In Jan. 22 IssueBy John ThompsonNews-Register Reporter
Tuesday night marked the first meeting of the Family Nature Club for 2011. An enthusiastic group of youngsters and parents joined members of the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery (WCNFH) and the Russell County Public Library to have a little fun while learning of all the great aspects of being involved with nature.
Oh there was coloring and interactive stories and making funny faced animals out of healthy snacks but the real treat was when the animals made their appearance.
First out to greet everyone was the fish hatcherie’s mascot; Squirt the skunk. Squirt is a two year old tame member of the fish hatchery team who came to live with them when he would just fit in the palm of your hand.
Also visiting was Quadro the rat snake, who seemed very interested in everyone he met; flicking his tongue at parents and kids alike (even the parents who wouldn't look at poor Quadro).
Everyone was also introduced to a really neat red-eared slider turtle.
You just never know what's going to be happening at the monthly Family Nature Club meeting.
The child oriented interactive activity is a national effort being implemented locally through cooperation between the Russell County Library and the WCNFH.
This is their second season hosting the monthly event in attempt to reverse the "Nature Deficit Disorder" that afflicts so many of the nation's youth due to the lure of electronic entertainment.
Glenda York of the library was enthusiastic with Tuesday's event.
"We had an excellent turnout,” said York. “We're hoping it will be indicative of what we can expect the rest of the year."
This year, monthly meetings will take turns between being held at the fish hatchery and at the Russell Springs branch of the library.
"It's a great opportunity for families to involve children in healthy outdoor family activities," York said.
Month to month the activity will change but they always attempt to get a little outdoor activity involved. February's meeting looks interesting for children and adults alike as the theme will be "Fall in Love with Nature" in which they will explore whether or not animals have emotions and how they may show their feelings.
According to York the most popular event last year was the month of July's Stream Hike and Exploration, and they expect it will be an even bigger hit this year. "Oh it's a big time," said York. "The kids get to hike down a beautiful stream getting their feet wet, overturning rocks and looking at the crawdads and minnows," all while minimizing the impact and respecting the environment.
"Nature specialist Amanda Patrick has such energy for this kind of thing," she said. She walks along exploring the importance of nature and explaining how important each part of nature is to the children."
Yes, every month brings something new to the Family Nature Club, and Mrs. York and all the rest of the dedicated volunteers extend a welcome to all families of Russell County. They meet the third Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. For more information call the Russell County Public Library at 270-343-3545 or the Wolf Creek Dam National Fish Hatchery at 270-343-3797