May 1, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Family Friendly Birds in the Hills Festival, May 5-7

Yellow Prairie Warbler on a branch

Prairie Warbler

Rural Action is partnering with Camp Oty’Okwa and the Athens Area Birders to host the second annual Birds in the Hills Festival in Southeast Ohio, May 5-7 at United Plant Savers in Meigs County.

This outdoor festival will bring a diverse audience together to celebrate southeast Ohio’s biodiversity. The festival is designed to accommodate children, adults, and especially families. The goal is to provide a weekend of active, fun-filled and informative outdoor experiences to build and strengthen the appreciation and knowledge of the unique nature in our area. This event is part of an effort to grow an ecotourism industry in Southeast Ohio, attracting more visitors to the region and getting more people interested in activities like bird watching.

Eyes to the sky bird watchers

Field Trips to Lake Hope State Park and Lake Snowden

The festival also consists of field trips to premier natural areas such as Lake Hope State Park and Lake Snowden, which feature emerging spring flowers, migrating warblers and other birds returning from their wintering grounds. Naturalists will lead hikes through stunning southeast Ohio forests such as United Plant Savers’ Goldenseal Sanctuary. Environmental educational specialists will guide hands-on activities for children and families. Workshops and presentations provide in-depth background information on bird conservation, citizen science opportunities, backyard habitat improvements, and more.

The 2017 keynote speaker is Katie Fallon, a West Virginia bird watcher and author of Cerulean Blues. Also speaking is John Watts, co-author of Birds of Hocking County, Ohio.

Most meals at the festival will be catered by Kiser’s BBQ, and there is a beer tasting on Saturday evening, May 6. More information is available from the Rural Action website here: Birds in the Hills Festival.

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