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JAKES Day set for Saturday at Charlie Elliott

MANSFIELD -- If you've got a kid who loves the outdoors, you might want to make a trip to Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield on Saturday.

The annual JAKES Day festivities are taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Discovery Area.

Free admission includes an array of activities that focus on Georgia wildlife, conservation and outdoor recreational opportunities. Kids can try archery, fishing, shooting sports and can go on a mini-boat ride led by Georgia Department of Natural Resources' conservation rangers. Live animal presentations, face painting, solar viewing with the Atlanta Astronomy Club and exhibitors displaying wildlife-themed booths add to the festivities. New for this year, is public tree climbing and geocaching.

Admission is free and the event will be enjoyable for the entire family, said Amber Mooney, seasonal naturalist at Charlie Elliott.

JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship.

"It's an annual event just to try to get families and kids into nature and understand what Charlie Elliott's mission is all about," Mooney said.

JAKES Day is also an opportunity to teach kids about safety, conservation and wildlife management, Mooney said.

The first 500 kids to arrive will receive a free T-shirt and free hot dog lunch. Adults can eat for a nominal fee. There will also be door prizes and the Visitor's Center will have clearance prices.

Sponsors of the event are the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division and the Georgia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

For more information, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/CharlieElliott/JAKES, or call 770-784-3059. To get to Charlie Elliott, take Interstate 20 to Exit 98. Travel south on Ga. Highway 11, go through Mansfield and continue 3 miles south to the entrance at Marben Farm Road on the left. Then follow the signs to the Discovery Area.