ALTON, Ill. (AP) – Visitors to the Metro East can enjoy a new attraction, an education center devoted to river ecosystems and migratory birds.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports the Audubon Center at Riverlands opened Saturday at the Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton.

It’s a partnership between the National Audubon Society and the Army Corps of Engineers. Audubon contributes educational programming and special events. The Corps provides the facility and more than eight miles of trails.

The center’s 22-foot-high windows, with overhangs to reduce radiant heat, provide views of the river and the 325 species of birds that live in and migrate through the Mississippi flyway.

Executive Director Patricia Hagen says a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will pay for trail improvements and installation of a boat launch.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press


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