Although it's not technically in Warren County, not even in Pennsylvania, we consider the Audubon Center and Sanctuary just north of the New York State line a local asset.
And, what an asset it is.
Owned and operated by the Jamestown, N.Y., Audubon Society, the Nature Center is 600 acres of wildlife-rich wetlands riddled with five miles of trails. If there is a species of bird worth looking at (and, are there any that are not worth looking at?), in the Northeast, chances are you can look at one at this wonderful nature preserve.
But preserving the natural flora and fauna of this area of America is only the starting point for a facility that displays the latest in green living. In 2008, the center received the Chautauqua County award for Innovative Energy Initiatives for its efforts to cut electric consumption by 36 percent through the installation of solar panels, retrofitting light fixtures and conversion of old appliances to EnergyStar efficient.
Throughout the year, the center provides nature programming for children and adults and provides a weekly column run in this newspaper on Saturdays.
Because it is such a unique asset to the area, an asset not lost on Warren County folks, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary will hold a fund-raiser in Warren on May 4 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Conewango Club. In addition to unique "Field to Fork" cuisine, there will be art and crafts for sale to benefit the continued operation of the center.
For 55 years, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary has brought us up close and personal with nature. Here's hoping that as many of us as possible will continue to support it financially, so that new generations will be able to enjoy it.