Saturday, October 10, 2015

Missouri River Outdoor Expo, Ponka State Park

Last May, I took part in the Outdoor Expo in Kearney, where I enjoyed a grand time with many, many fifth graders over a two-day period.  I must, in face, create a web page for this event--I am that far behind!  I look forward to further adventures at Kearney on 7 May 2016.

The Nebraska Parks and Game Commission sponsors the Kearney event and the one to which the commissions invited me to take part in at Ponka Sate Park this September 18-20, the Missouri River Outdoor Expo.

Feathers and Verses was one of around 70 events for youngsters over the course of the three-day event.

On Friday, the park closed for children from area schools.  I met with three groups of enthusiastic fifth graders until severe thunder storms forced the organizers to cancel the afternoon schedule.  But the three 45-minute interactions with the fifth graders proved entertaining and edifying. 

The students learned the songs of around ten birds; they colored images of birds; they also wrote poems about birds.  Mostly they enjoyed themselves and often read their poems outloud.

Special thanks go to the excellent teachers and their aids who helped me keep the chaos in
reasonable order.

Saturday and Sunday, near the Education Center at Ponka State Park, I gave three presentations of Feathers and Verses each day.  Saturday morning went slowly, but folks eventually found me and the birds, and I kept very busy as families stopped by.  
On each of the two days, I had a chance to look at other events, from a presentation about Nebraska snakes to the youngsters at the Trout Pond.  At one point, a beautiful owl sat on my arm.

I look forward to a return trip and posted photographs from this beautiful park and exceptional event.

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