Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Photography Exhibit Celebrates 10 Years of Conservation and Community Engagement

Bald Eagles on Onondaga Lake. Photo: Greg Craybas.

Beautiful photos of the lake’s birds, other wildlife and their habitats will be featured

Local wildlife photographers will display colorful images of birds and other wildlife from recently restored habitats along the Onondaga Lake shoreline at the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps photography exhibit in Syracuse on Saturday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit showcases the diverse range of species that have returned to Onondaga Lake including waterfowl, songbirds, birds of prey, mammals and insects. The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is hosting the exhibit in partnership with Audubon New York and Honeywell. The exhibit will take place at Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, 280 Restoration Way, Syracuse, NY 13209, which is along the southwest lakeshore in Geddes. Admission is free, but a suggested donation of $5/person is welcome.

The exhibit features 30 photographs from the following individuals: Pete Andrusyszyn, Daniel Bocchino, Marcia Bower, Daniel Cameron, Joe Carey, Greg Craybas, John DeNicola, Christine Florczyk, Donald Florczyk, Joe Fratianni, Rick Greene, Sarah Beth Moses, Steve Ratliff, Frank Valls, and Jacqueline Witwicki. Visitors will meet the photographers and have an opportunity to look for birds in their natural habitat with experts from Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon. Binoculars, spotting scopes and bird guides will be provided.

The health and well-being of our visitors, staff, and volunteers is always our highest priority. In an effort to help protect our community, we are following COVID-19 guidance made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The exhibit will kick off a virtual silent auction, featuring the stunning images of Onondaga Lake's wildlife, to raise funds for the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps. The virtual silent auction will start on Sunday, March 20 and end on Saturday, April 2. Click http://ny.audubon.org/OLCC to access the auction.

“Since it was formed in 2012, thousands of community members have joined the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps as environmental stewards of Onondaga Lake,’” said Chris Lajewski, director of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps. “We are proud to be celebrating 10 years of leading restoration projects that have improved wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The Corps seeks to inspire stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain Onondaga Lake and its value as an Important Bird Area.”

Onondaga Lake became a priority Audubon Important Bird Area in 1998 and was subsequently adopted by Honeywell, Montezuma Audubon Center, and Onondaga Audubon because of its value to thousands of waterfowl and dozens of Bald Eagles during the winter months. The Important Bird Area program serves as a catalyst for achieving bird conservation.

As part of the Onondaga Lake cleanup, Honeywell has restored about 90 acres of wetlands, and about 1.1 million native plants are being planted. Two hundred-seventy wildlife species are now calling these areas home, and over 200 bird species have been identified in and around Onondaga Lake, including several species categorized as threatened or of special interest in New York State. Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harrier, and Bald Eagle are among the notable bird species that have returned.

The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps was founded by Honeywell in partnership with Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon, and is now an Audubon New York program. Additional Corps supporters include Parsons, Ramboll, Anchor QEA, RES, Central NY Community Foundation, Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation and John Ben Snow Foundation.

To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, please contact montezuma@audubon.org, visit http://ny.audubon.org/OLCC, or call 315-365-3588. Schools, community groups, local organizations, and individuals are welcome. Like the Corps on Facebook, Instagram or visit YouTube to learn more.

To access the Honeywell Onondaga Lake Visitors Center from points west: Take I-690 East to Exit 7, turn left onto State Fair Boulevard, take the first left passing under I-690, drive straight toward the lake and follow signs to the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center. From points east: Take I-690 West to Exit 7, turn right at the off ramp and follow signs to the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center.

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