January 2013 Mississippi Programs

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Date: January 1, 2013
Contact: Susan Blair, 228-875-9057

Ocean Springs, MS: The holidays are over but the weather outside is still brisk and cool.Join a ranger for a variety of outdoor programs this January!All programs at Gulf Islands are free.For more information call the visitor center at 228-230-4100 or follow us on Twitter @GulfIslandsNPS for news and updates.

Saturday, January 5th - 10 a.m. - Bike the Bayou

Bring your bike and helmet and join Ranger Mike for "Bike the Bayou!" This is a great way to learn about the science and history of the park and also get some exercise. This easy 3-mile bike tour will highlight different areas of the park. Program meets at Pavilion #4 and reservations are required. Call 228-230-4100 or stop by the visitor center to sign up.

Sunday, January 6th - 6:00 p.m. - Evening Marsh Boat Tour

The best way to experience the marsh is definitely on the water.Receive an up-close and personal ranger tour of Davis Bayou in our flat bottomed skiff boats.This program will meet at 6:00 p.m. at the William M. Colmer Visitor Center.Space is limited for this special evening program, therefore reservations are required. Sign up begins at 8:30 a.m. on December 31. Call 228-230-4100 to sign up. Choose appropriate clothes and footwear for a winter adventure in a muddy marsh.

Saturday, January 12th - 9:00 a.m. - Winter Bird Walk

Bundle up for winter weather and join Ranger Stacy at Gulf Islands National Seashore to discover birds spending their winter on the Gulf Coast! This program will survey the marsh and maritime forest near the William M. Colmer Visitor Center in Ocean Springs, MS. Please bring binoculars if you have them; there will be a few pairs available to borrow.

Sunday, January 20th - 2:00 - Burning in the Bayou

Historically this area saw lightning-ignited fires every 1-3 years, but a century of fire suppression has changed the landscape.Learn why fire is necessary for a healthy ecosystem during the "Burning in the Bayou" program.Discover how fire renews a landscape and leaves open spaces for pitcher plants and sundews, gopher tortoise and the Mississippi sandhill crane.This program meets at the William M. Colmer Visitor Center.Weather permitting; we will take a short walk to view results of a recent burn.

Sunday, January 27th - 2:00 - Hidden History of Ship Island

Did you know that a woman was held prisoner on Ship Island during the Civil War? Or that former slaves joined the Union Army and were stationed there for almost three years? Join us in the warmth of the William M. Colmer Visitor Center auditorium to learn more about the lesser known stories of Ship Island in the 19th century.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

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