EAST LIVERPOOL - An "Explore the Outdoors" event is slated 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 9 at Beaver Creek State Park.
Sponsored by the park and the Columbiana County Conservation Partners, "Explore the Outdoors with your Family Because Time Together Counts," is a sampler of the many family-friendly outdoor activities available throughout Columbiana County.
The public is invited to this free event, and lunch is included. Children, of all ages, have the opportunity to enjoy the many activities planned for the day, and parents may get some ideas how to keep their children entertained, healthy, and happy while enjoying the outdoors, both at home and in our local parks.
Key agencies involved in the Conservation Partners group are Columbiana County Department of Jobs and Family Services, and Community Action Agency Head Start, whose personnel have volunteered their time to coordinate the day, and to present crafts and activities; Beaver Creek State Park, which hosts the event; and Friends of the Park, which serves lunch.
More than 20 agencies, organizations, and sponsors have joined forces to present activities ranging from hiking, biking, and fishing to nature crafts and wildlife displays. Visitors can also participate in a drum circle, view a falconer, enjoy a pre-1840s school lesson at the school house in Pioneer Village, visit emergency vehicles - including a helicopter and armored vehicle, and get pictures taken with a horse.
Activities will take place throughout the park, including the mill pond, where fishing demonstrations will occur; within Pioneer Village; at the barn; and all along the stream from the bridge to the trail crossing near the basketball court.
The Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center, located just west of the park, will also be involved, hosting nature hikes every hour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and wildlife displays throughout the day. The Stat MedEvac Helicopter will also be landing at the Wildlife Center between noon and 1 p.m.
The event is in its seventh year, and originally began as a Stream Life Day, highlighting Little Beaver Creek and its excellent water quality. Continuing this approach, throughout the day wildlife professionals will seine, or net, aquatic insects and show visitors how they can monitor stream quality by identifying the animals living in the water. A special highlight will occur near the bridge at 3 p.m., when Ohio Division of Wildlife personnel will do a fish shocking demonstration. This technique involves penetrating the water with a mild electrical current, which temporarily shock the fish so they float to the surface, making them easy to net. This allows them to be caught so a complete inventory can be taken, but does not permanently harm them. Little Beaver Creek within the area of the park is a designated Wild and Scenic River, and supports a variety of uncommon and beautiful fish including darters, as well as the endangered Hellbender aquatic salamander. During the demonstration, the fish will be displayed in small containers so they can be examined closely before being released back to the stream.
More information about Explore the Outdoors may be obtained from Conservation Partner coordinator Tom Butch at 330-337-8444, or at any of the participating agencies and sponsors.