GWF to host Get Outdoors

COVINGTON -- The Georgia Wildlife Federation is encouraging families to enjoy the beauty of nature at its Alcovy Conservation Center during its Get Outdoors event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The free outdoor recreation and education opportunity for kids is part of the No Child Left Inside initiative through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Federation and other partners who are focused on getting youth connected to nature.

"It's just a way to get kids outside and an opportunity for families to bring the kids out," said Glenn Dowling, executive vice president of the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

Families are invited to stroll the trails, boardwalks and gardens at the center. It's a good opportunity to introduce kids to birding or nature photography, according to a press release issued by GWF. Families can also participate in a nature scavenger hunt.

Those who prefer a guided bird walk through various habitats in and around the swamp area should arrive a little early, at 7:45 a.m., under the pavilion. The center's new bird viewing window will also be open.

The first public display of an art exhibit featuring the 2010 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Contest winners will also be on display.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a hot dog and hamburger lunch will be served, with proceeds to benefit the local Junior Bass Busters.

From noon to 1:30 p.m., the center will run a Web cast addressing the educational and health problems resulting from children's declining contact with nature. At 2 p.m., volunteers are asked to help clear the property of Chinese privet. Those interested should arrive at the amphitheater at 1:45 p.m. and bring gloves.

"A lot of people have to have something to entertain them rather than coming out to entertain themselves," Dowling said. "This is not so much a day of scheduled events as it is about providing families with the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy this great weather and have the opportunity to see some of the wildlife that surrounds the local community."

Those who register for the event will receive a free copy of the Georgia Wildlife Viewing Guide.

For questions or to register, e-mail education@gwf.org or call 770-787-7887.

The GWF is located at 11600 Hazelbrand Road.