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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

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Region Eight Nature Centers

Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Steuben, Schuyler and Chemung Counties

Many of New York's Finger Lakes are included in this region, as is the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, a 7,000-acre refuge for migrating and nesting waterfowl.

DEC encourages visitors to call ahead to confirm directions, hours of operation and user fee information.

Note: By clicking on the links for these environmental centers, you will go off DEC's website.

Blue Cut Nature Center

Wayne County Parks
7210 Route 31 West
Lyons, N.Y. 14489
Blue Cut Nature Center Website

Wayne County

Program Description: Located on 40 acres of open land with marsh and pond, mixed hardwoods and red pine plantation, Blue Cut Nature Center offers trail has three self-guided trails. There is a small teaching shelter, picnic tables and restroom facilities.

Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk.

Fees: None

Buildings: Small lean-to and an outhouse (bathroom)

Wheelchair access: No

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: 5 Tables for picnics and 3 charcoal grills available

Chip Holt Nature Center

PO Box 523
Lakeville, NY 14480
Chip Holt Nature Center Website

Livingston County

Program Description: Located in the Town of Livonia's Vitale Park in Lakeville, NY on the shore of Conesus Lake. There is a small nature center building, a walking trail, picnic tables and restroom facilities. The Chip Holt Nature Center mission is to (1) provide interactive educational programs and recreational opportunities for present and future generations, (2) promote ecological stewardship for Conesus Lake and its watershed, and (3) increase awareness and appreciation for the natural resources of the Finger Lakes.

Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk

Fees: None

Buildings: Small nature center building and a bathroom facility

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Vitale Park has two picnic shelters with tables and grills; it also has two gazebos.

Cumming Nature Center

6472 Gulick Road
Naples, NY 14512
Fax: 585-374-5910
Cumming Nature Center Website

Ontario County

Program Description: A division of the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC), Cumming is an environmental education center that interprets the relationship between humans and natural environments. Trail themes include ecology, natural history, Haudenosaunee culture, European pioneer settlement, and past, present, and future land use. Annual special events include Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing in winter, Maple Sugaring Weekends in spring, Frost Town Artisans Faire in summer, and Timber Sports Competition in the fall.

Hours: Center: Wed. - Sun.: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Trails close at 4:30PM NOTE: Center closed mid-November until 26 December, call for exact dates

Fees: RMSC members free; Adults: $4, Seniors & College Students with ID: $3, K-Grade 12: $1.50, and Pre K and under: Free

Buildings: Visitors Center with restrooms, gift shop, snack bar, exhibit gallery, library, theater, and wildlife viewing area.

Wheelchair access: Restrooms and building accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Yes; fires prohibited

Genesee County Park and Forest Interpretive Nature Center

11095 Bethany Center Road
E. Bethany, NY 14054
Fax: 585-343-6611
Genesee County Park Nature Center Website

Genesee County

Program Description: Located within the "Oldest County Forest" in New York State which has 431 acres of forested rolling hills including the headwaters of Black Creek, 5 small ponds, 4 acre wetland, 17 miles of trails, toboggan hills and various natural habitats of New York. The Nature Center provides indoor and outdoor environmental education and natural history interpretation for school groups, scouts, community organizations and the public through walks and talks. Grade levels include pre-K through 12th. Each program is designed to meet NYS learning standards or individual needs and include hands-on student discovery for investigation of the environment . Annual special events include Earth Day Celebration in the Spring and snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter.

Hours: Park Hours: October - April: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and May - September: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Nature Center Hours: Thurs. - Fri.: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM and Sat. - Sun.: 12:00PM - 4:00PM year round

Fees: No Entrance Fees, Pavilion Reservation Fees, Small fee for school and scout programs - Call for details

Buildings: Nature Center with classrooms, restroom, habitat dioramas, taxidermy, live bee hive and interactive displays. Park has many open pavilions in the summer and two enclosed for the winter, restrooms (summer only) port-johns (winter)

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: General Public, Schools, Groups, Families

Picnic Area: Multiple pavilions with grills. No open fires or pits, carry-in carry-out park

Genesee Country Nature Center

1410 Flint Road
PO Box 310
Mumford, NY 14511
585-538-6822 ext.262
Fax: 585-538-6927
Genesee County Nature Center Website

Monroe County

Program Description: The Nature Center provides outdoor education and natural history interpretation for school groups, scout groups, and the public through walks and talks both in a classroom setting and on the four and a half miles of trails.

Hours January - April: Thurs - Fri: 10:00AM - 4:00PM, Sat - Sun: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
May - October: Tues. - Fri.: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Sat. - Sun.: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
November and December 31: Sat. - Sun. ONLY 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Fees: Adults: $3; Seniors: $2.50; Youth 4-16 years: $2; Members of GC Village & Museum and children under 3: Free

Buildings: Nature center

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public, Groups

Picnic Area: Yes

Hansen Nature Center and Tinker Nature Park

1525 Calkins Rd
P.O. Box 999
Henrietta, NY 14467
Fax: 585-359-7045
Hansen Nature Center Website

Monroe County

Program Description: 68 acres with fields, woodlands, marsh and pond. 2 trails for hiking, a special needs trail, fitness trail, orienteering course and catch and release fishing is allowed. Special events and nature presentations open to the public. Snowshoes and x-country ski rentals available at nature center. School and scout programs by appointment.

Hours: Park: sunrise to sunset. // Hansen Nature Center: Tues. - Sat.: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Closed Sunday & Monday & Holidays.

Fees: Charge for school and scout programs

Buildings: Nature Center Building with classrooms, restrooms, library, honeybee observation hive and natural history displays. Open-air pavilion with restrooms by reservation. The park is also home to the Tinker Homestead and Farm Museum, an 1830's Cobblestone Home listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum depicts late 19th Century Farm life and also houses a collection of farm machinery and tools tracing the evolution of farming from subsistence farming to mechanized farming.

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: General public, schools and scouts

Picnic Area: Several areas with picnic tables. No fires. Carry-in, carry-out park.

Helmer Nature Center

154 Pine Grove Ave
Rochester, NY 14617
Fax: 585-336-3193
Helmer Nature Center Website

Monroe County

Program Description: Throughout the year, the nature center provides programs for students of all grade levels, pre-K through grade 12. Each program is designed for the curriculum needs of the students and uses individual student discovery for investigation of the environment.

Hours: Trails open for individuals and families dawn-dusk // Staff hours Mon. - Fri.: 8:00 AM - 3:30 AM, Sat & Sun by appointment; all groups must have reservations

Fees: No admission for trails; program fees vary by program type

Buildings: Resource room; Long House classroom; Sugaring pavilion

Wheelchair access: Yes

Visitor Focus: Schools, groups, and general public

Picnic Area: No

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1101 Casey Road
Basom, NY 14013
Fax: 585-948-9538
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Website

Genesee and Orleans Counties

Program Description: Guided and self-guided field trips available, environmental education programs for schools through the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation program, free nature programs in spring and fall through a partnership with the Buffalo Audubon Society. Nature trails and overlooks; also fishing and hunting available.

Hours: Grounds: Sunrise - Sunset, year-round // Refuge Office/Visitor Contact Station Mon. - Fri.: 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM year-round except holidays and Spring & Fall: Sat. - Sun.: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Fees: None (except for waterfowl hunting and marsh trapping)

Buildings: Visitor Contact Station within Refuge Office building (Casey Road); Waterfowl Hunt Permit Station /secondary Visitor Contact Station (at Kanyoo Nature Trail)

Wheelchair access: Office Building, overlooks and some trails

Visitor Focus: The refuge is a stop over point for thousands of migrating waterfowl. Plus over 260 species of birds, including 2 pair of nesting bald eagles, have been documented here. The refuge is recognized as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. The refuge's 10,828 acres of habitat also support many other species of wildlife.

Picnic Area: No

Lamberton Conservatory

Monroe County Parks- Highland Botanical Park
180 Reservoir Ave
Rochester, NY 14620-2729
Fax: 585-256-5880
Lamberton Conservatory Website

Monroe County

Program Description: Conservatory complex located in historic Olmsted designed park. Includes visitor center, courtyard garden, seasonal display house and four themed greenhouses (epiphytes, tropical forest, desert and house plants). Most plants are identified and there is interpretive signage throughout. Tours available by pre-arrangement.

Hours: Daily 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, except Christmas Day

Fees: Youth (0-5) Free
Youth (6-18) & Seniors (62 and up) $2.00
Adult (19-61) $3.00

Buildings: Range of five connected greenhouses, center courtyard, visitors center, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Completely accessible including restrooms

Visitor Focus: General public and groups

Picnic Area: Not in conservatory. Picnic tables are available out in the park.

Mendon Ponds Nature Center

Monroe County Parks
3914 Clover Street
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472-3780
Mendon Ponds Nature Center Website

Monroe County

Program Description: Mendon Ponds Park, a Registered National Natural Landmark noted for its glacial features, consists of 2,500 acres with 30 miles of trails for hiking, walking, or cross- country skiing. A small trailside museum describing the natural history of Mendon Ponds is located on site.

Hours: Guided programs: By appointment Wed. - Sun., year-round. // Building: Thurs. - Sun.: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM // Park and grounds: 6:00 AM -11:00 PM year-round.

Fees: For guided tours. Call for information.

Buildings: Interpretive center, restrooms

Wheelchair access: One trail, buildings and restrooms

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Yes

Montezuma Audubon Center

PO Box 187
2295 State Route 89
Savannah, NY 13146
315-365-3588 or 315-365-3580
Montezuma Audubon Center Website
Friends of Montezuma Audubon Website

Wayne County

Program Description: The Center offers a diversity of programs which highlight the critically important habitats found in the area. Program themes focus on wetlands ecology, migration, habitat restoration and improvement. Programs are available to school, home school and scout groups. The Center also hosts family and public programs. The Montezuma Audubon Center holds an annual Wildlife Festival the first Saturday in May which celebrates the natural and cultural history of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Snowshoes are available for rent and the public is welcome to hike, snowshoe and cross country ski the trails.

Hours of Operation: All Year: Tues. - Sat.: 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM; Spring, Summer, and Fall: Open Sundays 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Fees: Free to visit building and hike trails. Charge for programs and calls in advance are requested for large groups.

Buildings: 5,200-square foot facility houses a classroom, public restrooms, auditorium, offices, a kitchen, nature store and exhibit hall.

Wheelchair Accessible: The building and some trails are accessible.

Visitor Focus: Exhibits and trails focus on wetland diversity, habitat enhancement and migration.

Picnic Area: Picnic Tables (no cover)

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
3395 Routes 5 & 20 East
Seneca Falls, N.Y. 13148
Fax: 315-568-8835
Friends of Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Website

Seneca County

Program Description: Established in 1938 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the more than 9,000-acre Montezuma NWR protects critical habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds & wildlife and boasts ample opportunities for you to enjoy the outdoors! A 3.5-mile Wildlife Drive takes you through the heart of the Refuge; nature trails, photo blinds, and observation towers offer more chances to view the thousands of birds that depend on this vast expanse of wetlands and grasslands for survival. Fishing and hunting by permit get you out to more remote areas of the Refuge.

Hours: Refuge grounds: year-round, sunrise to sunset. // Visitor Center and The Lodge Gift Shop: Mon. - Fri.: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, and Sat. - Sun.: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Fees: Generally none. Some programs for the public sponsored by the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex may charge a fee of $3 - $5.

Buildings: Visitor Center, Refuge Headquarters Office

Wheelchair access: Visitor Center and Public Restrooms are Accessible

Visitor Focus: Birding and other wildlife observation

Picnic Area: One picnic area

Spencer Crest Nature Center, Inc.

Box 22
Corning, NY 14870
Spencer Crest Nature Center Website

Steuben County

Program Description: Spencer Crest Nature Center, adjacent to the Corning Community College campus, is a 250-acre nature preserve offering programs to increase awareness, understanding and the responsible use of the environment with over eight miles of trails. The trails are used for hiking, cross-country skiing and running, snowshoeing and sledding as well as Amelia Pond is used for ice skating, ice fishing and summer fishing. The trails are open year-round dawn till dusk and the interpretive displays and the rental space in the building is available Monday-Saturday 9:00AM - 3:00PM. The building can be also rented outside of normal hours for special occasions, such as weddings, etc.

Hours: Guided programs: Group tours by appointment. // Grounds: year-round, dawn to dusk // Building: Mon. - Sat.: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Fees: None; donations accepted.

Buildings: Interpretive center, restrooms

Wheelchair access: Building is accessible; limited access on trails

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public

Picnic Area: Yes

Tanglewood Nature Center And Museum

443 Coleman Ave.
Elmira, NY 14903
Fax: 607-732-6210
Tanglewood Nature Center Website

Chemung County

Program Description:

Nine miles of scenic trails in the Finger Lakes area that begin at the Nature Center allow you to experience the natural beauty of the Chemung Valley first-hand. We offer hiking year-round and winter activities including cross-country skiing and snowshoe rentals. Our 12,000 square foot building features a museum with 43 species of live animals, interactive exhibits and a comfortable library for bird-watching and reading. Our building also offers 2 meeting rooms for corporate meetings and events, retreats, wedding receptions and even Birthday parties!

Tanglewood is the local leader in environmental education; serving over 15,000 children in the Southern Tier of NY and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. We offer programs that include live animal presentations, outdoor experiences and hands-on activities. Our programs include school field trips, scouting groups, spring and summer camps and weekend activities for children.

Hours: May thru October: Tues. - Sat.: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; November thru April: Tues. - Sat.: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Fees: Free, donations appreciated

Buildings: 12,000 square foot building with museum featuring live animal and hands-on exhibits

Wheelchair access: All facilities are accessible

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public, Group Tours

Picnic Area: Yes with pavilion

Twin Cedars Environmental Area

6274 E Avon-Lima Rd
Avon, NY 14414
Fax: 585-226-5332
Twin Cedars Environmental Area Website

Livingston County

Hours: Grounds (including 20 acre pond) - always open

Fees: None

Buildings: none

Wheelchair access: A portion of grounds

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public, and Community Groups

Picnic Area: A few tables and lawn (no formal picnic area)

YMCA Camp Arrowhead Outdoor Education Center

20 Arrowhead Road
Pittsford, NY 14534
Fax: 585-383-4598
YMCA Camp Arrowhead Website

Monroe County

Program Description: YMCA Camp Arrowhead Outdoor Education Center offers a wide variety of hands-on, interactive environmental education programs for students of all ages. The programs are designed with the following objectives in mind: to explore environmental principles in a dynamic, natural setting; to create and foster an awareness among students of healthy stewardship principles; to gain knowledge and awareness of their natural world and their role in it; to challenge students in a cooperative learning environment. Programs of study include: Hands-on Nature Study, Animal Tracks and characteristics, Interpretative Nature Hikes, Orienteering and Survival Skills, Pioneer History and Skills, Snow shoeing, Indoor and Outdoor Programs, Customized Curriculum-based Programs.

Hours: Mon. - Fri.: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. All others by program or appointment

Fees: Call for fee information.

Buildings: Restrooms, Interpretive Center

Wheelchair access: Several areas including an accessible Alpine Climbing Tower

Visitor Focus: Schools, General Public, Group Tours

Picnic Area: Several including playground and sand box areas.