By Portia Williams
WEST PORTSMOUTH — Shawnee State Parks is providing opportunities for experiential interactions with nature with the new Raven Rock State Nature Preserve hike, the ‘Art with Emily’ series, and the hunt for monarch butterflies. Park Naturalist, Jenny Richards, said they want to encourage people to get outdoors.
“Less and less people are getting out there, and our goal is to get them to get outside more often,” Richards said. “There is a new trail that leads to Raven Rock state nature preserve, and it is a wonderful new trail. It is a state nature preserve that you have to have permit to go to, so I am offering a hike to that preserve during on Labor Day weekend on Sept. 5th at 4’o’clock, and it is an opportunity for people to go on the new trail on a guided tour and they will not have to go through the permitting process.”
She said the Raven Rock Hike State Nature Preserve will provide excitement and adventure for participants.
“So, that will be a fun thing to do, if anybody wants to do an adventuresome, one and a half mile hike to the top of the beautiful view over the Ohio River Valley, its 500 feet above the river, its just a gorgeous state nature preserve,” she said.
Art with Emily is a fun, artistic event for all to enjoy, according to Richards.
“The new program that I started, Art with Emily is always fun, although there are only two left in the season,” she said. “Saturday is the one at 4 o’clock, and then on Labor Day weekend there is one at 10 a.m. Emily is a local artist, and she makes all kinds of cool things. She makes butterfly ear wings, that you can hang from your ears, and she has been doing all sorts of program with the Nature Center,.”
More outdoors activities will include the tagging of monarch butterflies at Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve. This event will be held Sunday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Participants for this activity are asked to pack a lunch and dress in layers.
“Tagging Monarch butterflies is a lot of fun too,” she said. “We are going to Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve, and we’ll learn about monarchs and their journey and then we will catch monarchs if we can, if we can find any because their numbers are declining rapidly. We will catch them and put a little sticker on their wings and then we will be able to track the butterfly by the sticker with the number you put on their wing, as it flies down to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, which is really kind of neat thing too.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.