Arwyn Kiss was determined to see all the wildlife she could Saturday.
“I brought my binoculars,” said the 9-year-old, who used them to locate a hawk flying around the park during the Branching Out for Wildlife event at the Living History Park.
The National Wildlife Federation created the program to celebrate National Wildlife Week March 18-24. Cheri Haughey, a volunteer who coordinates the monthly outdoor education outreach with the park, headed up the local event.
“This coincides with the National Wildlife Federation’s 75th anniversary,” Haughey said. “The theme this year is trees.”
The Federation sent 200 dogwood and sugar maple saplings for attendees to take home and plant.
About 40 exhibitors were scheduled to attend the half-day program, but the inclement weather did keep a few of them away and curtailed some of the demonstrations that had been scheduled, said Haughey.
The U.S. Forestry Department employees brought out its mobile unit and played a video about preventing forest fires and the Savannah River Ecology Lab staff brought several animals including a snake and opossum.
Other exhibitors included the National Wild Turkey Federation; Ike Carpenter, who is a woodcarver; the Augusta-Aiken Audubon Society; John Douglas, a park volunteer who makes wooden toys; and master gardeners from Aiken County. City of North Augusta employeees demonstrated the proper tree-planting technique by planting two larger dogwoods on the property.
Tyler Mills, a 12-year-old from Nashville, Tenn., spent the morning at the park with his grandfather, Kent Schmieding of North Augusta, and was intrigued by Douglas’ toys.
“It’s pretty cool,” Tyler said.
“He likes history so I thought this would interest him,” he said.
Although the weather kept the crowds away, Haughey said she felt things went well.
“We do plan to do this every year,” she said.