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Register now for Special Research Center tour

By Staff | Feb 6, 2015

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will sponsor a special tour of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) near Front Royal, Virginia, on Tuesday, Mar. 24.

The Institute is not normally open to the public so this is a rare opportunity to see this world-renowned zoological research facility in an up close and personal way.

The tour will begin at 10:00 a.m. It will be guided by trained Smithsonian docents and last approximately 2 hours. Because of the tour’s length, the Center does not recommend bringing children below the age of 12.

Participation will be strictly limited to 26 people so pre-registration is essential. In addition, because the SCBI wants to know the number of participants 30 days in advance, everyone must pre-register no later than Feb. 23. Easy registration is available on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org.

There will be a fee of $10 per person.

Registrants who are interested in carpooling to Front Royal, should plan on meeting Debbie Maiorano of PVAS in the parking lot of the Inwood Food Lion at 4803 Gerrardstown Road (Route 51), just east of I-81. The car pool group will meet in the back row of the parking lot, closest to the road and will leave promptly at 8:45 a.m.

At the SCBI, trip participants will be transported from place to place within the Center’s expansive campus in passenger vans. However, there will be some walking at different stops, so please wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for prevailing weather conditions.

The Center encompasses 3,200 acres in the Blue Ridge foothills, and houses between 30 and 40 endangered species at any given time.

Its scientists are in the forefront of efforts to preserve threatened and endangered animal species, protect habitats, and restore species to the wild.

The tour group will have the opportunity to see several of these animals. Participants will also learn about endangered-species research being conducted at the Center, at the National Zoo, and around the world.

To learn more about the Center, visit its website at nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI. If you have questions about registration, please contact Krista Hawley at adultprograms@potomacaudubon.org or 703-303-1026. If you have questions about car pooling or logistics of the trip, please contact Debbie Maiorano at 540-535-5145.