Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

October 5, 2009

Get Outside and Go Wild at Wildfest 2009

The air is turning cooler and the days are getting shorter. Traffic is no longer a problem on the weekends. It’s a great time of year to go outside and have some fun! To get you started, head on out to the College of the Albemarle Roanoke Island Campus on Saturday, October 17 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Designed for families and individuals, this year’s Wildfest is full of fun learning activities and take-home creations.

The featured exhibit for the 2009 Wildfest is the “Meet the Animals” provided by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. This exhibit features live animals - lots of native "critters" from all over North Carolina. You'll see lots of animals you've seen before, including frogs, turtles, terrapins, crayfish, snakes and more... and maybe a few new ones! Kids, bring your parents and grandparents to join in the fun!

If you want to learn about wildlife conservation and see a wide variety of furs and other "parts and pieces" of animals native to North Carolina and around the world, check out the The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Sensory Safari Trailer. You won’t be able to miss it since the trailer is 30 feet long! Folks from the Commission will be on hand to answer all your questions.

Activities will be inside and out on the campus grounds. See if your child can get a bull’s eye on the archery range. Let them try their hands at surf casting. There will be versions of activities available for the younger children, too. According to Cindy Heffley, Visitor Services Specialist, “As always, we’ll have our face painting table set up. It seems to be one of the favorite tables each year.” But a new activity started last year, “Might move into first place as a favorite,” mentioned Heffley. “Usually we don’t want our children to act like animals, but with our Wildlife Olympics, we encourage it!” Visitor Services Specialist Abbey Reibel will once again provide the Wildlife Olympics course which allows children to better understand various ways animals behave to survive.

Volunteers will be around to talk about bears, turtles, red wolves and many other critters. Find out about wildlife in the colonial days and before. Learn to communicate in critter language at the "critter calls" table. For those in an artistic mood, stop by the build-a-bird table and create a unique bird. In addition to that, build a bird feeder and then learn about how to tell an animal has been in your yard! Many additional conservation organizations will be at the event to talk about their programs and provide activities. Costumed critters will be around throughout the day to say hello and pose for pictures.

So whether you’re on your way through Manteo or simply looking for a fun way to spend the day with your family, head on out to Wildfest 2009. Help us celebrate the close of National Wildlife Refuge Week and the start to a great fall season. Come out with your child and answer the call of the wild together!

Refuge Volunteer Stanley Oliver teaches Kory Erpelding the fine art of casting. Photo Credit: USFWS, Bonnie Strawser.

Volunteers dressed in Blue Goose, Red Wolf, and Alligator Costumes
At Wildfest, critters come in all sizes, shapes, and colors! Come out and join in the fun on October 17 from 11 'til 3 at the COA- Roanoke Island Campus across from the Chesley Mall. Photo Credit: USFWS, Bonnie Strawser.

A trailer full of animal furs, mounts, and information.
A new additional to Wildfest this year is the Sensory Safari Trailer brought to you by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Come and really "get the feel of wildlife". Photo Credit: NCWRC.