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Celebrate National Park Week at New River Gorge National River

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Date: April 18, 2013
Contact: Robin Snyder, 304-640-0724

Glen Jean, West Virginia, April 18, 1013 - Did you know that National Park Week is just around the corner, April 20th - 28th? Did you know that southern West Virginia is home to three National Park sites, including New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area, and Bluestone National Scenic River? Celebrate National Park Week by exploring one of your local national parks or join a ranger for one of our many upcoming guided programs to celebrate the National Park System and the region's 10th Annual New River Gorge Wildflower Weekend, April 19th - 21st.

Here are the events scheduled at New River Gorge National River to celebrate National Park Week. Free programs that highlight the wonder of the outdoors are provided in partnership with West Virginia State Parks, Tamarack "The Best of West Virginia," The Clay Center, the Fayette County Green Team, and the New River Gorge Learning Cooperative.

Saturday, April 20, 2013
·       Early Birding at Grandview. 7:30 am to 8:45 am, Grandview - Shelter #4 at New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV. Bring your binoculars and get an early start with the local neighbors - birds.
·       Hike into Spring! 9:00 am to 1:30 pm, Grandview - Shelter #4, New River Gorge National River in Grandview, WV. Join naturalists on a leisurely 2.5-mile hike from Grandview down to the New River, finding wildflowers along the way. Be prepared for some steep terrain as we travel down an old dirt road. A free return shuttle will be provided. Reservations requested by April 17; call 304-466-0417.
·       Afternoon with the Artists. 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, Tamarack's front entrance garden and art studios in Beckley, WV. Come and go as you please to see how nature inspires the arts. See artists demonstrate the art of glass etching and wood carving. Even try your hand at close-up flower photography in the garden (cameras will be available). Explore the art gallery and Youth Arts in the Parks youth art exhibit at your leisure.
·       Nature's Tales of Legend and Lore. 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, auditorium at Tamarack in Beckley, WV. Hear stories of adventure, magic, intrigue, superstition, and much more - legends of nature for all ages.
·       2013 New River Earth Day Celebration.  12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, downtown Fayetteville on Court Street and the Courthouse Lawn. Join the Fayette County Green Team, the New River Gorge Learning Cooperative and their many partners who will provide entertainment, food, exhibits, and children's activities for community members and visitors. National Park Service Rangers will host a booth for kids to decorate recycled picture frames using recycled materials that they can take home to showcase their favorite photo.
 
Sunday, April 21, 2013
·       Spring Birding at Babcock. 8:00 am to 9:30 am, Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park in Clifftop, WV. Stroll the diverse habitats of Babcock in search of the region's more secretive beauties-birds.
·       Falls & Flowers: Nature of Brush Creek. 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, nature center at Pipestem Resort State Park in Pipestem, WV. Enjoy beautiful waterfalls and blooms along Brush Creek on this easy 2.5 mile round trip walk. Meet at the nature center to car caravan to the trailhead.
·        Rails & Redbuds Stroll. 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, Hawks Nest Rail Trail trailhead in Ansted, WV. Walk this creek-side rail trail to discover what's blooming near the river's edge on this leisurely 1.5 mile walk.
·       Little Beaver's Natural Wonders Walk. 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm, park office at Little Beaver State Park in Beaver, WV. The water's edge is a place to find many of nature's wonders, be it the still waters of the lake or along the edge of a mountain stream. Discover the watershed on this 1.1 mile hike.
 
Wednesday, April 24th and Thursday, April 25th, 2013
·       Youth Arts in the Parks Festival.  9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Grandview Unit of New River Gorge National River. Area middle schools are invited to participate in a field trip that allows you to discover the diversity of Appalachian Ecology through exploration of parks and the arts. Learn from nature while you're in it! The park will pay the bus transportation for your class field trip. Reservations are required. Please contact Robin Snyder at 304-465-6523 if you are interested in participating in the festival.
 
April 1 through 29, 2013
·       Youth Arts in the Parks Art Contest Exhibit. 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily, art exhibit in the vestibules leading to the center courtyard and the David L. Dickirson Fine Arts Gallery, Tamarack in Beckley, WV. Students from Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Summers counties celebrate regional ecology through art in this special exhibit, works inspired by the nature of our public parks-especially wildflowers.            www.tamarackwv.com
 
Learn more about events across the country that celebrates National Park at http://www.nationalparks.org/national-park-week. For more details about this event or area National Park Service sites visit http://www.nps.gov/neri, check out the park Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/newrivergorgenps. Stop by or call any New River Gorge National River visitor center (304-574-2115 or 304-466-0417). For more details about West Virginia State Park sites visit www.wvstateparks.com.

Did You Know?

View of New River at McCreery, WV

The New River was designated an American Heritage River on July 30, 1998. There are currently fourteen American Heritage Rivers in the country.