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Nurture Nature Festival Brings Family Fun to Baytown Nature Center

Post Date:03/28/2017 4:35 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 28, 2017

Patti Jett
Public Affairs Coordinator
(281) 420-5802 office
(832) 217-9430 cell
E-mail: patti.jett@baytown.org

Nurture Nature Festival Brings Family Fun to Baytown Nature Center

The annual Nurture Nature Festival returns to the Baytown Nature Center, 6213 Bayway Drive, on Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The free family event introduces visitors to the reptiles, birds, fish and native plants of the Baytown area. In 2016 the festival welcomed over 4,000 visitors and is expected to be even bigger this year!

With more activities than ever, the festival offers outdoor fun suited to all interests and levels. Stage presentations by Texas Snakes & More, Crocodile Encounter and EarthQuest Birds of Prey educate the audience using live reptiles and birds. Exhibitors will be on hand to educate and entertain the public, including the always popular Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education Center, who bring live animals and more from their facility. Other exhibitors include Big Thicket National Preserve, Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership, City of Baytown Tourism, Gulf Coast Monarch Project, Harris County Precinct 1 Environmental Education, Lee College STEM Program,  Jesse Jones Nature Park, Texas A&M University at Galveston Sea Camp,  and many more.  Texas Health and Environment Alliance will be on site to educate visitors about the San Jacinto Waste Pits, and Harris County Public Health will teach visitors about mosquitoes and mosquito-proofing property.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be on hand to provide hands-on learning and increased awareness on the education and outreach activities that TPWD provides for the people and youth of Texas. As part of their “Get Outside” Program, they are bringing their Angler Education, Archery, Boater Education, Inland Fisheries, Daisy Air Gun, Coastal Fisheries, Game Wardens, and State Parks Geocaching Programs to share with the public. Festival attendees will be able to try their hand at tying fishing knots, catching a “backyard bass” while learning how to cast, shooting a bow and arrow or an air gun, geocaching, and identifying fish of both our fresh and coastal waters. Texas Agrilife Center’s Water University will bring their “Water U Doing” mobile exhibit and stream table, teaching visitors about watersheds and water conservation.  Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Prevention and Response Team will educate visitors about the effects and clean-up methods of small oil spills.
Texas Kayak Fishermen will demonstrate how to properly rig kayaks for fishing in coastal waters. Southwest Paddlesports will have boats and an instructor in the bay for visitors who want to practice their kayaking skills. For kids anxious to catch their own fish, there will be a catfish tank where they will have the chance to land a channel catfish. Interested in seeing live animals? Alligators, snakes, turtles, tarantulas, hawks, crabs, and many other critters will be on hand for visitors to learn about and possibly even touch.

Looking for active fun? Bayou City Play will be on hand to support and promote child-directed play, by setting up temporary, inspiring places for kids to explore. The call the supplies they bring "loose parts," because they are scrap materials (cardboard, fabric, tape, pvc) for children to use to make forts, slides, costumes, or just putter around as they wish.  There will also be a rock wall, inflatable obstacle course, and inflatable alligator and caterpillar for the children to enjoy.

Still looking for more fun? Visitors will love making animal tracks in the “track tray”, creating their own bead snake bracelets, digging for treasure in the coastal sand dig, checking out the live crabs in the miniature salt marsh, and using binoculars to spot and identify common coastal birds. They can also follow a drop of water through the water cycle while working through Watering Hole Golf.

If it’s domestic animals that pique your interest, you are in luck! City of Baytown Animal Services will have their Adoption Trailer on hand offering low-cost pet adoptions. In 2016 they adopted out 26 animals at the festival, with many more smiles on the faces of the visitors meeting and greeting the adoption animals.

Several food vendors will be on hand so festival visitors won’t go hungry! Onsite parking is free, but free offsite parking will also be available this year to alleviate any parking issues. Visitors parking offsite (see http://baytown.org/city-hall/departments/parks-recreation/baytown-nature-center/nurture-nature-festival for details) will be transported a short distance to and from the festival via bus. In the event of wet ground, all parking will be offsite nearby.

The Nurture Nature Festival is fun, free and fantastic! For more information contact Tracey Prothro at (281) 420-7101 or tracey.prothro@baytown.org, or Christina Butcher at (281) 420-7130 or christina.butcher@baytown.org.
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