Monday, February 22, 2010

Klondike Days Keeps the Education Department Busy

(Steve talks to a group about the Western Red-tailed Hawk.)

It has been a busy week for the education department at REGI. REGI Education Director Steve Fisher and I presented information about REGI and our raptors as part of Klondike Days in Eagle River, WI. Some of you may have seen us there. Steve and I spent Saturday meeting with the public, and Steve's wife Evie joined him at the REGI display on Sunday. If you are not familiar with it, Klondike Days is a two-day winter festival in northern Wisconsin. The weather was beautiful, in the low 30's, and drew people out by the thousands!

This year was the 20th anniversary of Klondike Days. The events were numerous and included dog sled racing, lumberjack competitions, ice carving, Native American cultural expositions, a traditional Voyaguer encampment, and so much more. It was all of the best of the Northwoods in the winter. REGI could be found in the high school field house, along with other educational programming opportunities and a craft show. It was great to meet some of our fellow wildlife educators from the Northwoods Wildlife Center.

We were kept busy from the time we arrived until we left. The flow of people was constant while we had an average of 20-30 people at our booth from 9am-4pm. We estimated that on Saturday alone we spoke with well over 500 people, though likely many more, as they estimate the number of visitors to around 10,000 for each Klondike Days weekend! We brought a variety of birds with us. Of course we brought our old veteran, our Western Red-tailed Hawk. She has done so many programs with us and always is the consummate professional. But we also brought owls and falcons each day. As educators we are always happy to get out into the public and talk about how amazing raptors are and about REGI's role in helping people understand the important issues surrounding them.

We all went home at night exhausted but happy. We had such a great weekend! We have a couple more big events coming up in the next few weeks. We will be at the International Owl Festival March 6-7 in Houston, MN and at the National Eagle Center on March 13-14 in Wabasha, MN. Maybe we will see some of you there!

(Right: Steve speaks with some children about the Peregrine Falcon.)

-Molly McKay
Environmental Education Coordinator

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