At 10 a.m. Feb. 10, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of the 500th will present their monthly nature storytime for young children.
This month, they are excited to have visiting naturalist Jim Fregonara coming with his stuffed owl collection. He will have several kinds of owls for the kids to see. The group also will read "Owl Moon," study feathers with magnifying glasses and make peanut butter bird feeders for winter birds.
Refuge staff members and the Friends of the 500th group have started this monthly storytime so Tucker County kids and their families can experience the wide variety of nature available at the Wildlife Refuge and learn more about the beauty and rich resources in Tucker County - resources that many people drive long distances to see.
Each month children will be encouraged to explore the outdoors to look at wiggly tadpoles, beautiful monarch butterflies or the grandeur of fall colors. In addition to an outdoor experience around the refuge, there also will be a related book and a science experience. A healthy snack will be provided.
Next month's topic will be wetlands and mud. The children will read "Mrs. Wishy Washy" and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," learn more about the water cycle and make a rain gauge.
Staff members and volunteers hope Tucker County families will be able to come regularly to the refuge to explore nature and enjoy a related book.
"We put the storytime on Fridays because there is no public preschool then, just so that kids will be free to come and have fun at the refuge," an organizer said. "We want our kids to be able to experience nature and get to know the wonderful resources right here in our own backyard."
If schools are canceled because of weather, storytime also will be canceled that day.