Playing It Safe

Despite the discovery of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Chautauqua County, the Jamestown Audubon Center And Sanctuary’s Enchanted Forest program began Friday evening.

Although area residents were expecting to meet with creepy-crawlies during the Audubon’s annual Enchanted Forest program, the advent of a countywide declaration of a New York State Department of Health Imminent Public Health Threat related to mosquito-borne illness prompted Ruth Lundin, president of the Jamestown Audubon, to move the event indoors.

According to Lundin, the decision to move indoors was made as a safety precaution after additional species of mosquitoes have turned up positive for EEE.

“We received a request from the health department to consider,” Lundin said. “We took this as an opportunity to illustrate the good practices the health department is talking about, such as being aware and using insect repellent.”

In order to make the move, Lundin had to call in extra volunteers, as well as reinvent the program because it had never been held indoors before.

“We’re thrilled, and we’re having a really fun time transforming the inside,” Lundin said. “It’s exciting to have this opportunity to really work our inventiveness to make this a magical experience.”

The Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary is located at 1600 Riverside Road. For more information, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.