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An entertaining way to educate

By Staff
First, the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild brought the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships to Washington.
Second, it was The East Carolina Bank that helped improve the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships by sponsoring The East Carolina Bank Sportsmen Center.
Now, it’s Washington Pediatrics adding the Kids’ Zone to the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships’ lineup. Kids’ Zone, which will be located by the Washington Civic Center, will feature children’s activities that include live shows and games. Kids’ Zone also will feature live waterfowl from the Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park &Eco-Center in Bertie County.
Kudos to Washington Pediatric for making the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships appealing to children. Not only will Kids’ Zone entertain, it will educate. Anything that provides children an appreciation of wildlife and realization of the need to protect that wildlife should be praised and welcomed as a new part of the festival.
East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships organizers deserve credit for working with Washington Pediatrics to produce the agreement that brings Kids’ Zone to the festival.
And it’s good to see Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park &Eco-Center take on an expanded role at the festival by agreeing to bring live waterfowl to Kids’ Zone. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to conservation, education, research and wholesome outdoor fun as it relates to waterfowl.
Kids’ Zone will be a fine addition to the children’s decoy painting contest, held at the North Carolina Estuarium, and the Safari Trailer, an educational exhibit provided by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, that have been parts of the festival for several years. The Safari Trailer, located by the Civic Center, allows people to see, touch and hear the sounds of animals in eastern North Carolina.
As much as the festival is about wildlife arts, decoy carving, waterfowl calling and, yes, attracting money to the local economy, it’s also about having fun and educating folks about wildlife and wildlife arts. The more that people in eastern North Carolina know about wildlife, the more they can appreciate wildlife found in eastern North Carolina.
Children exposed to wildlife at an early age may grow up to be wildlife biologists who help protect bear, deer and other wild animals from diseases that kill them or decimate their populations. They may grow up to be game wardens who protect wildlife from poachers and other illegal hunting practices. They may grow up to be adults who create artwork depicting wild animals in their natural habitats.
When Kids’ Zone makes its appearance at the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships, children should take advantage of what it offers. Parents, grandparents, foster parents and others with children in their care should make special efforts to make sure those children visit Kids’ Zone.
Maybe they won’t notice they are learning as they have fun.