyder, Marian Green and Phyllis Brooks.

 

Chilly, damp weather didn’t deter conservation enthusiasts who attended the 35th annual Spring Into Nature event at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama last Saturday.

Nearly three dozen organizations that participated were spread throughout the refuge’s shops, the Visitors’ Center on Casey Road and outside. Visitors came from across Western New York for the yearly heralding of springtime.

The purpose of the event is to connect people with nature and conservation, said Wildlife Refuge Specialist Kate Brenner.

Spring Into Nature 2019 was dedicated to Robert Schmidt, a volunteer for more than 20 years on the refuge, which primarily serves as a nesting, feeding, resting and staging area for migratory waterfowl. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wlidlife Service.

There was plenty of food to purchase; and numerous activities, presentations and demonstrations geared to every age took place during the day.​ These included a bald eagle watch, archery, and more.

Alabama volunteer firemen brought a fire truck and visitors were encouraged to thank a firefighter for their service.

Among the activities for children was building a toad abode, making pinecone bird feeders, face painting and animal origami (the art of Japanese paper folding).

For the Alabama-Basom Methodist Church, the day provided the opportunity to earn money to benefit the church. Nearly every year the event has taken place, the church has had a bake sale there. They offer everything from pies, cookies and cupcakes to muffin bread.

Marion Green, who will be 85 this summer, has been going to the church since she was 2. She proudly held up one of the muffin breads she made for the sale.

Money made from the bake sale goes toward putting county water in the church, Green said.

To learn more about Iroquois National Wlidlife Refuge, click here.

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Below, 10-year-old Melissa Outten, of Gasport, shows off the toad abode she made during Spring Into Nature. Behind her is a muskrat den, which is one of the displays in the Visitors’ Center.

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