Nature Fest will have many activities for kidsDear editor,
Thanks for the article about the speakers for the June 11-12 Milam County Nature Festival. In addition to the great speakers we have lined up, we are putting the finishing touches on the children’s activities.
We plan to give each child a f lashlight to use during the Sounds of the Night activity. The first 500 children will receive a backpack with the festival logo on it to collect all the goodies that we plan to give to the children.
Flo Oxley will be teaching the parts of flowers with lolly pops and pipe cleaners. Renee Sadler will be demonstrating how water disperses and is used by people. She will use the Enviroscape that we were able to purchase with the generous help of Alcoa. This is a fun exhibit where kids get to pour water on “towns and farms.”
We are planning some recycle projects that when completed the participants will be given “dog tags” with our logo on them. It is a simple but educational experience that, hopefully, will make the public more aware of the ugliness of littering, especially in the park.
Extension Agent Jon Gersbach, with the help of the 4-H Clubs of Milam County, will be doing a demonstration of beautifully preserved real fish called “Something’s Fishy!” Jon will also be doing an educational display on the white tailed deer. The exhibit has antlers that the children can touch and examine closely, as well as preserved mounts.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is loaning molds that the children can make plaster casts of. The molds are of tracks of coyote, squirrel, opossum, rabbits, beavers, cranes and more. They will be able to take these home with them.
We will also decorate a tree in the park with bird feeders that the children can make and put on the tree. These will be such things as garlands made of popcorn, peanuts, and bits of fruit, pinecones and sweetgum balls coated with peanut butter and bird seed, and water bottle bird feeders.
Build-your-own Bluebird house kits will be available for about $5 and can be assembled in the park.
We have a very special man from Austin called “Spider Joe” who will be conducting spider hunts and identifying various spiders found in the park. Adults might think this a bit creepy, but kids love it! Spider Joe frequently conducts these forays at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center with great enthusiasm.
One of the most fun activities is making “Bug Suckers.” These are easily constructed devices to suck up bugs into small containers and learning to identify them. This is always a big hit, especially with the boys.
Because of the generosity of Rockdale resident, Collier Perry, we will be able to show a fantastic nature movie as the last event on Friday night. Visitors will be encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets and relax and enjoy a movie under the stars.
We are working on exhibits about amphibians, live snake specimens, and a raptor exhibit by Mark Ellett.
I am so excited about the Nature Festival and I hope that all of you who read this will tell your friends, neighbors, cousins, aunts and uncles to reserve June 11 and 12 for a two-day event that is sure to please all ages and interests. Thanks again to The Reporter for your support of this event.
Ann Graham Collins, chair
Milam County Nature Festival
El Camino Real Master Naturalist Chapter