It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Moss Point, MS
Christmas
Make Audubon your Home for the Holidays
Downtown Moss Point is your one-stop shop to kick off the holidays in style. Come early and stay late to get the full effect of the holiday spirit.

Start your day at Audubon for Holiday Marketplace.  Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.  

The gate opens at 9 a.m. and will feature more than 20 local vendors with one-of-a-kind gifts. Vendors will create a marketplace on the front lawn while activities for children will be available in the Children’s Nature Play Garden.  

Throughout the day, Swampgirl Glass Blowing will be holding individual sessions for guests to create glass ornaments.  Sessions are still available.  Register HERE for your session.

At 10 a.m., the Freedom Ranch will be on stage in the Perch showing off some of its raptors.  This is a performance you don’t want to miss.

The second annual Christmas Chili Cookoff taste-testing will begin at 11 a.m.  Sample a little of each of the dozen chili entries for only $5 and help decide the People’s Choice award.  Awards will be announced at 2 p.m.

Kyle Shepherd with the Banding Coalition of the Americas will be banding song-birds throughout the day, as long as the birds will cooperate.  This scientific process assists with bird counts and migration patterns.

Entertainment in the Bird Hide will be provided by Party of Two from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the Hidden Heron Gift shop has several new gift items.

The main attraction of the event will be the fellow in red...Santa! Santa will be on site from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Pergola for photo opportunities.

Christmas on the River activities begin at noon and end with a fireworks show after the lighted boat parade.

 
train
New Addition to Play Area Honors Mississippi Export Railroad
All aboard in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Mississippi Export Railroad in Moss Point. 

Thanks to the collaborate efforts of PRAC staff, MSE employees and the Pascagoula-Gautier School District CCTI, the dream of having a train in the PRAC play area has become reality. It is already a hit with our Nature Tots.

This train was designed and built by students at the CCTI, and it is made of solid steel.  In total, this train weighs 4,000 lbs.  Children can explore inside the engine, ring the bell and spin the steering wheel.  

With PRAC sitting on the former trolley line, this addition helps to tie the past to the present.
flock
A Gift Idea for the Nature Lover....and PRAC!

Do you have a bird lover on your holiday gift list? Struggling for an idea? Well, check this out!

The phrase, “Eats like a bird,” generally refers to someone eating only a small amount, but that is absolutely not true when it comes to the birds who feast at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. With 24 feeders hanging in various places on the grounds, the amount of black-oil seed used each month is absurd.

To help offset costs, PRAC is launching the “Feed our Flock” giving opportunity for business, industry, schools, clubs and individuals. A donation of $100 will provide seed and feeder maintenance for one month. Throughout the month, the name of the donor or honoree will be listed on social media, the PRAC website, the monthly e-newsletter and on signage at the Center.

This donation is a great gift idea to honor someone who enjoys birds or to show support for the Audubon Center. It is also a great memorial as well. Donors may choose the month to be featured.

Donations may be made online HERE or mailed to 5107 Arthur Street, Moss Point, MS 39563. 
 
ornament
2022 Ornament Still Available
Each year a special ornament is created for the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.  This year’s ornament features a pelican and a wreath and was designed and created by Lisa Hawley Robertson of McInnis Bayou Pottery.

A limited number of ornaments was made and are only available at the Hidden Heron Gift Shop.  Ornaments may also be ordered online HERE for curbside pickup or shipping.  
truck
Have Truck...Will Travel
Thanks to a generous donation from Ingalls Shipbuilding, PRAC has added this white F150 to its inventory.  Staff regularly must make runs to local businesses and wholesale growers for maintenance and operations.  This vehicle will make the process easier and will keep staff from having to utilize personal vehicles.

Donations of all sizes and kinds are welcome at PRAC as we continue to work for the community to provide quality programming and events for all.
camp
Winter Camp Provides Outdoor Fun...Shopping
Children from Kindergarten to 5th grade are invited to participate in this year’s Winter Camp.  PRAC staff has dedicated camps on Tuesday, December 20, for K-2nd in the morning and 3-5th grade in the afternoon.

Due to public school scheduling, the Wednesday, December 21, morning camp will be for grades K to 5th. Tuition for camp is $35 per participant, and space is limited.  Click HERE to register.

Camp activities include nature activities, crafts, exploration and a children’s holiday table where participants may purchase and wrap gifts for family and friends.  All items on the table will be $1. 

Children’s holiday table item donations are welcome.  Please give us a call if pick up is needed.
lights
Great Things Happening at PRAC Thanks to YOU!
At the intersection of education, conservation, and community sits the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. Under the committed leadership of the staff, this hidden gem is a unique and amazing conservation space positioned to serve as an important natural site on the Pascagoula River, a conduit for education aimed at all ages, and a place where the Moss Point community feels a sense of ownership and belonging. We invite you to join us in pursuing this important work. Your support enables us to pursue priorities that advance the center’s potential and mission. Some of those priorities include:

BUILDING CONSERVATION THROUGH EDUCATION We are more than a nature preserve … we are a conservation action center. Introducing children of all ages to conservation and environmental science through hands-on exploration. Our youth education programming teaches not only basic information about the environment, but the program content digs, literally, into the need for using native plants in the landscape to provide nourishment for birds. Curriculum is age-appropriate and designed to build a lifelong love for the natural environment in every child who participates. Our education offerings include Nature Tots (ages 2-5), Audubon Academy Homeschool Program (K-8th grade), and Green Leaders (7th-12th grade). This programming culminates with summer internship opportunities for high school students onsite. Ultimately, our desired outcome is to help grow children into environmentally-conscious adults, business owners, and community members…and to see the next generation do the same! INSPIRING

OWNERSHIP IN OUR COMMUNITY Engaging the larger community is a priority goal for our team. This includes both our local residents (including those from under-represented communities) and our business community. We know that nature supports mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Our nature center is positioned to serve as a place for all ages to connect with nature. We work to engage all of our local community with a love of nature and an understanding of the role we all play in its sustainability. We also know that the business community in our region seeks to support employees by providing opportunities to actively participate in building and maintaining a thriving community. We are currently partnering with many of our local employers to facilitate volunteer days, team-building activities, and family outings. Our nature center is an attractive draw for the Moss Point community.

PROTECTING BIRDS AND THE PLACES THEY (AND WE) NEED Of course, at the heart of it all is Pascagoula River’s mission to connect people to nature through conservation and community education focused on birds and their habitat. That mission requires consistent and steadfast partnership from our volunteers and supporters…like you. For more information, please feel free to contact Susan Stachowski at susan.stachowski@audubon.org or 228-475-0825.
Chevron
Sponsor Spotlight--Chevron
On behalf of all the members of the local Pascagoula River Audubon Center, I want to share with you information about one of our important supporters that helps to keep our doors open.

As a 501C(3) non-profit organization, PRAC depends on the donations and sponsors of individuals, business and industry for financial support.  This month we want to spotlight Chevron as one of our largest supporters.

Chevron provides financial support along with human energy as volunteers for festivals, field trips and other programs.  A recent donation of six META Quest 2 Oculus Goggles that will provide virtual experiences for field trips and regular educational programs.

Without the support of business and industry like Chevron, the current facility would have not become reality.

You too can become a supporter of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.  Every dollar counts and remains at the local center for local programs and events.  Click here to donate.
close
Holiday Closure
PRAC will close December 22-January 3 for the holidays.  If you need any assistance, please email prac@audubon.org.

 
trip
PRAC Engages All Ages with its Education Programs
Nature Tots has been off to a great start this past semester. The next and final session for 2022, is today, December 1, "Trees." Nature tots will resume after a seven-week hiatus. Thank you to all the toddlers and caregivers who have participated thus far. We hope to see you in 2023!
Audubon Academy will have its quarterly program for grades 6-8 on December 7. The topic will be "Introduction to Climate Change." Grades K-5 will have their monthly homeschool program on December 14. K - 2 will learn about an "Introduction to Traits" and 3rd - 5th will explore "Weather vs. Climate." Each program is $10 per participant. Audubon Academy will continue in 2023 and will resume in January. 
PRAC is available for field trips for grades Pre-K to 12th. Ms. Katie invites teachers to take their students beyond the classroom, into the hands-on, inquiry-based outdoor experience that is the Pascagoula River watershed. Each field trip costs $10- $12 per student and includes a tour of the center, interactive activities, games, and outdoor play and exploration. Popular topics include Birds and Bird Conservation, Plant and Animal Adaptations, and Woods and Wetlands. For more information, or to schedule a field trip, contact Katie Fetzer at katie.fetzer@audubon.org or 228-475-0825. 
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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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