Thursday, October 23, 2014

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NY1 combs the five boroughs, the Hudson Valley and Long Island for interesting outdoor activities and places to see.

Queens Wildlife Refuge Has Year-Round Appeal

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TWC News: Queens Wildlife Refuge Has Year-Round Appeal
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Nature walks are popular during the summertime, but there's one place in Queens where it can be enjoyed year round. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

With its beautiful sunsets, spectacular views and lush landscape Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a nature lover's paradise.

It's also one of the best places in the city to see migrating species.

Michael Chaplan is one of the hundreds of bird watchers to come to the refuge this season.

"I walk around with my binoculars. I look at the different vegetation, the birds and you know it's a place to wander," Chaplan says.

It's also a place where the sounds of the city are drowned out by the wind.

"It's peaceful. It's tranquil. You can get a sense of the change of seasons by when the birds are starting to mass together to migrate in the fall, when they first start coming back in the spring, when they have babies all summer and you get a real sense of the transition of nature that you don't if you're indoors all the time," said Jeff Kraus, a bird enthusiast.

The refuge is part of Gateway National Recreation Area and it covers thousands of acres of open bay, dunes, salt marsh, mudflats, woods and more.

Don Riepe is the Director of the Northeast chapter of the American Littoral Society, an advocacy group that works to preserve the bay.

"The refuge itself is designed to be more of a place to get away from city life, active life, but there are you know options for active recreation like kayaking, canoeing, biking around the bay," Riepe said.

The refuge is open seven days a week from dawn until dusk and visitors can walk around all by themselves or sign up for one of the many guided tours.

"The Littoral Society we lead two programs a month at some part of Gateway. I usually lead one here on different aspects of nature and wildlife," Riepe said.

For more information about the tours, call 718-474-0896 or visit an log on to littoralsociety.org.

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