News Release 138

Wings over Weston event planned May 14 at Weston Bend State Park

Volume 39-138 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. MAY 4, 2011 – Discover the fascinating world of birds and their importance in the environment at the Wings over Weston event Saturday, May 14 at Weston Bend State Park near Weston. The event, a birding festival for the entire family, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free and open the public.

Demonstrations and activities will be held throughout the day and include educational stations on topics such as migratory songbirds, avian habitats and touch tables. Activities and games will be held for children of all ages. Operation Wildlife and Lakeside Nature Center will provide an opportunity for everyone to have an up close view of migratory birds and raptors. Prizes and raffles, special music by the Bluegrass Tornadoes, and duck and songbird mazes will provide entertainment all day. Guided bird hikes will be held offered throughout the day.

At 11 a.m. new interpretive panels along Harpst Trail will be dedicated. Each panel highlights the beauty and importance of birds, their habitat needs and challenges, and the importance of high quality landscapes for both people and wildlife. This series of panels were developed by Audubon Missouri, Burroughs Audubon Society and Missouri State Parks.

The event will provide an opportunity for Scouts to earn a Bird Study Merit Badge. Scouts can complete as many steps as possible for their badge with the help of counselors from Burroughs Audubon, the Missouri Master Naturalists and others.

Wings over Weston is sponsored by Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City, Missouri State Parks, Audubon Missouri, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the city of Weston with support from the Aveda Corp.

Saturday's event is part of a two-day program to celebrate the world of birds. On Friday, fourth grade students from four local schools are invited to visit the park for a hands-on experience about birds. The students will rotate among five educational stations staffed by trained volunteers.

This is the second year for Wings over Weston, which showcases the kind of landscape birds depend on to survive and thrive. Weston Bend State Park was recently designated as part of an Important Bird Area or IBA. The IBA program is a global effort to identify and conserve areas that are vital to birds. The IBA that includes Weston Bend State Park is known as the Iatan/Weston River Corridor IBA and contains one of the largest surviving tracts of old-growth bottomland forest along the entire length of the Missouri River.

Weston Bend State Park is located south of Weston at 16600 Highway 45 North. For more information about the event, contact Weston Bend State Park at 816-640-5443 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.

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