Spring Fest visits park on Saturday

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

GOOSE CREEK STATE PARK — The season of new growth and warming temperatures will be celebrated Saturday during Goose Creek State Park’s Spring Fest.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes activities for the entire family, according to Kelley Thompson, park superintendent.
“We’re targeting families,” Thompson said. “My idea behind it was taking the environmental field day that the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation does for fifth-graders every year here at Goose Creek and making it something for the whole family.”
A variety of agencies and organizations will be on hand, many offering tips on “going green,” Thompson said.
“This is a good way to see what the different groups do, and a good way to celebrate spring,” she said.
Among those expected for Saturday’s festival are the N.C. Division of Air Quality, Weyerhaeuser Co., Beaufort County 4-H, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Red Wolf Coalition, N.C. Division of Forest Resources, Beaufort County Master Gardeners, Cool Springs Environmental Education Center, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation Riverkeeper.
“There will be tables with earth-friendly information, a scavenger hunt and prizes,” Thompson said.
One of the highlights of the day for Thompson, personally, will be the Discover Baby Animals tots program for children ages 3-5.
“That’s my last tots program,” said Thompson, who will leave Goose Creek in a couple weeks to become superintendent at Haw River State Park. “I’d like to have as many as my tots, my babies, as I can get.”
That one-hour program begins at 10 a.m. and includes a story time, craft and a baby animal outdoor exploration.
Other programs scheduled for Saturday include Birding with Floyd at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Floyd Williams is a retired Merchants Millpond ranger and an avid naturalist, according to Thompson. He will lead a bird hike, helping visitors spot the many birds that make Goose Creek Stat Park their home.
At 11 a.m., Ranger Kevin Bischof will lead a Reptile Roving hike along the park’s Palmetto Boardwalk. This is a great opportunity to search for the various reptiles that reside in the freshwater swamp.
Kayaks on the Goose is a program planned for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Preregistration is required for this ranger-led journey through Goose Creek. Kayaks and life jackets will be provided.
Spring Fest offers a chance for families on a budget to enjoy a day in the great outdoors, Thompson noted. All activities are free.
“Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a great day in the park,” she said.
For more information, or to preregister for the kayak program, call 252-923-2191.