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Grandfather Mountain to Host Junior Naturalist Day on Sept. 9

Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, has announced that it will be hosting Junior Naturalist Day on Saturday, Sept. 9. (Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation / Monty Combs)

Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, has announced that it will be hosting its annual Junior Naturalist Day on Saturday, Sept. 9. Activities, included with admission, will be provided specifically for children ages 5 to 12 – though all ages are welcome – to explore their environment and experience all that Grandfather has to offer.

Programming takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature “bird olympics,” nature journaling, crafts and more.

In honor of the mountain’s upcoming “Hawk Watch” event during the month of September, the planned activities for this day will be bird-themed. Grandfather is one of more than 300 Hawk Watch sites officially designated by the Hawk Migration Association of North America. Daily in September (weather permitting), visitors are able to take part as naturalists and volunteers count the number of passersby in the sky making their way south toward their wintering grounds. The annual counts help track raptor populations and migration routes over time.

Activities, included with admission, will be provided specifically for children ages 5 to 12 – though all ages are welcome – to explore their environment and experience all that Grandfather has to offer. Programming takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature “bird olympics,” nature journaling, crafts and more. In honor of the mountain’s upcoming Hawk Watch during the month of September, the planned activities for this day will be bird-themed. (Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation / Monty Combs)

Grandfather Mountain’s Junior Naturalist Program – formerly known as the Junior Ranger Program – offers an experience that caters to curious young explorers at the park’s new Conservation Campus and Wilson Center for Nature Discovery.

“Enriching the knowledge of our younger generations is a cornerstone of Grandfather Mountain’s mission,” said Lauren Farrell, interpretation and education programs manager with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. “Our Junior Naturalist Program embodies our longstanding commitment to inspiring future naturalists and instilling an appreciation for conservation efforts.”

The full schedule for the day is below. Guests can join for one event or all.

10 – 11 a.m.: Bird Olympics at the Pollinator Garden (Behind the Wilson Center)
Test your abilities against the natural abilities of the world’s diverse bird species!

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Nature Journaling at the Wilson Center Deck*
Learn how to start your own nature journal by observing some of the birds that visit Grandfather Mountain’s bird feeders!

12 – 1 p.m.: Jr. Hawk Watch next to the Mile High Swinging Bridge*
Borrow a pair of binoculars, grab a booklet and join our naturalists in observing the migrating birds of prey!

1 – 3 p.m.: Crafts outside of the Classroom in the Clouds at the Wilson Center*
Create your own bird work of art!

2 – 3 p.m.: Jr. Hawk Watch next to the Mile High Swinging Bridge*
Borrow a pair of binoculars, grab a booklet and join our naturalists in observing the migrating birds of prey!

(*Note: There is a limited number of supplies for these activities.)

To learn more about this year’s Junior Naturalist Day at Grandfather Mountain, visit www.grandfather.com/event/junior-naturalist-day.

It is recommended that those planning to attend purchase tickets to the park online in advance at www.grandfather.com/tickets.

The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com.

Courtesy of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.