Spring is bringing some new, innovative and exciting events at the Waterman Conservation Education Center in Apalachin and its other related properties.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF Newss

Waterman Executive Director Christopher Audette is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, fresh off Earth Day observances with a lot of news about the nature preserve on Hilton Road and other properties: Hiawatha Island, Brick Pond in Owego, IBM Glen in Endicott and Pettus Hill Nature Preserve on Abby Road in Windsor.

Waterman, unlike many other operations during the pandemic, has been able to offer families a safe place to get exercise, have fun and learn all safely outdoors and Audette says that is continuing in 2021 with a few new and exciting additions.

Get our free mobile app

This weekend will be the First Annual Waterman Garlic Mustard Pulling Contest targeting the invasive plant while giving participants a chance to creatively show their bounty of noxious weeds in a photo and win a prize of homemade soap crafted by Audette himself!

A number of nature walks are planned along with presentations about wildflowers, summer camp and a chance to contribute wildlife photos to a calendar.

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

The conversation gets a little wild when talk turns to birds of prey and tattoos.  (You'll just have to listen to find out what that's all about!)

Chris also gives a hint about an announcement in the fall about funding for something involving a water quality park.

Many of the programs are free.  Find out more at the Waterman Center website or call (607) 625-2221.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturdays at 6:03 a.m. and anytime on the WNBF podcast.

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.