OSKALOOSA — Gather up the kids, scrounge up an old blanket or a couple of yard chairs and head out to Eveland Access this weekend. Moonlight movie night is back on Saturday.
The Mahaska County Conservation Board (MCCB) has held movie nights over holiday weekends for a number of years. “We show a family-friendly movie that’s free to the public, and we provide popcorn,” said MCCB Naturalist Laura DeCook.
“It’s a neat atmosphere right along the river; it’s a really neat place to see a nighttime movie outdoors.”
For many kids, summer means camp. MCCB has you covered. “We have day camps for different ages of kids and different times,” said DeCook. Sign-ups for Discovery camp have closed, but campers age 5 and younger will enjoy this year’s theme: The Hungry Caterpillar.
“It’s all about insects: where they live, how to identify them, the basic body parts. We do some fun games and activities.”
The Junior Naturalist camp begins July 8 for ages 6-12. “We do a lot more of the hands-on outdoor skills, like teach them how to go fishing, tie their fishing knots,” said DeCook.
“We do hiking, plant identification and just a lot of engaging them in the outdoors, and we try to just introduce them to new outdoor skills.”
Lunch in the Park is ongoing throughout July and August. Bring a lunch and visit Russell Wildlife Center to enjoy the meal and learn a little. “I have different topics that I’ll present those days,” said DeCook. “Sometimes it’s a craft activity like the Cherokee leaf pounding or cooking fish. Today was all about the mammoths found in Mahaska County.”
The next Lunch in the Park will be from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, and DeCook will be presenting “What Lives in a Pond.”
“I’ll have an aquarium set up where they can actually see some of these things,” she said. “It’ll be up here [at the wildlife center] because it’s a quick lunchtime and to save them from having to go down to the pond.”
The full moon in July will be prime time for a movie (E.T.) and a night- time hike. The moon “just lights up the trails; you probably won’t even have to have a flashlight going down the trails if it’s a full moon and not cloudy,” said DeCook.
MCCB will be present at Sweet Corn Seranade and will feature another moonlight movie over Labor Day weekend. The popular Youth Outdoor Field Day will be returning in September.
Call 641-673-9327 or visit http://www.mahaskaconservation.com and follow the MCCB Facebook page for more information.
Story provided by Angie Holland