2012-05-17 / Local & State

Cowans Gap Activities

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of State Parks, and Cowans Gap State Park would like to announce the following.

May 26, 2 p.m. – Dragons and Damsels Kayak. Join park naturalist for a paddle around the lake while we search for dragon flies and damselflies on the hunt! Bring your own kayak or borrow one of ours: A few singleperson kayaks and one tandem will be available to borrow but must be reserved in advance by calling Renae Saum at 717-485-9018 or registering on line. Participants must be at least 12 years old, and anyone under 18 years old has to be accompanied by an adult. Life jackets are required for this program. Meet at the boat launch parking lot.

4:30 p.m. – CSI: Mammology Division. Become a citizen science investigator as GPS is used on a scavenger hunt to search for clues to solve our mystery! Meet at the amphitheater.

7: 30 p. m. – Bats/ Bat Count. A short program about bats will be held at the amphitheater then stay to help us count the summer resident bats of Cowans Gap. This is part of ongoing research at this site and across the state to gauge the overall health of our region’s bat populations. Kids are welcome to count, but reliable adults are needed to count for official tally. Instruction will be provided on the best way to count the bats, and no experience is necessary. The bat count will begin at the bat boxes near the amphitheater at 8:15 p.m. Bring a camp chair or blanket to sit on.

May 27, 1 p.m. – Rachael Carson Day Hike. Join at the nature center for a stroll around the park to celebrate nature writer, advocate and Pennsylvania native Rachael Carson.

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Backyard Bass Fishing. Come out to the beach area for some fishing practice in the backyard. Learn how to cast a fishing pole and then practice as you cast at targets and try to catch backyard bass. Great activity for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

4 p.m. – Natural Recycling. Nothing goes to waste in the forest! Come to the amphitheater to find out how nature recycles most of its waste products and how you can too!

7 p.m. – Yakkin’ With the Bats. Cowans Gap is blessed with a significant summer colony of bug-zapping bats. Come enjoy a unique view of these bats in action as we paddle the lake in the gathering darkness. Marvel at their mastery of flight. Reserve one of our single-person or tandem kayaks or bring your own. Kayak reservations must be made in advance by calling Renae Saum at 717-485-9018 or registering on line at www.dcnr.state.pa.us. Participants must be at least 12 years of age, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Life jackets are required for this event. Meet at the boat launch parking lot at 7 p.m.

May 28, 11 a.m. – Child’s Play – Bats. Bring preschoolage children to the park for some fun and learning. Today’s theme is bats. Activities for this program may include a story, craft, outdoor exploration or other activity. Playtime can sometimes be messy, so be sure your children are dressed in play clothes and shoes, and have appropriate attire for the outdoors. Child’s play will begin at the Brightbill Interpretive Center at 11 a.m.

For more information, contact Renae Saum, environmental education specialist, at 717-485-3948 or by e-mail at NRCowansEEPrograms@ state.pa.us. Cowans Gap State Park programs are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, visit through the DCNR State Parks homepage at www.visitPAparks.com or visit the Pennsylvania Tourism homepage at www.visitPA.com.

Anyone needing special accommodations to attend a program, please contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks at 888- PAPARKS (voice); 888-537-7294 (TTY); or 711 (AT&T Relay Service).

Group programs

Group educational programming opportunities at Cowans Gap State park are currently available. Any group wanting to participate in an educational program at Cowans Gap, please contact Renae Saum, environmental education specialist, at 717-485-3948 or by e-mail at NRCowansEEPrograms@ state. pa. us. All group educational programs conducted at Cowans Gap State Park are free of charge.

Cowans Gap State Park is seeking dedicated volunteers for the spring and summer of 2012. Volunteer opportunities include nest box monitoring, trail maintenance, litter pickup, invasive plant removal, and visitor services at the Brightbill Interpretive Center. This is a great opportunity for students needing community service hours, retired persons, or anyone interested in lending a helping hand. If you or your organization is interested in volunteering at the park, please contact Saum at 717-485-3948, by email at NRCowansEEPrograms@ state.pa.us, or by registering at www.dcnr.state.pa.us.

Child’s Play

Bring preschool-age children to the park for some fun and learning! Each will have a new nature theme. Activities for this program may include a story, craft, outdoor exploration, or other activity. Playtime can sometimes be messy, so be sure your children are dressed in play clothes and shoes, and have appropriate attire for the outdoors. Child’s Play will be held on Monday mornings at 11 a.m. throughout the upcoming season. Programs begin at the Brightbill Interpretive Center.

For more information, contact Saum at 717-485- 3948 or by e-mail at NRCowansEEPrograms@ state.pa.us.

If you think park programs are just for kids, think again. Cowans Gap State Park would like to invite the “young at heart” to become a part of the Green Team. This new program series, designed especially for mature adults, offers opportunities for exploring outdoor recreational activities in a safe and friendly environment. Green Team programs will be offered throughout the summer, and will feature topics such as birding, hiking, kayaking, geocaching, digital photography, and more. Green Team members will also have opportunity to participate in natural resource conservation projects throughout the year.

For more information, contact Saum at 717-485- 3948 or by e-mail at NRCowansEEPrograms@ state.pa.us.

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