Group gearing up for first ever Nature Festival
The El Camino Real Master Naturalist will sponsor the area’s first ever Milam County Nature Festival on Friday and Saturday, June 11-12 at Cameron’s Wilson-Lebetter Park. This free family event will run from 6-10 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Satruday.
Local Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners have been hard at work since late last year in planning and organizing what
will be the premier nature
event in the region. They are
expecting 2,000 visitors and will have activities and events for every age group.
Starting off on Friday at 6 p.m., the park is going to be designated “The Francis Nabors Griffen Bird Sanctuary at Wilson Ledbetter Park,” with a dedication of the sanctuary sign by Griffen’s grandson Chancy Lewis. At 7 p.m. keynote speaker, Andrew Sansom, Executive Director of River Systems Institute, will speak about water conservation issues.
At dusk, amphibian lovers will enjoy a “Sounds of the Night” program put on by Lee Ann Linam and Marsha May, leaders of the Amphibian Watch program with Texas Parks and Wildlife. After dark, there will be an outdoor movie, complete with popcorn.
Saturday’s activities and events are numerous and varied. The El Camino group is building a “native prairie exhibit” with native grasses taken from around Milam County and Dr. Barron Rector, Associate Professor at Texas A&M will lead discussions on these grasses.
A “wildflower meadow” was seeded in late fall. Flo Oxley, Director of Education and Conservation at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildf lower Center will speak on “Wildflowers— Legends and Lore” and along with Debbie Harris, will lead a children’s activity on making Lollypop Flowers.
There will also be expert talks on the history of the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, which runs right through Milam County, and landscaping ideas.
There will be 20 bluebird houses installed around the perimeter of the park and the Texas Bluebird Society will be on hand to demonstrate how to build and maintain a bluebird trail on your property.
Alston Thoms, a professor of anthropology at Texas A&M, will speak on digging for artifacts and other archaeology topics, and Mark Ellet will conduct a session on raptors. Joe Lapp will lead folks on a walking and learning excursion through the trees to discover and discuss spiders.
Other activities and events will cover topics: snakes, butterflies, pollinators, bats enviroscapes, animal track molds, amphibians, horned lizards, birds and hummingbirds, dragonflies and more. There will also be many food vendors on site. For more information on the event, visit http:// grovesite.com/tmn/ecrmn.