Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Moss Point, MS
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Make Plans NOW for Hummingbird Festival 2022
The time has come for the 4th Annual Hummingbird Migration and Nature Festival at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, and the lineup for this year’s event is impressive.

Along with the return of Storyteller “Fox” Ellis and Hummingbird bander Kyle Shepherd with the Banding Coalition of the Americas, members of the Audubon Coastal Stewardship team will be banding songbirds and the Freedom Ranch will visit with its birds of prey.

Hummingbird Happy Hour, Thursday, September 22, 4:30 to 7 p.m.
The three-day event will kick off with Hummingbird Happy Hour that will feature bird banding, storytelling, light snacks and drinks along with fellowship along Rhodes Bayou. Artist Loran Chavez will be available in the gallery to discuss the current art exhibit as well.

The gate opens at 4:30 p.m. for guests to enjoy visiting and bird banding. “Fox” will take the Perch stage at 5:45 p.m. portraying John James Audubon spin tales of his adventures in the wilds of Mississippi in 1820. The Hidden Heron Gift Shop will be open and will feature special hummingbird merchandise.

Admission to this event is $15 per person.  Guests must be at least 21 years old.

Festival Field Trip Friday, September 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Whisper of Hope, FabLab, Schoolie, and a representative with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science are some of the educational exhibitors who will be on site Friday and/or Saturday to provide hands-on educational opportunities for children and adults.

The Perch Stage will feature “Fox” for three performances on Friday  at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Each performance will be different. 

The Moss Point Fine Art Gallery schedule includes two showings of a video regarding Sea Level Rise with PLACE and a launch of the new book 100 Things To Do in Coastal MississippiBefore You Die by Lisa Evans, travel journalist and photographer.

Hummingbird Festival Finale, Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Similar to Friday’s schedule, Saturday will be action packed with educational exhibitors, arts and crafts activities for children, bird banding and performances.  The Perch stage will feature The Freedom Ranch Birds of Prey at 9:15 followed by “Fox” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Writer Lisa Evans will again discuss her new book in the gallery at 11 a.m. and a discussion of the Sea Level Rise video will take place following the video presentation as well.

Throughout the weekend food and merchandise vendors will be scattered across the 10-acre site along with exhibitors and other activities. Special festival merchandise will be available in the Hidden Heron Gift Shop.

Festival admission is $10 per adult, $8 for seniors and military, $5 for children up to age 18, and children under 5 are free. 

Tickets may be purchased online HERE!
 
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Fox and Feathered Friends Welcome You!
Whether he is portraying John James Audubon or spinning tales and songs from many different cultures, the performances of Brian “Fox” Ellis are a crowd pleaser around the globe.

Brian "Fox" Ellis is an internationally renowned storyteller and naturalist who has been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on environmental concerns, including the International Wetlands Conservation Conference and the North American Prairie Conservation Conference, et al. He is the author of more than 30 books including a series of biographies of famous scientists he portrays and a series of folklore collections. His first book is the critically acclaimed Learning From the Land: Teaching Ecology Through Stories and Activities. His first children’s picture book, THE WEB at Dragonfly Pond was selected as Conservation Education Book of the Year.

Fox is scheduled to perform six times during the three-day Hummingbird Festival at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, and he will be performing four different programs during the festival.

The Hummingbird Happy Hour performance will be Adventures with John James Audubon.  In this performance, Storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis portrays Audubon in a dynamic performance that engages listeners in scientific inquiry and natural history, art appreciation and ornithology. Come spend an hour in the studio of one of America’s greatest naturalists and wildlife artist. Listen to tales of his adventures in the wilds of Mississippi in 1820! 

Friday the storyteller will present three different performances. The 10 a.m. performance will be Hummingbird Tales followed by Bird Tales at 11:30 a.m. and a repeat of the Adventures with John James Audubon at 1 p.m.  
 
HUMMINGBIRD TALES – Hummingbirds are a unique species found only in the New World. Native American cultures from the Peruvian Andes, across New Mexico’s deserts to the Appalachian Mountains all tell tales of these winged jewels. Listen as storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis tells the stories of how hummingbird earned its colors, why they sip nectar, and how hummingbird added stars to the heavens.
BIRD TALES: Stories and Songs from Many Cultures - Weaving his lifelong love for birds with traditional folktales from many cultures, storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis takes listeners on the migratory flyways of our winged friends. Taking strands from the latest ornithological research, melodious ribbons from song birds and birds of prey, waterfowl and cranes, along with patchwork squares from Native American, African, European and Asian folklore, Fox creates a tapestry of tales informative and inspiring, all drawn from his new book Bird Tales (Fox Tales 2020). 
Saturday festival performances will be at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.  The first performance will be Birds Along the Path followed by a final performance of Adventures with John James Audubon at 1 p.m.

BIRDS ALONG THE TRAIL – The Ornithology of Meriwether Lewis  
The Corps of Discovery was first and foremost a scientific expedition sent out by Thomas Jefferson to “observe the animals of the country,” and the men collected more than 100 species of bird, more than 50 were new to science. With quotes from the journals and his own ornithological field notes, storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis performs as Lewis to bring to life an important chapter of natural history through exciting stories and hands-on science based on his new book, Meriwether Lewis and the Corps of Discovery.
 
All performances are free with admission to the festival.  For the early birds, Fox will be offering a free birding walk, Birding with Audubonat 7:30 Friday and Saturday morning.  Join John James Audubon on a unique bird watching adventure as he regales listeners with his in-depth observations of the species we happen to see on a walk around the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.

To purchase tickets for the festival or to reserve your early morning birding spot, click HERE.

 
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The PRAC Secret is Out
The Coast’s best kept secret is no longer a secret and is being recognized as a leader in educational program and as an attraction.

Not only did the Pascagoula River Audubon Center have its best fiscal year ever with rentals and finances from July 2021 to June 2022, it has celebrated the recent funding of several grants and accolades.

During the 2022 Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Anchor Awards, PRAC was recognized with the GRIT award.  This award is for small profit or non-profit business who “dug in” and made things happen in spite of current challenges. The staff is elated with this recognition of its hard work.  Click here to see news coverage of the award ceremony.  

The third time is a charm with the third submission of a grant to the National Science Foundation.  The collaborative grant between PRAC, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art and the Marine Education Center will engage children from all parts of the state with understanding of how communities are connected by waterways.  This is a two-year grant that will kick off today!

PRAC was also awarded a small business grant by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce that will help fund marketing activities at the Center.  The $3,000 grant will help lure even more people to the Center for educational programs and festivals. 

And when the staff thought things were great, they got even better.  PRAC has been nominated by Coastal Mississippi for the Governor’s Award as Attraction of the Year! The award recipient will be notified of the award in October, so stay tuned!

Great things are happening at PRAC, and each and every donor, business, corporation and guest that supports the Center is to be thanked. 
 
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Additional Glassblowing Sessions have been scheduled at PRAC
Between now and the end of the year, guests will have the opportunity to make three different pieces of glass during one-on-one glass blowing sessions with Solange Ledweth.

Swampgirl is returning to make two of the most popular glass products, stemless drinkware and pumpkins.  Drinkware sessions are open September 16-18 to create a stemless wine glass or tumbler. Sessions are filling quickly, so make your appointment today HERE

As harvest season approaches, sessions will be available to make pumpkins, another of her best-selling sessions.  Sessions will take place Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2.  The twenty-minute sessions will allow individuals to create pumpkins of a variety of colors. Registration for pumpkin sessions is open now.  Click here.  

New to Swampgirl and PRAC will be the addition of a glass-blown diffuser to add some holiday scents to your home.  Just in time for holiday season, this session would be a great early Christmas gift for a family member or friend. Since this is a new item, an image is not yet available.  A registration link for these sessions will be posted on Facebook soon as well.

To learn more about the glass blowing artist, click HERE.
 
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Plant now for spring color!
Looking for a large shrub that becomes the centerpiece of a late spring landscape? The Oakleaf Hydrangea is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that is relatively low maintenance. Its conical, white flowers are excellent for cutting. Leaves turn red to purple in fall. In winter, the bark peels off in pale, often peaches-and-cream, papery curls, which claims your attention.

This shrub is just one of the many species of native plants that will be available for purchase during the annual Fall Native Plant Sale, September 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Members are welcome to shop early, September 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fall planting offers a whole six or more months of growth and development before the spring begins yielding more fruit and flowers. Of course, this means your plants will be much better established, resulting in enhanced quality and quantity of spring production. Fall planting also allows plants to be introduced to warm soil to begin growth before cooler temperatures take hold.

A full list of available species can be found on our website.  
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World Premiere of Short Film during Hummingbird Festival
Hummingbird Festival will be the location of the World Premiere of Don Smith Films release of a Biopic Short film of the life, art, technique and philosophy of Prolific Mississippi Gulf Coast Artist Steve Shepherd.

This short film portrays Shephard as he shares parts of his life and his art with guests.  The film will be shown in the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery at scheduled times on Friday and Saturday during the 2022 Hummingbird Migration and Nature Festival and also during Hummingbird Happy Hour.

Tickets for all events are on sale now.

Click HERE for film trailer.
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Unique Art by Loran Chavez Open NOW!
The unique style of Artist Loran Chavez is on display now through October 5 in the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery.  Her one-of-a-kind art is a favorite of guests of PRAC. The canvas pieces featuring her art are created by her husband, and no two pieces are alike.

Loran will be in the gallery during Hummingbird Happy Hour to share information about her inspiration and for guests to get to know the artist behind the art.

Learn more about Chavez and view other pieces of her work HERE!
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Audubon Academy starts in September
The interest in Audubon Academy by homeschool parents has exploded this year as the 2022-23 schedule was announced.  

Beginning in September, Audubon Academy will be hosted once per month with sessions specific to K-2nd graders, 3rd to 5th graders and 6th to 8th graders.  Miss Katie has built an adventurous schedule for the year that will enrich the homeschool curriculum.

For more information about the sessions, please visit our website.
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Youngest Explorers Welcome at Nature Tots
Thursday mornings at PRAC are reserved for exploration of our youngest members of the flock.  Nature Tots welcomes toddlers from ages 2 to 5, along with a caregiver, for a session of literature, science and exploration.  This program gives children and parents/guardians an opportunity to learn together. Each session runs from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. and features a different theme to correspond with seasons and holidays. 

Tot admission is $5 per session and caregiver admission is $2.  Younger siblings are welcome to attend and are FREE.  Member caregiver admission is also waived.

For more information about Tots, click here!
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PRAC Featured in New Attractions Book
The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is proud to announce the pre-launch and book signing of the Coast’s newest guidebook by Lisa Evans.

Reedy Press is pleased to announce the release of its newest guidebook, 100 Things to Do in Coastal Mississippi Before You Die, by Lisa Evans. Coastal Mississippi is known as The Secret Coast for a good reason. Sometimes, people overlook our little slice of Heaven due to our more prominent and more well-known neighboring cities. 100 Things to Do in Coastal Mississippi Before You Die will help shatter any preconceived notions by offering the best tips to all the best food, events, sights, and hidden gems waiting for visitors and locals alike.

Why not try your luck at a coastal casino? Maybe you'll enjoy your coffee watching the sunrise from your balcony or the celestial painting of the sunset from the water as you're on the Twisted Tiki Sunset Tour. Bring the kids on the Biloxi Shrimping Tour or enjoy the ferry ride to Ship Island. Hungry from your excursions? No problem, grab some southern barbecue from Fat Bottom BBQ or some Shrimp Alfredo from Salute.

Explore the natural beauty at Pascagoula River Audubon Center and the Mississippi Sandhill Crane Refuge, try deep-sea fishing or learn to sail. Get expert tips for exploring outdoor activities in the area, from the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico to the rivers and bayous. Local resident Lisa Evans welcomes visitors to her favorite Gulf area with open arms and an insider’s eye for fun.

Let Coastal Mississippi become your favored destination too, and have a great time checking all 100 things off your list next time you’re here. 100 Things to Do in Coastal Mississippi Before You Die will be available wherever books are sold after September 15. 

Book Details: 100 Things to Do in Coastal Mississippi Before You Die — part of the 100 Things to Do Before You Die series, by Lisa Evans, ISBN: 9781681063829, softcover, 5.5 x 8.5, 160 pages, $18.00

About the Author Lisa Evans is an author, travel journalist and photographer living in Gulfport, MS. As a transplanted Yankee, she visited Coastal Mississippi many years ago, fell in love with the area, and eventually relocated to begin the next phase of her life. The area greatly serves her love of nature and the outdoors as well as history. There is always an adventure to be found. Lisa is a member of the IFWTWA, Trav Media and Travel Writer’s University. 
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Photography Exhibit On Display Now!
Winning photographs in the 2022 Nature Photography Contest are on display in the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.  From 55 entries, the top three in the nature, landscape and wildlife categories were chosen for the exhibit. 

This is an annual contest that encourages photos of the natural beauty of the local coastal area.  Click here for a view of all entries.  

Be sure to visit our website for complete contest information.
cruisin
Save the Date!
Guests will be cruisin’ into Moss Point for the annual Cruisin’ the River City on Tuesday, October 4. A special hospitality room will be open for cruisers thanks to the Moss Point Garden Club.  Stop by to welcome guests to the River City!
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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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