Wildlife Weekend 2014 – Don’t Miss It! (October 10th & 11th)

In keeping with the fact that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Steele Creek Park, the theme for Wildlife Weekend 2014 is “50 Years of Natural History at Steele Creek Park”.  We will be honoring the many park naturalists, assistant naturalists, student naturalists and researchers who have contributed to the Park over it’s 50 years!

The annual Wildlife Weekend Celebration is located at the Steele Creek Park Lodge and is free to the public!

The Park has a rich heritage of being a resource for natural history education and research.  Beginning with the earliest formal surveys by Brent Rowell and Joe Jackson in the early 1970’s and extending  to the present day, with Phillip Klahs’ ongoing extensive survey of vascular plants in the Park, more than 20 students have conducted studies at Steele Creek Park.  During this time, countless naturalists, assistant and student naturalists, and volunteers have provided a valuable educational resource for Bristol and the surrounding region.  Many of these individuals have gone on to hold prominent scientific positions in museums, universities, state governments and industry.  We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful resource and such dedicated individuals to help us appreciate what we have right here in Bristol!

Wildlife Weekend 2014 kicks off at 6:30 on Friday evening (10/10/14) with a public reception and presentation of awards for the always popular photography and art contests. All of the entries for both of these contests will be on display throughout the evening on Friday and all day Saturday.

We’re especially excited to have Kevin Hamed as our keynote speaker on Friday evening.  Kevin is a former Nature Center Manager and is currently Assistant Professor of Biology at Virginia Highlands Community College.Park Naturalist.  While working at the Nature Center, he completed a study of a rare population of Tennessee dace in the Trinkle Hollow section of the Park for his Master’s thesis; he is now recognized as a leading authority on that species of fish.  More than almost anyone else, Kevin recognizes the value of Steele Creek Park as a natural resource. The topic of his talk will be “Discovering our Ecological Treasure – 50 Years of Natural History Research”.

On Saturday, as always, there will be lots of fascinating nature walks, bird banding demonstrations, exhibits and children’s activities.  In addition, this year we will be hosting a special luncheon at which time we will recognize and honor the many naturalists and researchers who have contributed to the tradition of education and research at the Park.  At that time a panel will discuss their experiences at the Park and how we can best continue to foster that tradition into the future. Kevin Hamed, Brent Rowell, Joe Jackson, Wallace Coffey and Phillip Klahs will all serve as panelists.  The public is invited to this free luncheon and discussion, though we do ask that you RSVP if you plan on eating with us.

Further details, including a detailed schedule of events can be found here.

We hope to see you at the Park on Friday October 10th and Saturday October 11th!


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