Wildlife festival to teach ecology

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 12, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; There is plenty of fun to be had at the annual Wildlife Heritage Festival today at River View RV Park and Resort, but be careful &8212; you might just learn something about wildlife preservation.

&8220;Basically, we&8217;re trying to teach ecology and why it is important and why people have to fight to save it,&8221; Amanda Warren said.

Warren, 18, has been studying these things herself for four years as part of the Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge&8217;s Instructor Corps program.

Email newsletter signup

She, along with 20 or so of her fellow students, will help the refuge pass the message to others through the festival.

Admission to the event is free, and there will be plenty of entertainment for people of all ages from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Music, bats, baby alligators as well a wilderness tunnel will entertain while they educate, said Norma Wiley, the group&8217;s president.

There will also be a chance for interested high school students to learn more about the Instructor Corps program.

Students who take the 150-hour program learn about habitats, trees and plants.

Concordia Parish students can even earn a credit for their weekend studies, which include up to five camp outs.

Warren, who plans to enter the nursing program at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in the fall, said she has a big head start in the science department.

&8220;I&8217;ve learned things I didn&8217;t even know I didn&8217;t know,&8221; she said.

Warren said she&8217;s not the only one who&8217;s had her academic horizons expanded by the program.

&8220;We&8217;ve had kids who are C-average students come in, and pretty soon they are A-students,&8221; she said.