AIR RIFLE/.22 RIFLE TRAINING OFFERED THIS FALL
Air Rifle will meet at the Allen County Fairgrounds Wednesday evenings, beginning September 3, 2003. It will meet for a total of 10 weeks. Time will be from 6-8pm. Equipment will be furnished. Registration fee will be $20 per member. Air Rifle is open to all youth in grades 3-12. There is a maximum registration of 12 participants.
.22 Rifle will meet at the Concordia Lutheran High School Wednesday evenings, beginning in October. Time will be from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Equipment will be furnished. Registration fee will be $20 per member. .22 Rifle will be open to all youth in grades 5-12. There is a maximum registration of 30 participants.
Anyone interested in additional information about either of these 4-H Shooting Sports should contact the Extension Office at 481-6826.
PRAIRIE HIKES AT FOX ISLAND
Prairies were a prominent feature of Indiana in the past. Since they turned out to be such good farmland, very few are left now. The restored prairies at Fox Island can give you an idea of the beauty and diversity of this ecosystem. Take a walk through the prairie in full bloom with Education Director Bob Dispenza and find out more about he special plants that live there and how prescribed burning allows them to survive. Meet at the Fox Island Nature Center on Saturday, August 9, 2003 at 3pm. Bring insect repellent and $2 for the hike fee. Call 449-3180 to reserve your space.
NIGHT HIKE AT FOX ISLAND
Fox Island is rich in history and natural beauty. It also has clear starlit and moonlit skies at night. Join an Allen County Parks' Naturalist as we explore the past, present, and future of the park while learning about nocturnal animals and celestial objects overhead on a summer night hike. Dress for the weather - we won't let a little rain stop us. Flashlights are optional, and will not be used on the hike. Insect repellent needed! Meet at the Nature Center at Fox Island on Friday, August 15 at 8:30pm. Fee is $2 per person. Call 449-3180 to reserve your space.
CAVE EXPLORATION ADVENTURE
Go underground with Allen County Parks. Caving instructor and naturalist Bob Dispenza will be leading a trip to the Garrison Chapel Karst area near Bloomington on Saturday, July 19, 2003. We'll be exploring a wild cave in the area and going off the beaten path. Mandatory pre-caving class is Friday, July 11, at 7:30pm at Fox Island County Park, 7324 Yohne Road. Class fee of $20 per person covers maps and caving instruction. Learn about geology, cave life, needed equipment, and cave formation. This activity is somewhat strenuous, but suitable for beginners, Call 449-3180 to make reservations.
SUMMER ASTRONOMY AT FOX ISLAND
Boldly go where you have never gone before - to classes about astronomy! Take four nights out of July and August and expand your horizons to infinity with Education Director Bob Dispenza. The first night will be about observing and stars, the second about constellations, the third about the solar system, and the last about galaxies, nebulae and other distant objects. This series for adults begins on Saturday, July 26 and ends Saturday, August 16, 2003. The programs run from 7:30pm to 9pm each night. Class fee is $20 for the series, and includes all handout materials. Call 449-3180 to reserve your space. Meet at the Fox Island Nature Center, 7324 Yohne Road. We will be observing with telescopes after each class (weather permitting). Bring binoculars or telescopes and insect repellent.
VOLUNTEER HUNTERS SOUGHT FOR CONTROLLED STATE PARK DEER HERD REDUCTION
Application forms are in the new 2003-2004 Hunting Guide, available by mail and online by July 14, for hunters to participate in a controlled deer herd reduction in 20 Indiana state parks and one nature preserve. The reduction will take place on Monday, Nov. 17; Tuesday, Nov. 18; Monday, Dec. 1; and Tuesday, Dec. 2.
The 20 state parks are Brown County, Chain O'Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln, McCormick's Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles and Whitewater Memorial. Twin Swamps Nature Preserve also is included in the herd reduction this year.
"Without population controls, the size of a deer herd in a state park can double in only two years," said DNR Director John Goss. "Too many deer can strip the park of important vegetation, leaving deer and other animals with poor habitat and not enough food."
"At Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis, new housing and business developments have pushed the deer herd into a smaller and smaller space. The primary predators of deer there are Fords and Chevys. That just isn't acceptable, and we need to reduce the number of deer in the park to a level that is more consistent with the park's ecosystem."
In a memorandum to Goss recommending the reduction for this year, DNR deer management biologist Jim Mitchell wrote: "As we continue long term vegetative monitoring, we may find that although a reduction every other year may balance the ecosystem in some parks, the vegetation in other parks may not be adequately protected unless reductions are more frequent than every other year."