Friday, May 20, 2016

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park offering a trio of interesting holiday weekend programs

From a chance to see live hawks and owls close at hand to a bear den visit and a hunt for Lake Superior agates, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is offering great fun and educational opportunities during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
“Our free programs have continued to be very popular with park visitors,” said Bob Wild, parkJoe Rogers with a barred owl during one of his presentations. interpreter. “These particular events will allow us to showcase and interpret some of the valuable natural resources found here at the park.”
Joe Rogers of the Wildlife Recovery Association of Shepard, Michigan has entertained Ontonagon area residents and park visitors for years with his engaging “Birds of Prey” presentation.
A wildlife rehabilitator by trade, Rogers has passionately presented his program to audiences of all ages across the state. Rogers will feature several live birds during his presentation. During past events, small falcons like kestrels and merlins and various hawks and owls have been part of Rogers’ appearances.
He also will provide an update on Michigan’s peregrine falcon research.
“Joe’s energy and enthusiasm are quite evident during his presentations,” Wild said.
This program, which will be offered once on Saturday and Sunday during the holiday weekend, is sponsored by Friends of the Porkies.
Other programs scheduled over the weekend include a guided evening hike to a black bear den and a Union Bay beach walk hunt for Lake Superior agates.
Here is a schedule of the activities:
Live Birds of Prey
3 p.m. EDTSaturday, May 28 and 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 29 at the Wilderness Visitor Center. Joe Rogers of Wildlife Recovery Association will present his live “Birds of Prey” program. 1 hour.
Guided Bear Den Hike
6 p.m. EDTSaturday, May 28
Meet 1 mile south of the visitor center on South Boundary Road for this half-mile hike to an actual bear den. Along the way, learn basic bear biology, history of the den and the role hunting plays in managing Michigan’s black bear population. 1 hour.
Agates Rock
6 p.m. EDTSunday May 29
Join us as we learn to identify some of the common beach stones found along Union Bay, while we search for the elusive Lake Superior agates. Fun for all ages. Bring water shoes. We will hike from the boat ramp less than a half-mile. 1 hour.
All interpretive programs are offered free of charge.
For more details about these and other scheduled interpretive programs, contact Bob Wild, park interpreter at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, (906) 885-5206, email wildr@michigan.gov or visit the park’s web page and click on the link to the Wilderness Visitor Center.
At roughly 60,000 acres, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park, home to towering old-growth hemlock stands, roaring waterfalls and spectacular sweeping vistas. Annual visitation to the park is estimated at around 300,000 people.
A recreation passport is required for entry to the park.