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SOFAS: Family Fun

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Date: May 28, 2010
Contact: Dale Cox, 715-483-2272

St. Croix Valley Families: Get off the Sofa! Join the SOFAS!

Longing for fun, outdoor family time? The National Park Service, Wisconsin State Parks, Minnesota State Parks, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are uniting this summer to offer the first of its kind, action-packed family adventure club in the St. Croix Valley.

The Summer Outdoor Family Adventure Series, or SOFAS, will take area residents on a variety of hikes, paddles, and fun activities during the summer of 2010. Each week, we’ll explore a new spot in the St. Croix River Valley. Join the club, get your passport book, attend seven or more events, and receive the 2010 SOFAS collectable pin.

The SOFAS kick-off will be held on Sunday, June 6 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Osceola Landing. Families can bring a picnic to the landing, participate in a variety of activities, and learn about SOFAS. Along with picking up the summer passport book, activities will include animal track printing, a scavenger hunt, and nature journal making, along with opportunities to learn about edible wild plants and native freshwater mussels. The kick-off event is free.

Osceola Landing is located on the Minnesota side of the St. Croix River, off of Highway 243, a quarter mile west of Osceola, Wisconsin. The Highway 243 bridge is expected to be open to single lane traffic on June 6 due to a rehabilitation project. Check http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/current.html for current information.

The 2010 SOFAS schedule includes the following programs:

Sunday, June 13, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Hike along the Ridge, Ridgeview Trail, Osceola

Sunday, June 20, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Just Take a Hike! Straight Lake State Park

Sunday, June 27, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
All Aboard!  The Railroad Trail, Minnesota Interstate State Park

Sunday, July 4, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Old Fashioned Train Ride, William O’Brien State Park (fee)

Sunday, July 11, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Back in Time: Boomsite Tour, Stillwater Boomsite

Friday, July 16, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Indianhead Flowage Trail, St. Croix Falls

Saturday, July 17, 10:00 a.m. to noon
Camp We-Kan-Tak-It Play and Auto Tour, Wisconsin Interstate State Park (fee)

Sunday, July 18, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Bringing Back the Bluebirds, Willow River State Park

Sunday, July 25, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Twilight Canoe Paddle, Interstate State Parks to Osceola Landing

Sunday, August 1, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Standing Cedars State Natural Area, Osceola

Sunday, August 8, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Double the Adventure: Hike and Paddle, Straight Lake State Park

Sunday, August 15, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Little Walk on the Prairie, Wild River State Park Trail Center

Sunday, August 22, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Trumpeter Swan Experience, Crex Meadows Wildlife Area

Sunday, August 29, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
SOFAS Wrap-up and Awards, Osceola Landing

The full SOFAS program listing is available at http://www.nps.gov/sacn/forkids/sofas.htm

Every event is suitable for ages 10 and up, and every other event for ages 6 and up. All programs are free unless noted. A state park vehicle permit ($5-$10/day, $25-$35/year) is required for programs that take place within a state park. Programs require physical activity and will take place rain or shine. Please dress appropriately.

For additional information, call (715) 483-2274.

Did You Know?

A green dragonfly emerges from its old skin, seen below.

Dragonflies spend most of their life living in the water. Eventually they climb out of the water and grab onto something. Here they will emerge from their old skin like a butterfly emerges from its cocoon and fly away.