FINDLEY LAKE - Whether one enjoys trails outside or viewing exhibits inside, the Findley Lake Nature and Wildlife Education Center may fit the bill.
Open for tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays, the center is located at 3039 Route 426 in Findley Lake. Those wanting to visit it at times other than those scheduled should call 769-7610. Guided tours are available for families and groups. Tours last between 30 minutes and 45 minutes and are interactive.
According to the center's website, there are plenty of reasons to visit.
A young girl is seen touching a display at the Findley Lake Nature and Wildlife Education Center. The center is open for tours 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Mondays and?Tuesdays, with special hours available upon request.
It states there are 300 different species of wildlife from across the globe in its collection. Animals are displayed from six continents of the world but primarily from Africa and North America. The exhibit includes mounted bears, a crocodile, an alligator and more.
In addition to the animal exhibit, a film, arts and crafts, and nature tasks may be offered during visits that also allow people to view the west branch of French Creek and the center's surrounding property. Trails that can be hiked are available on the property that include viewing platforms, a floating bridge and photography blinds. The trails are open from dawn to dusk.
Melissa Lyon, volunteer, said the center was incorporated in 2001 after a group of residents wanted to bring awareness to Findley Lake and its surroundings.
What: ''These Are Days: 10,000 Maniacs 1981-2011'' opening reception
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday
Where: 3rd on 3rd Gallery, 116 E.?Third St., Jamestown
Ribbon-cutting of exhibition featuring artifacts, posters, photographs and a video installation tracing 10,000 Maniacs' history, to be followed by live music by local artists in the Reg Studio Theatre, playing 10,000 Maniacs songs. For more info, call 664-2465, ext. 227.
* 0 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Local Music Showcase
When: 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday
Where: 13 different venues in downtown Jamestown
Cost: $10 for all-access wristband, $5 for single-venue pass
Dozens of local musical artists performing to benefit the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts program.
* 0 miles from downtown Jamestown.
What: Conewango Creek cleanup
When: 9 a.m., Saturday
Where: meet at Larimer Park in Russell, Pa.
A cooperative effort of the Jamestown Audubon Society and the Conewango Creek Watershed Association. All volunteers will be treated to a ''thank-you'' lunch and will be eligible for prizes.
* 13.0 miles from downtown Jamestown.
''There's nothing nearby that has the variety of animals with tours,'' she said, adding animals displayed are considered ''ambassadors of their species,'' and are displayed so people can learn to appreciate them. For instance, said Ms. Lyon, each animal exhibited has a story of how it was hunted or taken. The female lion was taken after no longer being able to reproduce but not allowing another female to do so. Therefore, the pride was losing population.
She wants to share the stories so people can learn to appreciate the animal world. She said she enjoys seeing ''the wow factor'' of people who come to the center and report they had no idea it was there, adding it is a ''well-kept secret.''
Ms. Lyon said she also enjoys teaching people about things they may never have the opportunity to see otherwise.
She and other center staff hope to make the center a ''featured attraction'' for the county, wanting to obtain grants enabling more attention to be given to the facility to which she hopes more students can also be drawn. By bringing education to them, she said, she hopes they will learn to appreciate the animals and eventually learn conservation.
For more information about the center, visit www.findleylakenature.net.