'Swamp Stompin Nature Hike' a success

Swamp Stomp participants got up close and personal with wetland wildlife including many frogs, toads, tadpoles, aquatic insects and crayfish.  Photo/David Jacksch

Local residents had a Swamp Stompin' good time at the Sam’s Lake Bird Sanctuary on Saturday, Sept. 18.  The Swamp Stompin’ Nature Hike was the first in a series of Nature Explorers adventures offered by the Fayette County Parks & Recreation Department.  The Southern Conservation Trust manages the Sam’s Lake Bird Sanctuary and was a joint sponsor of the Swamp Stomp.  The trip was lead by Mike Swanson, Program Coordinator with Fayette County Parks & Recreation Department and a volunteer Interpretive Naturalist with Southern Conservation Trust.  A total of 19 people participated on Saturday including twelve children between the ages of 4 – 11 years old. 
 
The wetland wildlife observed during the Swamp Stomp included numerous frogs, toads, tadpoles (including large bullfrog tadpole), crayfish, aquatic insects, eastern tiger and black swallowtail butterflies, wolf spider, banana spider, spiny orb weaver, great blue heron, evidence of the resident beavers, a juvenile Midland Water Snake, and a Queen Snake.  Participants also learned about the importance of wetlands as a wildlife habitat, for flood prevention (the act like sponges), and how wetlands play the role of nature’s water filter. 
 
The Recreation Department is also offering a road trip to Cheaha State Park in Alabama for geocaching and viewing fall foliage from the highest point in Alabama.  The Top of Alabama group trip will be held on Nov. 6 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The fee is $12 per person or $18 for non-Fayette residents (transportation included) for participant’s ages 12 year old and older (or younger with parent). 
 
Geocaching (pronounced “geo-cashing”) is a family-friendly activity great for individuals that enjoy the outdoors, high-tech gadgets, and have an adventurous spirit. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.
 
The Top of Alabama trip will be a great educational opportunity for adults and children interested in science, technology, and the great outdoors.  Advance registration is required, and space is limited. For more information about this and other outdoor adventures offered by the Fayette County Parks and Recreation Department, call 770-716-4320 or visit www.fayettecountyga.gov/parks_and_recreation.  The Southern Conservation Trust can be contacted at 770-486-7774 or online at www.sctlandtrust.org

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