Chautauqua County residents who'd rather stay home than brave a long trip at the mercy of high gas prices need look no further than the Jamestown Audubon Society.
Located off Riverside Road in Jamestown, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary has a number of upcoming events that are not only inexpensive but are also fun and educational for people of all ages.
That's according to Jennifer Schlick, the education department program director for the Audubon Society, who said Monday morning the organization's trails are open to the public from dawn until dusk every day. Admission is free on Sundays. The society has five miles of trails, one of which is smooth enough for anyone who's handicapped or uses a walker.
The Audubon Society also features an indoor exhibit that's designed to be educational for adults while providing hands-on activities such as puppets and blocks for children, Schlick said. The exhibit features a children's library and live animals. The exhibit is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free on Sundays. Non-member adults pay $5 and children get in free.
On Sept. 27 at 10 a.m., the Audubon Society will hold its 6th annual Run/Walk for Liberty. The event, a 5K run/walk, will raise money for the care of Liberty, the Audubon Society's injured resident bald eagle.
Check-in and same-day registration for the run/walk will be at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary from 8 to 9:45 a.m. The race will begin at 10 a.m.
The fee is $18, or $20 if registration is completed after Sept. 19. Audubon members will receive a $2 off the registration fee. Long-sleeved T-shirts will be awarded to all pre-registered participants. Shirts will be available on race day while supplies last.
Prizes will be awarded to the first three overall male and female finishers in both the run and walk categories. Age group awards will be given to the top three finishers in each division for both the runners and walkers.
Registration forms and more information about the run/walk are available on the Audubon Society's Web site, www.jamestownaudubon.org.
Once the 5K run/walk event is under way, special events for children ages 10 and under will take place. The events are offered free of charge.
Schlick also said the Audubon Society is gearing up for its enchanted forest.
The evening event, which takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. between Oct. 1 and 3, will feature animals who have magically acquired the ability to talk.
''It's a really fun, non-scary way to celebrate Halloween and, at the same time, learn a little bit about the animals we've got here at the Audubon Society,'' Schlick said.
Trails will be lit with luminaries for the event, Schlick said. Audubon Society guides will take children around the trails and stop at various stations to listen to the enchanted animals talk about themselves.
Reservations are required and will open by the end of this month.