Friday, May 27, 2011

McDowell Nature Center Announces Family Activities for Summer

The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites the
community to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax with
family activities each weekend through September at McDowell Nature
Center and Preserve. The activities are part of a series called "The
Great Urban Escape," and include: Playing with Fire, Family Campfire,
Nature at Night Hayride, Messy by Nature, Live Animal Talks andFamily
Kayak Tours.

Activities kick off each Friday night at 6:30 p.m. with Playing with
Fire at the McDowell Campground fire pit. Learn a lifesaving technique
of starting a "matchless" fire. Afterwards, hang out around the
campfire, sing songs, play games, listen to stories and eat s'mores. A
limited seatingNature at Night Hayride departs at 8:15 p.m. from the
campfire. Hayrides cost $1 a person and requires pre-registration.
Registration is not required for the campfire.

Live Animal Talks are offered each Saturday and Sunday. Talks on
Saturday are from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and
Sunday from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Get dirty with Messy by Nature from 1
p.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday, with a variety of messy crafts outside
the Nature Center. Family Kayak Tours launch from the waterfront deck
area each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and each Sunday from 1 p.m.
to 3 p.m. Ages 5 and older may participate and the cost is $15 per
single boat and $20 for a tandem. Children ages 5 to 9 are required to
share a tandem kayak with an adult. Space is limited and advance
registration is required. No registration is required for Animal Talk
and Messy by Nature activities.

Bring a picnic and spend the day or make it a weekend and camp in the
only public campground in Mecklenburg County. RV, pull-through and
tent sites are available. A limited number of rent-a-tent sites are
also available. Call the Campground office at 704-583-1284 to make
your reservation.

McDowell Nature Preserve, located on Lake Wylie in southwest
Mecklenburg, protects over 1,100 acres of natural habitat and prairie,
with a Nature Center and seven miles of hiking trails. Admission to
the Preserve and Nature Center are free. The Preserve is open from 7
a.m. to sunset seven days a week. The Nature Center is open Monday –
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call
704-588-5224 for more information or to register for events.