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Monday, October 13, 2014

Little River's Big Sweep 2014



Remnants from the old farmstead: tractor tires and metal barrels.
A huge Thank You to all this year's volunteers!
Thousands of volunteers across the nation gather each year in October to clean up litter from our waterways and public lands. As part of the nationwide Big Sweep, our volunteers scoured the park and portions of the Little River for trash and debris. One of our goals this year was to remove several large, old tires left from the days when the park property was a working tobacco farm. 



 Volunteers, including a members from area scout troops, hiked portions of the South River Loop and North River Loop trails looking for litter that may have been left behind by other visitors or washed downstream from outside the park boundaries. They also did some off trail reconnaissance for trash, pulling several large items that were visible from the trail as well as finding other long abandoned items half buried under years of fallen leaves.

Though litter along the river was hard to find, volunteers reported that a black snake and some frogs were spotted enjoying some of the last warm weather of the season. Possibly an indicator that all the previous year's Big Sweeps are paying off for the park's year-round residents.

If you'd like to participate in next year's Big Sweep or are interested in volunteering for other projects or clean-ups, contact the park office: littleriverpark@orangecountync.gov. We'd be more than happy to put you to work!




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Programs Focus on Birds

Programs at Little River Regional Park for September through December 2014 have been announced. Little River Park offers a variety of nature programs for all ages. Regularly scheduled programs and special events are listed below. Park staff can also arrange programs on a variety of topics for schools, scouts, or other groups. For more information, call the park office: (919) 732-5505. Registration is available online: https://server3.co.orange.nc.us/. Pre-registration is required unless otherwise noted.

Tiny Trekkers (age 2-4)
Tiny Trekkers is a series of programs designed for young children ages 2 to 4 years old accompanied by an adult. Trekkers learn about nature through stories, activities, crafts and games.

Hungry Hummingbirds
Date/Time:     Monday, September 8th, 10am-11am
                       Tuesday, September 9th, 10am-11am
Location:        Large Shelter
Fee:                $2.00 per participant
Description:  Trekkers try to keep up with the hummingbirds zipping around the park. Participants will learn how they get their food and fly so fast.

Who-o-o Is It?
Date/Time:     Monday, October 6th, 10am-11am
                      Tuesday, October 7th, 10am-11am
Location:        Large Shelter
Fee:                $2.00 per participant
Description:   Trekkers learn about owls – what they eat, the noises they make, and why they get to stay up late. Join us as we hoot it up at the park!

Terrific Turkeys
Date/Time:     Monday, November 3rd, 10am-11am
                       Tuesday, November 4th, 10am-11am
Location:        Large Shelter
Fee:                $2.00 per participant
Description:  This month we celebrate wild turkeys. We will practice our gobble, gobble, gobble, make some turkey art and discover why turkeys call the park home!

Birds for Beginners
Date/Time:     Monday, December 1st, 10am-11am
                       Tuesday, December 2nd, 10am-11am
Location:        Park Office
Fee:                $2.00 per participant
Description:   This month we turn the park office into a bird blind where Trekkers will learn about birds and why we watch them. We’ll read a story about birds, make a craft, and observe the birds at our feeders.

Discovery Club (ages 5 and Up)
Discovery Club programs are geared toward children ages 5 & up accompanied by an adult. Programs focus on learning about nature and science through hands-on activities and exploration.  

Tracks & Scat
Day/Date:      Saturday, November 22
Time:              10:00am – 11:30am
Location:        Large Shelter
Fee:                $5.00 per family/couple/individual
Description:  Signs of animals are everywhere; you just have to know where to look.  Join us as we look for tracks and scat of Little River wildlife. Make your own track station to take home and discover the wildlife in your backyard or neighborhood.

Special Events/Programs
 
CLAWS: Vulture Culture
Day/Date:      Saturday, September 13
Time:              10:00am – 11:00am
Location:        Small Shelter
Fee:                Free; all ages; no registration required
Description:   Wildlife educators from CLAWS will be on hand to talk about vultures! Help celebrate International Vulture Day by learning more about this important though much maligned bird species. CLAWS will be bringing Fluffy, the black vulture and some of their raptors and other birds of prey. Two vultures currently being rehabilitated may be released (if they are not ready, look for them at October’s program).

Little River’s Big Sweep
Day/Date:      Saturday, October 11
Time:              9:00am – 12:00pm
Location:        Park Office
Fee:                Free; ages 6 and up; no registration required
Description: Join thousands of volunteers across nation as we clean up litter from our waterways and lands. As part of the nationwide Big Sweep, we’ll scour the park and portions of the Little River for trash and debris. We’ll also try to remove several large, old tires abandoned when the property was logged in the 1960’s. Gloves, trash bags, pick-up sticks and refreshments provided.

CLAWS: Halloween Myths
Day/Date:      Saturday, October 25
Time:              6:00pm – 7:00pm
Location:        Large Shelter
Fee:                Free; all ages; no registration required
Description:   Wildlife educators from CLAWS will help dispel some of the myths about owls, ravens and other animals associated with Halloween. If the vultures weren’t released during September’s program, they will be for this one! Come in costume and have your picture taken with Grip, the raven. Join us for a Haunted Hike immediately following the program.

Haunted Hike
Day/Date:      Saturday, October 25
Time:              7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location:        Large Shelter
Fee:                Free; all ages; no registration required
Description:  Ghouls and goblins of all ages are invited to experience the park after dark. We’ll take a short walk around the park’s paved walking loop and discuss the myths and mysteries of creatures of the night. Tricks and treats are planned for those that dare to take the hike so beware!

Little River Under the Stars
Dates:             September 26th, 8-10pm
                        December 12th, 6-8pm
Location:        Play Meadow
Fee:                Free; all ages; no registration required
Description:  Volunteers from Morehead Planetarium will bring out the high power telescopes and give us a tour of the night sky. Bring a blanket, camp chairs or your own telescope or binoculars. Be sure to call the park office after 4pm for cloud/cancellation updates: (919) 732-5505. 

Full Moon Viewing
Date:               Saturday, December 6
Time:              5:00pm – 7:00pm
Location:        Play Meadow
Fee:                Free; all ages; no registration required
Description:   Join us for the last full moon of the year. We’ll have the big telescope and a few binoculars and take a tour of the surface of the moon. Learn about moon phases and create some craters. Be sure to call the park office after 4pm for cloud/cancellation updates: (919) 732-5505.     

New Year’s Day Bird Count
Day/Date:      Thursday, January 1
Time:              9:00am – 12:00pm
Location:        Park Office
Fee:                Free; ages 6 and up; no registration required
Description:   Come count the birds at Little River. Join staff as we tally the diverse species of birds found around the park. Last year’s participants tallied over 20 different species!

 

 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Matching Grants Program Accepting Applications


 Durham County Open Space Matching Grants
             Program Accepting Applications
  
   The Matching Grants Program of the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations in Durham City and County. The grants are to assist nonprofit organizations in preserving open space lands and promoting new or improved recreational opportunities for citizens. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
 
· Assistance to a local Land Conservancy organization in acquiring an environmentally significant natural area in Durham County.
· Assistance to a local Scout Troop to clear and build a trail on publicly owned lands.
· Assistance to a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to upgrade play equipment at a local elementary school that is used by the community.
· Assistance to a local recreation organization to build a disc golf or other recreation course.
· Assistance to a local organization previously funded by a Matching Grant to add additional improvements or recreation opportunities to an existing location.

Major changes to the program for FY 14-15 include:
· A 24 month period to complete any project
· Organizations with an existing project are eligible to apply

An informational session will be held on Tuesday, September 16 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm at the Durham County Main Library located at 300 N. Roxboro St.  This session will be held in the 3rd Floor Conference Room.

The application deadline is 5:00pm on Friday, November 14, 2014.
For questions about the grant process, Contact Bo Gattis, Matching Grants Administrator at (919) 560-0012, or email matchinggrants@dconc.gov. For project specific questions contact Brendan Moore, Open Space Land Manager, at (919) 560-7957 or email brmoore@dconc.gov.
 
Grant guidelines and applications are available online at http://budget.dconc.gov/index.aspx?page=117

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer Food Drive Update


The summer food drive sponsored by the Orange County Employees Consortium collected over 1000 pounds of canned food and almost 400 pounds of pet food. The food items will go to Orange Congregations in Mission for distribution to county residents in need. Summer is always a difficult time for OCIM so the contribution was appreciated. 

The bins will be back either for the holidays or next spring so if you missed this food drive, you will have another opportunity to contribute. Thanks for helping our community fight hunger.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By the Numbers: June 2014

This June was the driest on record for the park. Last June was the wettest with over 13 inches.

These are the statistics for June:

Total number of visitors: 3970.5

Total rainfall amount: 2.298 inches

Average daily high: 87.4 degrees F

Average daily low: 66.4 degrees F

Mountain bike trails open: 97% of the month

If you want to compare with last month, these are the statistics for May:

Total number of visitors: 6243

Total rainfall amount: 6.992 inches

Average daily high: 80.8 degrees F

Average daily low: 55.1 degrees F

Mountain bike trails open: 90% of the month

Monday, June 9, 2014

Little River Site for Food Drive Drop-off


 
The Orange County Employees Consortium (the folks who share employee concerns with our elected officials on the Board of Commissioners) has organized a summer food drive to help local food banks. If you have a canned food item for pets or people that you would like to donate, please drop it off in the bins located outside the park office. Donations will be taken through August 1st.
 

 Thanks for helping give back to our community.
 

Monday, June 2, 2014

By the Numbers: May 2014

It looks like May was a wet month but most of the rain came down on one day, May 15th with 6.12 inches!

These are the statistics for May:

Total number of visitors: 6243

Total rainfall amount: 6.992 inches

Average daily high: 80.8 degrees F

Average daily low: 55.1 degrees F

Mountain bike trails open: 90% of the month


For those of you keeping track, here are the statistics for April:

Total number of visitors: 4083

Total rainfall amount: 6.177 inches

Average daily high: 71.6 degrees F

Average daily low: 46.4 degrees F

Mountain bike trails open: 70% of the month