Outdoors roundupWritten by Admin
Coaches needed for Special Olympics basketball
The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department needs volunteer coaches for Special Olympics basketball.
Geocaching trip planned for students
The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer a geocaching field trip Monday, Dec. 9, to homeschool students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The group will leave at 1 p.m. from the Waynesville Recreation Center to explore the area for hidden treasures of the geocaching world.
The word “geocaching” refers to “geo” for geography and to “caching,” which is the process of hiding a cache. A cache in computer terms usually refers to information stored in memory to make it faster to retrieve. But the term is also used in hiking and camping as a place for concealing and preserving provisions.
Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now. There are 2,271,132 active geocachers today.
The cost is $3 for members of the Waynesville Recreation Center or $5 for non-members.
Welcome winter at the Highlands Nature Center
The Highlands Nature Center will open Dec. 7 for a special afternoon of winter natural history fun and learning. This free event will have activities for all ages from 1 to 3:30 p.m., followed by a lecture for mature audiences at 4 p.m. by James Moore on Charles Darwin.
Among the activities throughout the day are a scavenger hunt in the Highlands Botanical Garden and hot cider and holiday ornament making with natural materials. Nature Center Director Patrick Brannon will do a program on animal winter survival strategies from 1:30 to 2 p.m. and Highlands Biological Station Executive Director Jim Costa will do a program on insects in winter from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Both programs are suitable for all ages.
James Moore, the co-author of Darwin and Darwin’s “Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins,” will lecture on “Sacred Cause.” With degrees in science, divinity and history, and a Ph.D. from Manchester University, Moore has taught history of science at Cambridge University and the Open University in England, where he is Professor of the History of Science. He is currently researching Darwin’s colleague, Alfred Russel Wallace.
www.highlandsbiological.org or 828.526.2221.
New residential home educator program offered for January
A new family-centered educational program will be available next year at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Designed primarily for home educators, the new three-day program provides hands-on experiences to learn about nature and science. “What better way to study the intricacies of nature and the process of science than to go outside, where you can observe what’s right under your nose?” said Tiffany Beachy, Tremont’s citizen science coordinator. Throughout the year, families visit regularly to participate in Tremont’s citizen science programs – catching butterflies and salamanders, banding birds, or monitoring the changing of seasons, Beachy said. This program goes one step further and provides an in-depth residential experience specifically designed for families with children age 6 and older.
The program is scheduled for Monday through Wednesday, Jan. 20-22 at GSMI at Tremont. Participants will stay in Caylor Lodge, Tremont’s dormitory. The program allows family units to have their own section of bunks in the dorm, deepening the family experience. The cost is $400 for a family of four plus $90 for each additional person. All meals, coffee, tea and snacks are included.
Parks and recreation department to offer snow trips to Cataloochee