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Go wild Saturday at St. Catherine

The Friends of St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge believe that children hold the key to our future, and conservation of wildlife and habitat is essential to maintain a healthy planet.

As part of our mission, we want to connect children with nature. We want them to be passionate about the outdoors. We want children to have the opportunity to learn more about the land that surrounds them and what impact they have on it. Our ultimate goal is to build an environmental education program on the refuge that will benefit hundreds of school children in surrounding areas.

To continue toward that goal, we are hosting Wild Things — an Environmental Education Festival that will be Saturday at the David Steckler Multi-Purpose Building at Natchez High School. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to the public.

Planned attractions and activities include a black bear obstacle course for children (learn about bears as you pretend to be one), plant and animal identification, a Mississippi River interactive display, a youth long-bow archery tournament (bows, arrows and instruction provided), forestry (learn to age a tree), live snakes, duck identification, deer aging techniques and much more!

Fundraising for the event will be in the form of a silent auction, which ends at 4 p.m., a bake sale, food sales, T-shirt sales, and cookbook sales. Just a few of the 100-plus silent auction items we will have include a night’s stay in the owner’s suite at the Eola Hotel, a night’s stay at the Natchez Grand Hotel, lamps, golf lessons, Botox treatment, gift certificates for local restaurants, free oil changes and much more.

We will also be selling raffle tickets for a 2012 Family Squirrel Hunt with Redneck Adventures.

The winner will be selected during our general meeting in October. Winners do not have to be present to win.

We invite everyone, both children and adults, to join us for this fun-filled day of learning.

For more information on this event or to join our group, call Pete Smith at 601-442-6696.

Pete Smith is the president of the Friends of St. Catherine Creek.

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