You're invited to join Gaskins Forest Education Center for our fourth annual A Day in the Woods. Afternoon and evening activities are fun and educational for all ages, focusing on forests, wildlife, crafts and local traditions.
The event is completely free and open to the public. Local people will share their love of nature and knowledge of historical and local traditions at more than 30 stations.
Several activities are designed specifically for children: making pine-cone bird feeders, twig pencils and leaf prints, and learning about native bee nests and animal footprints. The Alapaha Summer Program will be making fans from saw palmetto leaves.
Forestry activities will include fire behavior demonstrations by the Georgia Forestry Commission and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Forestry Club, tree identification, soils by the Natural Resources Conservation Services, and flying drones.
The Georgia Native Plant Society will show you the beauty and benefits of using native plants in your landscape. The National Wild Turkey Federation will bring their BB range, with other wildlife activities including insect catch and release, archery, fishing, and turkey calls The game warden and the ABAC Wildlife Club will offer even more.
Crafts using natural products include bark and grape-vine baskets, spinning and dyeing. Historical traditions will be demonstrated in fixing old buildings and whittling. Chris Adams from Coffee County will set up a traditional Muskogee Indian camp and demonstrate traditional Muskogee skills.
Boy Scouts are joining us well, with Troop 100 from Worth County tying knots and the Eight Rivers Troop doing animal footprints.
We'll have Brunswick stew, meatloaf and more for you to sample, using venison and wild hog meat provided by local hunters and trappers. From 5 to 7 p.m., we'll fire up the grill for a bring-your-own cookout.
After the cookout, we'll take a nature walk led by Vanessa Lane, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College professor of wildlife ecology, to look for birds, listen to frogs, and call in owls. When it gets dark enough, if the sky is clear, you can enjoy looking at the awesome night sky. The Valdosta State University Astronomical Society will bring telescopes to see the sights.
If you are interested in leading an activity, demonstrating a skill, providing refreshments, helping as volunteer, or sharing information about the event, please contact Heather Brasell at 229-339-3966 or email heather.brasell@gmail .com.