Where can you see over 500 jack-o-lanterns, take a guided edible mushroom walk, and see insectivorous plants? Beaver Lake Nature Center (BLNC).
It is located just outside of Syracuse in Baldwinsville, NY. This 660 acre nature center is classified as a watchable wildlife site by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The site is host to many species of migratory birds, wildlife, plants and fungus that can be seen up close and personal at the visitor center or by walking the trails. The center stays true to their mission of offering stewardship of nature through many diverse educational and recreational opportunities. They host events throughout the year. Their main event attractions are in the autumn season.
Fall is an especially busy time at BLNC. One of the most attended events, Enchanted Beaver Lake, is in October. This event is noted for having hundreds of carved pumpkins lighting trails. There is also fortune telling, face painting, games, and other activities for the whole family. The Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast is also in the month of October. This event brings people closer to nature and helps raise funds to support the center’s mission. Another interesting event is the Vince O’Neill’s Wild Mushrooms Festival. This event gives attendees an opportunity to take guided walks to find edible fungi and then learn how to cook it.
In addition to having exciting seasonal events there are also activities that happen almost daily depending on the time of year. In the warmer months visitors can go canoeing or kayaking on the 200 acre lake. In fall, horseback riding is offered. BLNC has hot chocolate and snowshoeing on seasonal trails when there is snow on the ground. On weekends there are almost always guided hikes to learn about the flora and fauna present at the center.
The BLNC is host to especially noteworthy species. The pitcher plant, found on the Bog Trail, is unique because it is carnivorous. Prized edible morel mushrooms can be found here. Also, other wildlife to watch for include beavers, bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers and turtles. The preserve provides habitat for species to thrive and involves the public in stewardship.
Stewardship is a big part of BLNC’s mission. The center achieves this by inviting the public to the nature preserve to experience the natural world firsthand. Volunteers and staff are always there to educate people about the different plants, animals, and whatever else a visitor might see. There are always opportunities for people to get involved and volunteer at any number of events or activities the center hosts. To get involved you can visit their websiteand see what they have to offer.