SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center was filled this weekend as Central New Yorkers came to look at the colorful images of local wildlife for the 9th Annual Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Photo Exhibit.

Animals in the photos are from recently restored habitats along the Onondaga Lake shoreline including waterfowl, songbirds, birds of prey, mammals reptiles and insects.

Visitors paid $5 at the door this weekend to see 30 photographs from Pete Andrusyszyn, Howard Arndt, Daniel Bocchino, Marcia Bower, Shannon Buttiglieri, Lynn Davis, Joe Fratianni, Jack Kurz, Denise MacDuff, Sarah Beth Moses, Trudi Porter, Steve Ratliff, Chris Sinclair, and Dennis Waldron.

Visitors also got to meet the photographers and have an opportunity to look for birds in their natural habitat with experts from Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon. Binoculars, spotting scopes and bird guides that were provided.

At the exhibit, 16”x20” matted photos were available to purchase for the silent auction the exhibit is hosting through April 1, and all proceeds will benefit the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps.

“All the proceeds from the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Photo Exhibit go right back into habitat enhancement projects and our community conservation efforts here at Onondaga Lake. So we are continuing to expand our reach here in Central New York, bringing more people into the conservation efforts through the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps,” said Chris Lajewski, director of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps.

According to the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, the lake became a priority Important Bird Area in 1998 and was subsequently adopted by Honeywell, Montezuma Audubon Center, and Onondaga Audubon because of its value to thousands of waterfowl and dozens of Bald Eagles during the winter months.

The Important Bird Area program serves as a catalyst for achieving bird conservation.

“The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps has been involved in restoration efforts here for over 10 years now. We have helped restore 90 acres of wetlands in Shoreline here to the lake that has turned into homes for species like the bald eagle, the Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harrier and so many other species, and people are fascinated by the resurgence of this lake,” said Lajewski. “They remember a time when this was an ecosystem that was not a community asset that it is today. So we have so many opportunities for people to connect with this place through the hiking trail. The canoeing and kayaking excursions that we lead and educational programs for young people in Central New York to learn about this appreciate this lake and really enjoy this community asset.”

As part of the Onondaga Lake cleanup, Honeywell has restored about 90 acres of wetlands, and about 1.1 million native plants are being planted.

Two hundred-seventy wildlife species are now calling these areas home, and over 200 bird species have been identified in and around Onondaga Lake, including several species categorized as threatened or of special interest in New York State.

To learn more about the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps or participate in future activities, you can contact, call 315-365-3588, or visit their website here.