Extension to offer workshop for youth
by Paisley Boston
May 04, 2014 | 1559 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trees, trees everywhere and now it is time to name them!

The Bolivar County Extension service is hosting a Youth Tree ID workshop.

The event is set to take place May 17 at 9 a.m. but the deadline for registration is May 9.

Admission is free and it is designed for ages 12 – 18.

The tour will begin at the Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.

Mississippi State University Extension and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will lead a field tour through Dahomey NWR.

The tour will include identification techniques for plants, trees, and wildlife species.

"The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with the basic skills used in tree identification. Participants will also be allowed to collect leaves during the workshop," said Extension Forester Brady Self.

National wildlife refuges provide habitats for more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 1,000 species of fish.

More than 380 threatened or endangered plants or animals are protected on wildlife refuges.

Each year, millions of migrating birds use refuges as stepping-stones while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes.

The Refuge System is a division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within the Department of the Interior.

Dahomey NWR is the largest remaining tract of bottomland hardwood forest in the northwest portion of Mississippi outside of the mainline levee.

Located within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, the refuge was established in 1991 to provide habitat for migratory birds and protect wetlands.

The 9,691 acres, which make up the refuge have been purchased from The Nature Conservancy, donated by the Mississippi Department of Transportation and leased from the West Bolivar School Board.

According to Bolivar County Extension Coordinator Laura Giaccaglia, this is the first time that the event has been hosted in Bolivar County.

"The Mid Delta Forest Woodland and Wildlife Association along with the MSU Extension Service of Bolivar County and Dahomey National Refuge are hosting the event in hopes that youth will gain a better appreciation of the outdoors and find an interest in spending more time outdoors.  There is also a 4-H Forestry contest that youth might would like to enter after participating in this workshop," said Giaccaglia.

Self said the event will place Mississippi State University Extension Service specialists, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel, and participating youth in direct contact.

The Mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management, and where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

"Interaction between instructors and participants will provide an opportunity for attendees to gather practical plant identification methods," she added.

Participants are asked to wear appropriate outdoor attire, boots and insect repellent.

"I am so excited to be able to offer this outdoor learning experience for our youth," continued Giaccaglia.

For more information or to register, contact Giaccaglia at 662-843-8361.