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Remember Audubon during Give Big CHQ

Attired in a Bald Eagle costume, Audubon Community Nature Center Executive Director Leigh Rovegno invites you to contribute to Audubon during Give Big CHQ’s June 1-June 11 online fundraising event. Your support is especially needed at this time.

The Audubon Community Nature Center is asking for support during Give Big CHQ’s June 1 to June 11 fund drive coordinated by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

Normally this time of year thousands of school children would be visiting Audubon, experiencing discovery walks led by staff and trained volunteers. Days and evenings would be filled with adults enjoying and learning at classes, workshops, and presentations.

Social distancing guidelines and state restrictions have significantly reduced ACNC’s ability to generate income due to the suspensions of these school and community programs.

At the same time, Audubon’s trails have been busier than ever. People are taking advantage of the mental, emotional, and physical health benefits of spending time outdoors during this difficult time.

More than 300 volunteers normally help with essential tasks like lawn mowing, building upkeep, animal feeding, and trail maintenance. With the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, Audubon’s volunteer program came to a grinding halt.

Maintaining the trails and facilities involves much work and numerous expenses that continue even through a global pandemic. Essential tasks normally performed by volunteers have been taken on by staff members in order to keep the nature center operational and the trails open and safe for the public to use.

Audubon officials said donating through Give Big CHQ helps pay for essential staff functions that keep the trails open and accessible now and the nature center’s building, animals, and grounds maintained and ready for your return.

Those visiting GiveBigCHQ.org can search for Audubon between June 1 and June 11 and choose several donation levels or decide their own amount. Pre-set donation levels include:

¯ Fill a Gas Can for ACNC’s tractor: $15

¯ Keep trails from flooding: $30

¯ Chip the trails: $50

¯ Support a half-day of essential work: $100

Audubon Executive Director Leigh Rovegno is celebrating her June 1 birthday through her own Give Big Fundraiser. Clicking on her name on the donation page results in a Happy Birthday message and donation.

In addition, Audubon has an anonymous donor who will match every donation with an additional $10 donation up to $500 between 7:16 a.m. and 7:16 p.m. on the last day of the drive, Thursday, June 11.

The Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. To learn more, call 569-2345 during business hours or visit the Programs page at AudubonCNC.org/.

While the Nature Center building is closed due to COVID-19 per New York state restrictions, visitors are welcome to use the native tree arboretum, gardens, picnic area, and natural play space, walk the six miles of trails, and view Liberty, Audubon’s non-releasable Bald Eagle, from dawn to dusk daily while practicing safe social distancing measures. The Blue Heron Gift Shop is also open for drive-thru sales; visit AudubonCNC.org/Shop for more information.

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