Goose Creek State Park ready for holidays

Published 1:17 am Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sandra Fambrough (right), lead interpretive and education ranger at Goose Creek State Park, and office assistant Vanessa Fischer look over items donated as part of the park’s holiday food drive for needy families. The food drive is under way until Dec. 18. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

GOOSE CREEK STATE PARK — Although the calendar says Christmas is still more than a month away, Goose Creek State Park staff members are ready to ring in the season of giving.
A drop-off pantry has been set up for the park’s inaugural food drive for needy families, according to Sandra Fambrough, lead interpretive and education ranger. Canned goods and nonperishable items are being collected until Dec. 18, at which time they will be distributed to area food pantries.
The food drive was the idea of John Fullwood, the park’s superintendent, according to Fambrough. Items collected will be given to Beaufort County families struggling to make ends meet during the holiday season, she added.
Park visitors, including those who attend each weekend’s nature programs, are encouraged to support the food drive by dropping off items to be included in the pantry, which is located in the environmental-education center. The center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to office assistant Vanessa Fischer.
“Whether you’re coming to a program, enjoying walking the trails or riding a bike in the park, whenever you visit, you can bring food,” Fambrough said.
Another holiday event, this one hosted by the Friends of Goose Creek State Park, is planned for Saturday. The annual open house, a park tradition that has been held for several years, will feature something for everyone, from bird-watchers to the youngest members of the family, according to Fambrough.
The day starts with Coffee with the Birds in the center’s Discovery Room, where a corner fitted with glass panels allows visitors to keep watchful eyes on some of the feathered friends that make their home at the park. While sipping freshly brewed, shade-grown coffee, nature lovers may spy on such varieties as cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees and doves.
Following that event will be a nature hike along the park’s picturesque Palmetto Boardwalk, from which visitors may usually catch a glimpse of all sorts of wildlife inhabiting the park, Fambrough said. Then, youngsters of all ages will be invited to craft their own Christmas ornaments and greeting cards. Refreshments will be served.
The holiday open house is a wonderful way for folks to get into the Christmas spirit before the season gets too hectic, Fambrough noted.
“You can bring along your out-of-town guests,” she said. “And the nature hike is a great way to walk off those Thanksgiving calories.”
For more information about Goose Creek State Park and its special events, call 252-923-2191. The park is located at 2190 Camp Leach Road east of Washington.