Tiburon—Pokemon Go players have streamed into the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary since the game’s release on July 6. The Richardson Bay site has attracted nature lovers for more than 50 years, and is excited to inspire more visitors with its natural beauty.

The sanctuary offers two unique attractions to Pokemon Go players: the historic 19th century Lyford House (now also a Pokemon Gym) and the picturesque entrance to the Sanctuary (now a Pokestop).

According to Casey Arndt, Engagement and Operations Manager of the center, the uptick in visitors has been easily noticeable. “For a fairly low-traffic nature site, we have been getting at least 15 to 20 people a day, probably more.”

Although Pokemon Go users are exploring the virtual world, in many ways there are connections to birdwatching—an activity the Richardson Bay Audubon Center is more accustomed to. In the game, users can stumble across common pokemon virtually anywhere, but may have to go looking for the rarer catches. Likewise, while common birds on the street or in backyards are appreciated by bird lovers, many birders also enjoy seeking out more unique birds in preserved habitat like Richardson Bay.

Arndt hopes the similarities between the game and birding will inspire players to stay at the site a little longer.

“We love that there are rare pokemon that appear on site here and there because it draws people in,” Arndt said. “But we also want people to take in a great view of the city from across the bay and to stay for the Oystercatchers, the Spotted Towees and the Anna’s Hummingbirds.”

In addition to exploring the sanctuary on their own, Pokemon Go players can join the restoration work day on Saturday, July 16 or bird walks on the second Thursday of every month starting in September.

FILMING OPPORTUNITIES: Media are invited to film from the Center and interview Pokemon Go players on site. B-roll and photographs are also available. Please call (415) 644-4606 for more information.

About Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary

The Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary is located on the edge of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California. Primarily a Sanctuary providing habitat for migratory waterbirds and other wildlife, it also involves the community through education, conservation and restoration programs.

More information is available at richardsonbay.audubon.org.


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