The Richmond Register

May 15, 2013

EKU to host biannual Family Nature Day

By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Eastern Kentucky University’s Division of Natural Areas will host Family Nature Day on Saturday at Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory located on the borders of Garrard and Rockcastle counties.

Put together with help from EKU Adventure Programs and the biology department, the purpose of the event is simple, a community outreach inviting families to come outside together and have fun, said Melinda Wilder, director of the Division of Natural Areas.

“We do a variety of structured activities, as well as other activities, like fishing and hiking,” she said.

Wilder added that this year’s event will offer several new activities for families to try their hands at, thanks to a small grant from Bluegrass Pride.

“We'll offer a rain barrel workshop, making barrels to hook up to the gutter to water gardens with,” she said.

Other workshops will include hunter safety and learning to compost. In addition, the event will feature a new technological workshop, using iPods for tree identification.

At lunchtime visitors have the opportunity to listen to bluegrass music from Bob Frederick, a professor of biology from EKU.

Maywoods is a 1,700-acre wildlife refuge located approximately 22 miles southwest of Richmond. It is used by the university as an environmental teaching tool for students, but also features a lodge, amphitheater, hiking trails and a lake for fishing. Tuesday-Sunday, Maywoods is open to the public for fishing and hiking.

Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory 




Maywoods is a 1,700-acre wildlife refuge located approximately 22 miles southwest of Richmond. For detailed directions and/or registration information, visit, e-mail or call 859-622-1476. Note: if using GPS to arrive at Maywoods, use its full address: 447 Maywoods Road, Crab Orchard, Ky.


Morning and afternoon sessions require pre-registration. Participants may attend any of the planned outings; however, space is limited for many, so early registration is urged.
Morning, 10 a.m.-Noon
• Woodland Creature Hunt, search for creatures living in the Maywoods forest.
• Creek Crawl, explore the stream ecosystem and learn about its diverse inhabitants (wear old shoes or boots).
• Back Country Cooking, learn cooking tips and recipes for cooking in the back country.
• Rain Barrel Workshop, make and use a rain barrel, save money and help the environment.
• Composting Workshop, reduce waste by learning how to make and use your own composter.
Afternoon, 1:30-3 p.m.
• Catchin’ Crayfish, make attractants and learn to use them.
• What’s That Tree? Learn to identify trees in Kentucky using an iPad.
• Daytime Astronomy, see what the skies have to offer when the sun is shining bright.
• Hunter Safety Workshop, develop the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to become safe and responsible hunters.
All-day activities
Several all-day activities will also be offered (pre-registration for these events not required):
• Slithering Friends. Learn how to distinguish venomous snakes from the non-venomous variety.
• Outdoor Adventure (slack line, tree climbing, fishing and hiking).
• Nature Games and Crafts. Enjoy a variety of games and crafts (suitable for all ages) to learn more about the natural environment.