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McDowell Nature Center Offers Environmental and Nature Programs

(March 21, 2002) The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department's Division of Natural Resources offers environmental and nature education programs for the general public on a variety of topics from birds and butterflies to wetlands and interpretive hikes. Programs are held at county nature centers, nature preserves, parks, greenways, and occasionally at other sites throughout North and South Carolina.

McDowell Nature Center serves as the gateway to McDowell Nature Preserve and is the source for educational information on the preserve's natural communities, flora, and fauna. The Center features live, native animals, exhibits, and a gift shop. Outside, visitors can stop and observe nature in action at the National Wildlife Federation certified Backyard Habitat Garden which includes bird feeding stations, butterfly gardens, garden pond, and demonstration compost area. Self-interpretive trail guides are available for several nature preserve trails. For more information, contact us at 704-588-5224. Admission to the Center is free. An entrance fee to McDowell Nature Preserve is charged March 1 through October 31 on weekends and holidays.

Here are some upcoming special activities at the McDowell Nature Center:

April 6 - 10-noon - Wildflower Walk
     The McDowell Nature Preserve explodes in a riot of color early every spring when the wildflowers begin to bloom.  During this 2.5 mile moderately strenuous hike, learn to identify a variety of wildflower species. You will also learn some of the intriguing natural history and folklore surrounding these ephemeral flowers.  Call (704)588-5224 to register $3 adult  $2 child.

April 13-14 - Beginning Camping
     Never camped before?  Haven't been out in years?  Join the Sierra Club on a beginning camping experience right here in Charlotte at the McDowell Campground!  Call Laura Blue at (704)376-1444 to register.

April 27 - 10-11am - Preschool Naturalist Series: Buggin' Out
     It has six legs and its' skeleton on the outside, what is it?  It's a bug of course!  Come get up close and personal with these unique creatures.  We will go on a bug hunt      and create our own special "bug" to eat.  This is a morning that will bring out the creepy crawlies in us all!  Call (704)588-5224 to register  $3 per child.