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Media Release

Published: 03/04/2009
Roxanne Witt Celeskey, 505-841-2826

The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center's "First Saturday's" are Back

Cedar Crest, NM–The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center will kick off their first event of the season this Saturday, March 7th. The Center’s popular “First Saturday” series offers visitors a chance to explore nature in the beautiful 128-acre piñon-juniper forest that is normally only open to school groups. Visitors will have access to 5 1/2 miles of hiking trails, interactive exhibits, and a wildlife observation deck, as well as the opportunity to take part in a number of activities, including picnicking and geocaching, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In addition, a “Featured Program” is offered each month from 10:00-11:00 a.m. that provides visitors with useful knowledge about the outdoors and the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center itself. This month’s program includes a guided hike, led by a trained SMNHC Naturalist. Don’t miss your chance to explore the beautiful mountain range that crowns Albuquerque, and learn about the amazing ecosystems that are a part of it.
2009 Schedule and Featured Program:
March 7: Spring Guided Hikes*
April 4: SMNHC Wildlife Research
May 2:  Fire Thinning and Forest Health
June 6: Medicinal and Edible Plants
July 4: Compass Use and Geocaching
August 1:  Animal Signs
September 5: Fall Guided Hikes*
*Reservations required. Call 281-5259.
For directions visit:
About the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center
The SMNHC is an award-winning environmental education center located in the Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque. This beautiful 128-acre piñon-juniper forest features over five miles of hiking trails, interactive exhibits, and a hands-on discovery room. The Center has been in operation since 1967, and is a partnership between the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and Albuquerque Public Schools. The SMNHC provides exciting experiences offering a variety of programs for people of all ages and serves nearly 16,000 people a year.
About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is a regional center of excellence in scientific research, exhibits, and science education.
Directions to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center
From Albuquerque, follow I-40 east through Tijeras Canyon. Take the Cedar Crest Exit (175) and follow State Highway North 14 through Cedar Crest. Watch for the Conoco Station on the right and the coffee shop on your left, approximately 3 miles from I-40. Turn left immediately after the coffee shop onto Columbine Lane (dirt road). Follow Columbine Lane approximately 1 mile to the Center. Columbine Lane ends at the Center.
Sandia Mountain Natural History Center Address:
60 Columbine Lane
Cedar Crest, NM
Center Tel. Number: 281-5259
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