Events introduce youngsters to variety of outdoor activities

PRATT -- This year, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks marks 100 years of service to the natural resources of Kansas. Among the many events to celebrate this milestone are Outdoor Kansas For Kids Days, known as OK KIDS Days, a program promoted and sponsored in part by Kansas Wildscape. A number of events are currently scheduled. On April 23-24, Cheney State Park will have Free Park Entrance Days, and one highlight of this event will be an OK KIDS Day on April 23. The event will feature an interpretive trail walk, a nature hunt, a talk on animals and habitat, and outdoor learning games.

On May 7 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC) will sponsor an OK KIDS Day. Activities will include fishing clinics (registration required), birdhouse building (registration required), a children's play in Coleman Auditorium, nature trail hikes, crafts, games, hands-on nature stations, a live animal program, "Identikits" from the Wichita Police Department, a Kansas Native Plant Society education station, a "Mystery of the Missing Migrant Birds" display, a seed planting station sponsored by Wichita area garden centers, and badge achievement activities for Boy and Girl Scouts. A baseball cap for every child participant will be provided by BassPro Shops. For more information or to reserve a spot, phone 316-683-5499, ext.105.

Both the Cheney State Park and GPNC events will be cosponsor by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Kansas Wildscape, Capitol Federal Savings, and BassPro Shops. In addition, Home Depot is helping with the GPNC event.

May 7 marks the date for a number of other OK KIDS Days around the state, including Fall River State Park, Cross Timbers State Park, Elk City State Park, Meade State Park, Pomona State Park, Webster Wildlife Area, and Prairie Dog State Park.

For more information on these events, phone the individual parks or visit the State Park Pages.