Refuge Notebook 08/26/2011

community_notebook_08-26-2011

Come enjoy Wild Berry Fun Day!
by Candace Ward


Wild berry season has arrived on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Bears enjoy big clusters of devil’s club and mountain ash berries, while robins and thrushes devour red elderberries. Wildlife and humans alike enjoy blueberries and cranberries. To find out which berries are safe for people, join us at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for our special Wild Berry Fun Day.

Our Wild Berry Fun Day is a “once-a-year only” special event taking place tomorrow - Saturday, August 27 from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center (located one mile from Soldotna off Ski Hill Road). Enjoy wild berry displays, crafts, activities, free door prizes, and tasty berry snacks. All activities are free of charge and a great way to enjoy the end of summer!

Join in on special guided walks to learn which berries are edible and which are poisonous. On our walks, we will focus on identifying rather than picking berries. For families with younger children, an easy 1/4 mile walk lasting 30 minutes will take place at 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 2:30 PM. Longer hikes of 3/4 mile for ages 10 and up will take place at 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM. Pre-registration for walks is required. To pre-register or for more information, contact Michelle Ostrowski at (907) 260-2839.

If you would like to go out on your own for a walk, we provide a self-guided berry identification guide for you.

Take time not only to taste wild berries this fall, but get outdoors often to appreciate the natural wonders of our beautiful Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Remember there’s always something special to discover!

Candace Ward works at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge as a park ranger specializing in visitor service and education. Her favorite wild berry guide book is Alaska’s Wild Berries & Berry-Like Fruit by Verna Pratt. For more on Refuge education programs, contact us at 262-7021 or check out our Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kenainationalwildliferefuge.