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Wildlife Festival Returns to the Niagara Power Project's Power Vista With New Attractions, Sept. 27 and 28

Lou Paonessa

September 9, 2008


LEWISTON—The New York Power Authority (NYPA), in cooperation with the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs (NCFCC), will play host to the 2008 Wildlife Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28.

The festival will take place on the grounds of the Power Vista at the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Project in Lewiston from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free for the festival, which will be held rain or shine. 

More than 60 exhibitors will be at the festival, providing educational and interactive conservation presentations. The Wildlife Festival has grown into one of the premier attractions on the Western New York fall calendar. 

“In keeping with NYPA’s effort to support the Niagara community, we are proud to be playing host to the Niagara Wildlife Festival for the 23rd consecutive year,” said Horace Horton, Regional Manager for Western New York, NYPA. “With the help of the people of Western New York, this festival has been one of the Power Authority’s most successful annual events, and we look forward to another outstanding program this year.” 

“This is the 37th annual National Hunting and Fishing Day and NYPA’s Wildlife Festival is one of about 3,000 hunting and fishing-related events being held nationwide,” NCFCC President John Butcher said. “It’s an opportunity for families to learn more about the great outdoors and the importance of becoming involved with conservation activities.”

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of Canine Helpers for the Handicapped, retrievers and trainers will demonstrate what goes into preparing service, seizure and hearing assistance dogs. Also, Denny Murphy of Fort Hyde Kennels will offer tips on training your dog along with a special program on training retrievers for hunting. 

Other new highlights of this year’s festival include:

Meteorologist Mike Randall, from WKBW in Buffalo, displaying his other talents as a magician, storyteller and puppeteer;

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries interactive fishing game for young anglers;

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “Let’s Go Outside” presentations showcasing activities for families to explore aquatic bugs;

A Seneca White Deer display highlighting the Seneca Army Depot and its natural resources that include the world’s largest herd of white tail deer;

An exhibit by the Army Corps. of Engineers that promotes water safety;

An exhibit by the Niagara County 4-H Youth Pheasant Raising Program that will display live pheasants and describe what it took to win Blue Ribbons at the Niagara County Fair;

The Western and Central New York Chapter of Safari Club International will be displaying wildlife mounts and have a cork gun shoot for children;

An exhibit by SPCA Wildlife Department, serving Eerie County; and, A show performed by the Niagara River Iroquois Dancers at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

Naturalist Paul Schnell, from the Institute for Environmental Learning, will return to the Wildlife Festival for his 23rd season, highlighting the newest addition to his program, “Bron-yr-aur,” the golden eagle. One of the festival’s long time favorites, “Liberty the Bald Eagle,” will join Paul in presentations highlighting raptors in the modern world and showcase a screech, owl, peregrine, falcon and red tail hawk. 

Other returning exhibitors and attractions include:

Jeff Musial from “Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics” with presentations about the world of reptiles and other mammals;

The Primate Sanctuary’s Carmen Presti will teach visitors about new—and old—world primates along with a little “monkey business” with Sara the capuchin monkey;

Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, Buffalo Zoomobile, Aquarium of Niagara and Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve;

Interpretive nature programs and craft activities by the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on various hiking adventures; 

Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council with information about the proposed Olmsted School of Land Design and Planning with emphasis on the preservation of the old growth forest at DeVeaux Woods State park;

Middleport Rod and Gun Club archery and primitive encampment;Niagara River Anglers Fishing Pond; and, Raptors, birds and lessons on the dangers to wildlife by A.W.A.R.E. Wildlife Rehabilitation. 

The Niagara Police Athletic League, Lew-Port Sports Boosters, Scout Troop 841 and Cub Scout Pack 6 will be selling a variety of foods and Cub Scout Pack 833 will offer gold fish toss games. 

Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub and Boy Scouts can earn a Wildlife Festival 2008 patch by visiting at least 10 exhibitors, listening to their presentation and answering a simple question. Forms can be picked up and returned to the respective scout booths. 

The last day of the Wildlife Festival will coincide with the 32nd annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey, which takes place in the waters of Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties Sept. 20 through 28. Children will have a chance to win a day of fishing with Buffalo Sabres alumnus Rob Ray on the last day of the Wildlife Festival. At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Ray will draw the lucky winner and Odyssey winners will also be announced at the 4 p.m. closing ceremonies. To register, visit or call (716) 282-8992 Ext. 303. Registration is free for children 15 and under and $20 for adults. 

The Niagara Power Project Power Vista is located on 5777 Lewiston Road in Lewiston.  For more information call 716-286-6661 or 1-866-NYPA-FUN or visit for a complete schedule of activities. 

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