Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Moss Point, MS
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Admission Free Summer begins NOW!
Save time and money by choosing outdoor adventure close to home...especially with admission fees waived!

That’s right. Make the Pascagoula River Audubon Center one of your summertime attractions where you can bring family, friends and visitors from out of town. View the beauty of the native plants in bloom, choose a rocking chair to spend some time bird watching or maybe rent a kayak or pedal boat for some Rhodes Bayou adventure.

Make a full day of your visit to PRAC by bringing along a picnic and use our covered spaces for dining. Another option is to call ahead for a take-out order from Burnham’s Fountain, or, better yet, enjoy the air conditioning at Burnham’s. 

Call ahead to schedule your “staycation” at PRAC, especially if renting kayaks or the pedal boat are part of your itinerary. 

As always, the Hidden Heron Gift Shop is open featuring a large variety of gifts for all ages, and donations are always accepted.
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Coastal Sights Exhibit to Adorn Art Gallery
Coastal Sights come alive through the work of award-winning artist Herb Willey. Plan to meet the artist and view his work at an evening artist reception Thursday, June 9, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Currently a full-time resident of Bay St. Louis, Willey’s first structured art lessons were during high school where he lived in Miami, Florida. He then attended the University of Hawaii while serving in the U.S. Navy where he was a part-time art student.

At that time he was able to sell his work in the art colony at Ala Moana. After his tour with the Navy ended, he attended the University of Southern Louisiana at Lafayette on a scholarship as a fine art major. During this time, Willey worked as a staff artist at The Daily Iberian in New Iberia. 

His work has been displayed at various institutions around southern Louisiana including the Louisiana State Art Museum and LaSalette Hospital.


As a self-employed designer from 1965-2003, Herb won awards from companies including Mercury Outboard Motors and Cook Chemical Company. His primary watercolor instruction was with well-known New Orleans Watercolorist Harrel Gray, and his work was on display at the Old Quarter Gallery in the French Quarter during the 90’s.

Today you can find his work on display at Gallery 220 and Bay Life in Bay St. Louis and his prints are for sale in the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs. His watercolor pieces have been juried and honored in regional, national and international shows including the Arts of Hancock County, The Gulf Coast Art Association, the Ocean Springs Art Association, The Pass Christian Art Association annual shows and the River Road Show in Baton Rouge. He has also been featured in local venues including the Hancock County Courthouse, the Bay St Louis Mayor’s Office and the Diamondhead Library.


The Coastal Sights exhibit will be on display at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center until August.
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2022 Photography Exhibit Open for Submissions
Wildlife, nature and landscapes...oh, my!

Yep, that is what we are looking for in the building of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center 2022 Nature Photography Exhibit. The photo entries will be accepted between June 1 and June 30, 2022.  Photographers may submit up to 5 photos with an entry fee of $5 per photo. Photography that depicts the local area is preferred; however, the contest is open any photography. The winning photos in three categories will be on display from August 6 to October 1 in the PRAC River Room.

All photo submissions should be placed into one of the following three categories:

Wildlife:  i.e., Wild Animals - Birds, Fish, Insects and Critters, etc.

Nature:  i.e., Vegetation - Plants, Flowers, Trees, Leaves, etc.

Landscape:  i.e., Natural Scenery - Marsh, Coastline, Rivers, Weather, Sunrise, etc.

A $50 cash prize will be presented to the winner in each category, and the top photos in each category will be part of the exhibit. Special thanks to a donor for providing the prizes.

For more information, click here.
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Camps, Camps and More Camps this Summer
The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is a hub for camps this summer, both being hosted by or at PRAC or for visiting camp groups. 

The activity begins today with a local group of campers fluttering around the PRAC site.  This will be a daily occurrence through the months of June and July as we also hope the Geo Institute for teachers, Geo Inquiry Camp for students, PRAC Discovery Camp for children K-8 and two 3-day Eisler Art Camps.

Most camps are already maxed out with participants, but the Art camps still have a few seats left.  There is a $10 registration fee for those camps, and the tuition balance is due to the artist on the first day of camp.

To register for Art camp, click here!
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PRAC Adds New Interns to the Flock
For the next eight weeks, PRAC will be home to two summer interns who will be immersed into educational programming, critter care, garden maintenance and customer service.

Please help us welcome Riley Kempner and “Cole” Moody, both from the local community with interest in working in the outdoors.

Riley will be a senior at Resurrection High School in the fall and lives in Moss Point with her parents and 13-year-old brother. She said she enjoys being active in the community and plans to improve her speaking skills during her internship. Upon graduation from high school, Riley wants to pursue a degree in kinesiology.

”I love working outdoors, and this is a natural environment for me,” Riley said. “I like to work in places that challenge me and give me new experiences every day.”

Jacob “Cole” Moody is a gradudate of East Central High School and currently attends Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  He is pursuing a major in criminal justice. 

Cole lives in the Hurley community with his parents, a sister and four pets: dog Ty, cat Ruger, Gecko Rango and Sunfish Lula. His goals for the summer include learning more about local wildlife and plants and to survive many camps.

“The experience of working in and with nature appealed to me,” Cole said. “I am also interested in gaining experience educating the public about the local area.”

Stop by to see our interns and welcome them to our flock!

 
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Coastal Roots
By Kaylin Bruening

Coming from an old southern multi-generational crabbing family, a love for the coastal environment has always been the standard. Some of my first memories manifested while being exposed to the natural beauty of the islands, swamps, and pine forests that make up our small portion of Mississippi.

Working as a beach-nesting bird steward for Audubon has been such a wonderful way of experiencing this area in a new light, gifting us the opportunity of viewing the resilience of our Least Terns in a personal manner. Being able to communicate with locals and tourists right there in the field is one of the best parts of this job, mostly because we get to see that spark of someone noticing something for the first time. Most people will move on about their day and not put any more thought into it, but for those with a curious mind, that quick conversation about shorebirds in Mississippi can become a starting point for something greater.

This is such a small part of the overall ecosystem, but truly allows one to find appreciation for something outside of our own little world and the everyday human experience. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer steward this summer, please visit our website to sign up.
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PRAC to Close Books on Another Year
With one month remaining is this fiscal year, PRAC looks back on a year filled with new friends, new projects and great hope.

This year we added a pedal boat to our fleet of rental touring vessels and enjoyed a huge increase in kayak/boat rentals. We were also awarded a Neighbors Helping Neighbors Grant from Singing River Electric that will be used for materials for Nature Tots. E3 Environmental donated an Enviroscape system that will be used for various educational programs, and Audubon Academy was bursting at the seams. 

We had some awesome local artists featured in the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery, and Hummingbird Festival was a huge success.

And speaking of bursting at the seams, the rental calendar for this year has been crazy with nearly every Friday, Saturday and Sunday booked for various special occasions, and sometimes double bookings to accommodate everyone. 

We have hosted weddings, class reunions, retirement parties, birthday parties, graduation parties and rehearsal dinners. 

This year also saw the creation of a community volunteer day that brought together Chevron, Ingalls and Mississippi Power for a shared project on site at PRAC. Singing River Hospital also participated through donation of waters and lunch. That spurred an interest in Singing River Electric who then spent a day at PRAC with a volunteer project.

As soon as COVID restrictions were lifted, schools began calling to book field trips, and this summer’s camp response has been phenomenal, and memberships are at an all-time high.

While PRAC is an entity of the National Audubon Society, funding for the Center must be raised through local programming, venue rentals, admission fees, memberships and donations from individuals, business and industry.

Any and all support is welcome, and all donations are tax-deductible.  Donations can be made in honor or in memory of a loved one, as a general donation or for Hummingbird Festival. Donations can also be designated as a monthly donation or a one-time donation. 

For more information or to make a donation, click here. Click on the right hand boxes labeled “Donate” or “Membership”




 
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Pascagoula River Audubon Center
5107 Arthur St., Moss Point, MS 39563
(228) 475-0825 | pascagoula.audubon.org

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