Stellar eclipse at Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge
Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge in Benton, Kentucky, hosted a Great American Solar Eclipse event for visitors from a dozen different states and five different countries on August 21. Visitors enjoyed one minute and 57 seconds in the shadow of the moon.
While waiting for the total solar eclipse, visitors participated in activities including fishing, and learning about wildlife, fisheries, and illegal wildlife trade. The younger visitors were treated to a story time and a Kid Zone with a bouncy castle that allowed children to jump like a frog. Kids also enjoyed wetland yoga and wildlife chalk art. After the eclipse, the false dawn was welcomed with the crow of a rooster.
Refuge staff members welcomed Service staff members from Law Enforcement’s Port of Louisville, and the Lower Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. Also joining in the fun was The Wildlife Society from Murray State University and Austin Peay State University, Calloway County Conservation District, Fishing League Worldwide, and the Marshall County Public Library. The Friends of Clarks River made sure no one went hungry by providing food and drinks during the day’s events.
Throughout the day, announcements were made by Vic Coffman, Deputy Chief of Refuge Law Enforcement, on the Public Address system of his vehicle. Visitors said they appreciated those announcements most of all because they knew exactly when each event occurred; but, more importantly, during the eclipse they didn’t have to worry about when they could take the safety glasses off or needed to put them back on.