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Five Rivers Environmental Education Center salutes fall

With summer winding down, the leaves will be changing color soon, and with that change comes a great opportunity for area families to learn more about nature and the environment. The Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar will be holding a pair of fall events in September to showcase the beauty of the season.

The first event is a series of early-morning bird programs to be held at the center Thursdays, Sept. 4, 11, 18 and 25. The events will kick off at 7 a.m. with an observation period at the bird feeders, and will continue with a trek through the forest area in search of more species.

According to center director Craig Thompson, the events provide area residents a great opportunity to see birds they may not often see.

There's a lot of birds just passing through to their winter homes. It's a good way to see birds you don't often see that don't live around here, but it also helps us develop a significant body of scientific data, Thompson said.

The walks, which have been held by the center for about 30 years, are a great way for the beginning bird watcher to learn more about our feathered friends, and it is recommended that participants bring along binoculars and bird books, which will also be on loan from the center.

The second event is a guided plant walk on Saturday, Sept. 6, along the center's trails in search of seasonal vines. The walk is an educational way to learn more about vines, and participants will be able to find fall varieties, such as wild grape and cucumber vines. Both varieties are common within New York, but according to Thompson, most people just don't know to look for them.

"Fall is a great time of year to look for vegetation " fruits, berries, and vines, which are at their best in late fall," Thompson said. "There are a number of vines that are really coming into their beauty right now."

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