Society

Milam County is nature friendly

Second annual Nature Festival fun for all ages
By MARIE BAKKEN
Reporter Staff Writer


Texas Parks & Wildlife staff had friendly creatures on hand at Saturday’s Nature Festival in Cameron. This lengthy American alligator was a popular attraction where young and old could pet the scaly reptile’s skin. 
Reporter/Marie Bakken Texas Parks & Wildlife staff had friendly creatures on hand at Saturday’s Nature Festival in Cameron. This lengthy American alligator was a popular attraction where young and old could pet the scaly reptile’s skin. Reporter/Marie Bakken The second annual Milam County Nature Festival was held two months earlier this year, but had just as much information and more activities for young and old alike. Saturday’s event, presented by El Camino Real Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, Texas AgriLife Extension Servie and Texas Parks and Wildlife, saw 1,200 visitors come through the gate according to organizers.

“Most visitors were locals, which as master naturalists we are pleased because we are suppose to educate our local community,” said Katherine Bedrich, El Camino Real Chapter president. Chapter members Donna Lewis and Sue Taylor shared organizing duties for this year’s festival.

The event, held at Wilson-Ledbetter Park in Cameron, featured speakers ranging from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department experts to beekeepers to snake experts.

BUSY DAY—Other presentations throughout the day included Bill Brooks on the reptiles of Central Texas, complete with a python. Milam County’s own Dr. Lucile Estell and Joy Graham spoke on “The Spirit of El Camino Real”; Carolyn Todd presented information on horned lizards in Texas and the state’s official reptile.

Flo Oxley, the Director of Education at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildf lower Center spoke on “Wildflower Treasures” twice during the event.

There were also live demonstrations and nature exhibits on flint knapping, harvester ants, pollinators, crawdads, bats, butterflies, along with the Native Plant Society of Texas. Visitors also got hands on experiences, touching live alligators and snakes.


Caroline Todd (right) gave a presentation on the horned lizards in Texas. The horned lizard was this year’s Nature Festival official mascot. Caroline Todd (right) gave a presentation on the horned lizards in Texas. The horned lizard was this year’s Nature Festival official mascot. Bedrich said the most popular kid stop was the “animal tracks” booth, organized by Janice Johnson. The event also included a nature photo contest with winning entries on display.

NEXT YEAR–Bedrich said the Nature Festival will be held at Fair Park in Rockdale in 2012 and 2013. Dates will be set soon.

This year’s festival was held in April rather than in June like 2010.



Flo Oxley (left), Director of Education at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, spoke on Texas wildflowers. Flo Oxley (left), Director of Education at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, spoke on Texas wildflowers.

Above, youngsters waited in long lines for plaster molds of different animal tracks. Organizers said it was one of the most popular booths. Left, reptile friends from Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo were on hand for a “touchy, feely” experience. Top right, Smokey the Bear gave out information about forest fire prevention and apparently told a few jokes too. Above, youngsters waited in long lines for plaster molds of different animal tracks. Organizers said it was one of the most popular booths. Left, reptile friends from Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo were on hand for a “touchy, feely” experience. Top right, Smokey the Bear gave out information about forest fire prevention and apparently told a few jokes too.


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2011-04-14 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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