New York Power Authority's
Wildlife Festival 2003 is on Agenda for Project ChildSafe Nationwide
LEWISTON—Using a mobile classroom truck, the
Project ChildSafe Firearm Safety Education program will bring its Safety
Tour through the Empire State promoting firearm safety and distributing
free gun locks during a visit to the Wildlife Festival this year.
This popular festival, sponsored by the New York
Power Authority, is co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of
Conservation Clubs in recognition of National Hunting and Fishing Day.
The free family fun event will take place at the Power Authority’s
Niagara Power Project’s Power Vista as well as the grounds surrounding
the visitor’s center at 5777 Lewiston Rd., Lewiston, on Saturday and
Sunday, Sept. 27-28 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Project ChildSafe is a nationwide program whose
purpose is to promote safe firearms handling and storage practices among
all firearms owners through the distribution of key safety education
messages and free gun locking devices. It is an expansion of the
Project HomeSafe program developed by the National Shooting Sports
Foundation (NSSF) and is supported by a U.S. Department of Justice
grant. It is a component of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the nationwide
commitment to reduce gun crime to create safer neighborhoods. Project
ChildSafe joins with governmental officials, community leaders and law
enforcement members to distribute free storage locks for firearms in the
home. The allotment of locks to be distributed in New York State is
750,000 for September and October in various communities throughout the
state. For further information about the ChildSafe Program visit
“The distribution of gun locks as well as the
safety education program, is a wonderful addition to this year’s
festival”, said Greg Tessmann, President of the Niagara County
Federation of Conservation Clubs. “This is an outstanding opportunity
to educate people how to safely handle and store their firearms”.
The Niagara River Anglers real-life fishing pond is
returning to the line up of exhibitors this year. Here kids will learn
the techniques of fishing and the thrill of catching the “big one”.
Representatives from the Niagara Muskie Assoc. and Niagara County
Sportfishing will also be on hand with information about fishing in the
Paul Schnell from the Institute for Environmental
Learning will appear with “Liberty” the Bald Eagle. Also presenting
live birds of prey and mammal workshops will be representatives from
Hawk Creek Wildlife Center. Founded in 1987, Hawk Creek is the largest
outreach educational facility in New York State, reaching 250,000
individuals annually. Wild Spirit Rehabilitation and Release Center
will demonstrate the flying ability of various types of hawks twice
Monkey Business’s Primate Sanctuary will present
information on new and old world monkeys. This is an opportunity to
learn about primates and their habitats from Carmen Presti of the
Primate Sanctuary. Western New Yorkers are familiar with the
Sanctuary’s chimpanzees “Charlie and Kiko” who are best known for
appearances on Animal Planet, Amazing Animals, Ripley’s Believe It or
Not and FOX Sports. Appearing at this year’s festival will be a
Japanese Snow Macaque, a Lion Tail Macaque, both endangered primates, as
well as a Capuchin and a Spider Monkey.
Making a return appearance again this year, is the
ever popular Jeff Musial with Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics. Jeff’s
enthusiastic style will entertain audiences on a variety of reptiles
that include some of nature’s most misunderstood marvels. Wild
Encounters founder Jarod Miller will introduce festival goers to a mix
of wild creatures from every corner of the globe. Jarod Miller is best
known for appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show
with David Letterman, The Tonight Show as well as Jack Hanna’s Animal
Adventures and PBS’s Zaboomafoo.
Opportunities to learn more about hawks, birds of
the Niagara Region, turtles and other marine life will be presented by
representatives from New York State Parks Interpretive Programs and the
Aquarium of Niagara.
Deputy James Hildreth, Niagara County Sheriff’s
Dept. and German shepherd “Ciro,” will discuss drug awareness and safety
along with the K-9 abilities of this talented law enforcement dog.
Other programs on our four-legged friends will be presented by Buffalo
Greyhound Adoption Group and Canine Helpers for the Handicapped.
Back by popular demand is educator Dr. “B” Suited
for Science. On Saturday see him suited as a larger-than-life Giant
Garden Spider as he tells his story about creating webs and gathering
food. Hands-on activities will allow children to learn more about
spiders of all kinds. On Sunday Dr. “B” returns as a Little Gray Bat.
Audiences can learn about where bats live as well as what they eat.
Also on Sunday will be an appearance by the Buffalo Zoomobile where
visitors will have the opportunity to get up close to rare live animals
and their habitats.
“Last year, 15,000 people visited the Wildlife
Festival over the two-day period”, said Lori Presti, Event Coordinator.
“The success of this event was beyond anyone’s ‘wildest’ imagination and
we are looking forward to the opportunity to expand festival-goers
knowledge of the outdoors and the world of nature that surrounds us in
the Niagara Region”.
Hands-on archery demonstrations will be provided by
New York State Crossbow Hunters Assoc., and Middleport Rod and Gun
Club. Club members will also demonstrate how and where soldiers from
the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War Era traveled and
what they carried in their packs.
Safari Club International is donating blue bird
house kits and will be on hand both days to assist children in building
their own bird houses to attract New York State’s official bird. On
Saturday, create a wildflower sculpture with artist Kim Congi.
Also on Saturday, register for the National Wild
Turkey Federation sanctioned turkey calling competition for kids and
adults sponsored by the Niagara Falls Thundering Toms between noon and
1:30 p.m. Competition begins promptly at 2 p.m. in the lower level of
the Power Vista. Calling divisions include poults ages 2-9, junior ages
10-15, amateur, resident and open. Other divisions include friction and
owl. Arnie Jonathan, Quaker Boy Pro Staff, will teach a Basic Turkey
Calling and Safety Techniques workshop at 11 a.m.
Participate in a “Wild Scavenger Hunt” throughout
the Power Vista with the 4-H Clubs of Niagara and design your very own
edible art with Sandy Candy “The Tart Art You Can Eat”. The Niagara
Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council will exhibit live and dried plants as
well as colorful bird cutouts to demonstrate the variety of species that
are found in our region and Niagara Falls Historian and author Paul
Gromosiak will participate in Sunday’s event to explain the natural
history of the falls from the ice age to the present time.
Other organizations affiliated with Niagara County
Federation of Conservation Clubs that will provide hunting, conservation
and environmental information throughout the weekend are: Iroquois
Arms, LaSalle Sportsmen’s Club, Middleport Rod & Gun Club, Niagara
County Conservation Council, Niagara County Gobblers Chapt. of N.W.T.F.,
Niagara County Trappers, Niagara County Sportsmen’s Assoc., Niagara
Falls Thundering Toms, Niagara Orleans Friends of the NRA, NYS Crossbow
Assoc., NYS Hunter Education Program, Pheasant’s Forever, Pioneer
Conservation Sportsmen of Niagara, S.C.O.P.E., and Wilson Conservation
Art students from Niagara Falls High School will
provide face painting between noon and 4 p.m. and Buffalo Bisons
Baseball mascot Buster Bison will be on hand between noon and 1 p.m.
both Saturday and Sunday.
Explore and discover conservation and environmental
activities along with numerous “wild adventures” throughout the weekend
to create wildlife memories to last a lifetime!
Refreshments will be provided by the Niagara Police
Athletic League and the Lewiston-Porter Sports Boosters.
For more information call 286-6661, 1-866-NYPA-FUN