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Published Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 10:09 am

1) February Programs at Elk Knob State Park

Folk Toys: Stop by the office and visit with a ranger as he shares a few folk toys from Appalachia on Sunday Feb. 8, at 2 p.m. Participants will be challenged to operate each toy successfully. Children are encouraged to attend this short program.

The Science of Snow: For humans, snow can be pretty, fun, annoying, dangerous and many other things. What does it mean for the natural world? How does it form such intricate shapes? Cut out a scientifically correct flake and learn how to preserve real ones. Come find more about this magnificent crystalline wonder. Meet at the park office at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15.

Winter Hike: Come out for some great exercise and winter beauty as we brave the cold for some great views at the summit of the mountain. Meet at the Summit Trailhead on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. and dress appropriately for the weather keeping in mind that layering will work best in the cold and windy conditions. Be sure to bring some water. For more information or for travel conditions to and within the park, please call 828-297-7261.

2) February Programs at Grandfather Mountain State Park

Animal Tracks: This program will be held at the Profile Parking Lot on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 4 p.m. When you’re out hiking and see an animal’s track, do you know what animal made it? Join Ranger Sicard on approximately a one mile long hike to locate and identify a variety of animal’s tracks. Participants will learn what certain animals’ tracks look like and about the environments the animals live in. Because it’s February, please dress accordingly for the weather and to be outside for about one hour. Meet at the profile trail parking lot at 4 p.m. If the lot is closed, meet at the Lowes Foods parking lot at the far left side of the lot when looking at the building.

Winter Tree Identification Hike: This program will be held at the Park Office on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 4 p.m. There are many kinds of birds that live in this area; some migrate, some are year round. Some eat seeds and some eat other birds and other small creatures – these birds are Raptors and Birds of Prey. Join Ranger Sicard for a PowerPoint presentation to learn about Raptors and their unique adaptations and features.

Guided Ranger Hike: This program will be held at the Profile Trail Lot on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 12 p.m. Join Park Ranger Appling for a guided hike up Grandfather Mountain’s Profile Trail. Learn what the Rangers looak for and see while on patrol, along with stories of natural and cultural history and whatever surprises may await us on the hike. This program is limited to 10 participants and requires preregistration. Participants should be prepared for the winter conditions, dressed appropriately and bring water and snacks for the hike. In the event of inclement weather, contact the park office on the day of the program.

3) Watauga NAACP Screening Award-Winning Education Documentary “Race to Nowhere” Jan. 29

Appalachian Social Justice Educators and the Watauga Branch of the NAACP will screen the award-winning documentary, “Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture,” on Thursday, Jan. 29, from 7-9 p.m. in room 114 of Belk Library at ASU. Free parking is available in the parking deck adjacent to the library and elsewhere on campus after 5:30 p.m. Discussion will follow the 85-minute film.

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