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Friends of Black Bayou once again invites the public to enjoy a day of celebration at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a nature walk at 8:30 a.m.

This award-winning volunteer group is happy to celebrate over 22 years of the community’s faithful support for this beautiful natural jewel by presenting a day of free family fun! The day is the beginning of National Wildlife Refuge Week.

Activities for all ages (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) include the 11 a.m. turning of the Blue Goose Migration Marker, free canoeing and kayaking, a refuge photo exhibit, native animal displays, nature book sale, newly designed T-shirts, face painting, human-sized animal puppets, temporary tattoos, button making, “backyard bass” game, bird ID game, zoo animals, BB-gun target practice, giant mural painting, Shirley the Elephant activities and books, science fun, recycling and anti-littering information, nature-related arts and crafts, creative photo ops, a blood drive and more. Several community organizations, scouts, high school clubs and local universities will assist with the activities, along with Fish and Wildlife Service staff and FoBB members.

Preceding the other activities will be an 8:30 a.m. nature walk, led by biologist/writer Amy Ouchley. All walk participants should park at the boat launch parking lot by 8:25 a.m., wearing shoes appropriate for rough ground.

As always, the Fall Celebration day will include food, but this year there’ll be food trucks with a variety of snacks and lunches for sale. Also served will be Black Bayou Lake Mud Pie, originated at 1997’s first Fall Celebration by the late Nell Odom, along with other sweets and lemonade provided free by FoBB members.

Founded in the summer of 1997, Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is north of Monroe, just off Highway 165 on Richland Place. (There is an identifying sign at Hwy. 165, about one mile north of CenturyLink.)

The Refuge was established for wildlife conservation as well as environmental education and wildlife-dependent recreation. Fishing and hunting, as well as nature photography, hiking and wildlife observation are some of the activities enjoyed there.

The Friends of Black Bayou was involved in the Refuge’s development and its continuing successes, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. FoBB won the National Friends Group of the Year award in 2004.

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