Nature Center schedules spring, summer programs

By Karen Colbenson

Jay C. Hormel Nature Center will host several nature-themed community and family events this spring and summer.

• Join fellow bird-watchers for a hike on the nature center trails. The bird-watching event will be held May 5, 7, 12, 14 and 19. The program is free. Binoculars will be provided upon request.

• The sixth annual Oak Savanna Bird Festival will be held May 16-17. Austin has been chosen this year as the site of the annual festival. Free family programs will be offered from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 16. Registration is $30 a person and includes tours, programs and Saturday lunch.


• National award-winning naturalist David Stokes returns to Austin to present two evening programs. The programs include "Sights and Sounds of an Early Summer Evening" at 7:30 p.m. June 9 and "Prairie Wetlands and Wildlife Abundance" at 7 p.m. June 11. Both programs are free but registration is required.

• Summer Solstice Ecoblitz, a free family event, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. June 20. The event features several outdoor activities for adults and children.

• Thursday Nature Play is a new program this year that offers free canoe rentals and self-guided nature activities. Canoes can be rented from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays from June 18 to Aug. 20.

• The 2009 Summer Youth Adventure programs will begin on June 9. Various programs are available to children ages 4-12. Programs include Nature Detectives, Fishing Ecology, Junior Ranger Rick, Radical Raptors, Monarch Tagging and more. Scholarships are available.

For more information, go to


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