With a change in season comes new activities at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center!
Pascagoula River Audubon Center
Moss Point, MS
October 2020
Miss Katie makes bird sounds at Audubon Academy
Programs for Children have begun!
As the world begins to return to something that resembles normalcy, the educational programming for our younger explorers has also begun but with a few changes.

The wildly-popular Toddler Tuesday is moving to a new day and time.  The new program, “Nature Tots”, is moving to Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 10:45.  It continues to feature engaging activities to include literature, science and nature and is designed for children ages 2 to 5.  The tuition for Nature Tots is $5 per child and $2 for non-member caregivers.  Member caregivers are free!

The monthly “Homeschool Program” is also taking on a different identity as “Audubon Academy” and is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  Audubon Academy is for children in first grade through sixth grade, and the tuition is $10 per month.

Another change for both programs is that space is limited so that social distancing is possible. Because the programs fill quickly, parents are being encouraged to register early through the registration portal HERE and go to the Education link.

The themes developed for this year are below:

Nature Tots for Fall 2020
Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Dates and topics are subject to change.
October 2020: Our 5 senses & Gardening
·         October 1: Sight & Seeds
·         October 8: *No Class
·         October 15: Smell
·         October 22: Touch
·         October 29: Taste & Halloween Party
 
November 2020: Weather Patterns
·         November 5: Seasons
·         November 12: Weather
·         November 19: The Sun’s Heat
·         November 26 *No Class: Thanksgiving Holiday*
 
December: Habitats & Our Basic Needs
·         December 3: Our Basic Needs
·         December 10: Habitats Deserts & Ocean
·         December 17: Habitats at PRAC (Wetlands)

Audubon Academy
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Home School will be the fourth Wednesday unless noted in schedule. Dates and topics are subject to change.
  • September 30: Getting to Know Birds, Part I
  • October 28: Getting to Know Birds, Part II
  • November 18: At Home in a Habitat
  • December 16: Let’s Change Climate Change
  • January 27 : Sharing our Shores: Beach birds, bees, bats, and other pollinators
  • February 24 : Live Cycles of Birds
  • March 31: Birds on the Move: Flight & Migration
  • April 28: Earth Conservation and Stewardship
  • May 19: Water and Water Science
Engaging Young Explorers!
Fall Native Plant Sale Proved to be Popular, Again!
The second annual Fall Native Plant Sale drew gardening enthusiasts from all along the Mississippi and Alabama gulf coasts and inland toward Hattiesburg.  With more than 50 different species of perennials and shrubs, there was something for everyone and every yard.

The sale of plants will continue until all plants are sold, and PRAC staff is utilizing some of the remaining stock around the 10-acre site as part of the demonstration of the use of native plants.  The front door of PRAC has two native plant container garden examples, and the demonstration garden is an excellent visual for how the plants will grow in the landscape.

Anyone interested in purchasing plants may stop by during regular business hours to shop or shop on our online catalog by clicking HERE.
Native plant container garden example
Bird Watching for Beginners
Come and take a walk with our center educator to see what you can find on our center grounds and the surrounding bayous. Meet at the front desk inside the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.

Each participant is required to pre-register due to limited space at this time. Please bring your ticket receipt/s to the program to gain entrance. Program is free - donations are always welcome. For more information, please contact Katie Fetzer, Education Program Manager, at katie.fetzer@audubon.org

Please bring binoculars if possible. Binoculars will be available at the center if needed; however, participants will be asked to leave a driver's license with the front desk attendant while binoculars are on loan for the walk.

Masks are required while inside the center for visitors and encouraged during the walk. We also ask that social distancing is practiced during the walk. Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation.

Due to current Covid-19 concerns, please be aware of the following:

*Any registrant displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or feeling unwell is asked to stay home.

*Face masks are required for visitors inside the Center. Visitors are also encouraged to wear a face mask during outside programming at the center.

*Indoor drinking fountains inside the Pascagoula River Audubon Center are unavailable at this time; however, visitors may use the indoor restrooms as they are regularly cleaned by the staff.

*Registrants for Pascagoula River Audubon Center programming (whether inside or outside) will be asked to sign a release of liability/photo release before participating. The form can be completed upon arrival on the day of programming.

Bird Walks will be from 8:45 until 10 a.m. on October 7, 14, 16, 23.  To register, click HERE!
Happy Fall, Y'all!
With the change in weather comes the annual Cruisin’ the River City as part of the Cruisin’ The Coast week-long event. This year the cruisers will descent on the River City on Tuesday, October 6.  The Moss Point Main Street organization is organizing this year’s events with commemorative t-shirts all in a Covid-19 save environment.

PRAC will be open to the public that day from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for bird watching and enjoying nature.  The Moss Point Garden Club is providing hospitality refreshments, and the Hidden Heron Gift Shop will be open as well.

Come show your southern hospitality to our visiting cruisers!
Annual PRAC Christmas Ornament Reservation
Be sure to reserve your 2020 PRAC Christmas ornament! These blown-glass ornaments are being designed especially for the Pascagoula River Audubon Center by Solange Ledweth from Swampgirl Glass Blowing.  Only 20 will be made and sold for $40.  Supplies are already limited, so reserve yours today by emailing prac@audubon.org.
Living Shoreline Exhibit
Slow!  No Wake!

Ever wondered why these signs are posted along the waterways? Ever wondered how wave energy impacts the shoreline? Come answer those questions and more with a new exhibit at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.

PRAC is now home to one of five living shoreline demonstration exhibits designed and constructed by the Mississippi State Extension Service.  The exhibit, which features the three different types of shorelines, is on display in the historic Boy Scout Hut at PRAC.

Visitors to the exhibit will have an opportunity to create waves in the three different tanks and observe how wave action effects the different types of shorelines.

Eric Sparks, director of Coastal and Marine Extension with Mississippi State, said the general concept of this exhibit is to gain a better understanding of erosion.

“Erosion is a big issue with marshes,” Sparks said. “With this exhibit, guests can push a lever on one side and a wave will be pushed toward a different type of shoreline.”

The three shorelines include one with a bulkhead, one with a natural shoreline with no breakwater, and one natural shoreline with a breakwater dome.  The objective is to evaluate how wave energy is dissipated with those types of shorelines in a way to gain understanding of erosion and the effects on habitats.

The other living shoreline exhibits will be housed at the Marine Education Center, Grand Bay NERR, the Mississippi Aquarium and the Sea Lab at Dauphin Island.  These exhibits were made possible through an EPA grant as part of the study and promotion of living shorelines.
 
Free Admission at PRAC Through June 2021
This is a reminder that admission fees have been waived through the end of June 2020, but donations are encouraged.  Since reopening, PRAC has welcomed a large number of guests along with many first-time visitors.  As always your financial support is appreciated.  Donations may be made by check and mailed to 5107 Arthur Street, Moss Point, MS 39563, or electronically by clicking HERE. A memorial or honorary donation to PRAC is the one-size-fits-all gift! As always, we have a seat waiting for YOU!
Save The Date!
In conjunction with the 8th Annual Moss Point Historic Griffin Cemetery Tour, the Pascagoula River Audubon Center will host Fall Family Fun Day on Saturday, October 24!

The tours of Historic Griffin Cemetery will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue every 30 minutes until 11:30 a.m.  The Cemetery is approximately 1.5 miles west of Arthur Street and Audubon at the end of Dantzler Street.

Audubon will open at 9 a.m. and admission is FREE.  There will be a variety of activities on site that will require additional fees, including 45-minute Marsh Tours with Capt. Benny McCoy, kayaking with Miss Katie, and wood yard signs and door hanger painting. There will also be an artist reception honoring Sandra Eisler as the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery features her work for the next 8 weeks.

Additional information will be distributed mid October with specifics and links for registration.  For more information, please contact PRAC at prac@audubon.org.
 
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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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