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Contact: Howard Duncan, 423-569-9778
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will host a series of day and evening programs over the Memorial Day weekend. Park rangers will present a variety of program topics in both Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tennessee programs will be held at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center. Kentucky programs will be at the Blue Heron Campground.
Saturday, May 26
11:30 a.m. - Picnic in the Park - Bring your lunch and join Ranger Brenda Deaver at the Bandy Creek Trailhead picnic shelter. Would an otter like what you are eating or would it make him sick? Is a beaver prey or predator? Would an owl enjoy a vegetarian diet? Could you fix a blue plate special for a red fox? Do you know how to handle your food when you are in "bear country?" Using hands-on activities, we will learn the answers to these and many more questions.
3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. - Astronomy (Solar Viewing) - You are invited to view our closest star, the sun. Paul Lewis from the University of Tennessee's Department of Physics and Astronomy will set up a telescope with a light blocking filter that allows you to view the sun safely. This daytime viewing event will occur in front of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center. This event may be cancelled in the event of inclement or cloudy weather.
9:00 p.m. - Astronomy (Exploring Night Skies) - The Milky Way rising over your campsite, the shimmering moon guiding your way, and the fading light that draws one's thoughts inward. These are all aspects of natural darkness that inspire park visitors and complete a national park experience. Paul Lewis, along with astronomy volunteers, will be providing park visitors with the opportunity to gaze upon planets, stars, galaxies, and other amazing deep sky objects through telescopes. This program will be held in the large parking area in front of the Bandy Creek Visitor Center. In case of inclement weather, a slide program will be presented at the interpretation and education center.
7:30 p.m. - We Just Wanted to Be Left Alone - Come meet Lizzy, a lady who could have lived in Big South Fork country during the Civil War. She tells stories that will make your skin crawl because they are, as she states it, "the truth as I know it." This program commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War which began in 2011. Come hear about events that took place on or near the land that became Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. This program will be held at the Blue Heron Campground campfire circle.
Sunday, May 27
10:30 a.m. - An Introduction to the Junior Ranger Program - Do you want to be a ranger? Rangers get to do many things while working in the national park system. Join Ranger Jessica Moore as she introduces you to one of our park animals and also helps you get started on your very own junior ranger activity book. This program will be held at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center.
Monday, May 28
10:30 a.m. - Nature Walk Along the Bandy Creek Loop - Join Ranger Bill Herman on a short, 1.3 mile hike along the Bandy Creek Loop Trail to watch, investigate, and learn more about some of the common and often overlooked trailside flora and fauna. Wearing sturdy walking shoes and the proper use of insect repellant during this one-hour activity is recommended. This program will begin at Bandy Creek Visitor Center.
All programs are Eastern Time. Everyone is invited to attend these free presentations. For more information, contact the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275 or the Blue Heron Interpretive Center at (606) 376-5073 or 376-3787.