Nature Center plans Earth, Arbor Day activities

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

David Stokes, Karen Kinstler, Alice and 65 trees are "starring" this week at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.

Let's not forget the annual Volunteer of the Year award.

Today, Earth Day is being celebrated at the Nature Center.

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At week's end, Arbor Day will be celebrated.

It's one of the biggest weeks during the year at the Austin Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department's most popular attraction.

"A Celebration of Giving" is the theme for the 2003 Volunteer and Friends Appreciation Night events, beginning 7 p.m. in the Ruby Rupner Auditorium.

"Every time you offer support or lend a helping hand you make a difference at the Nature Center," Larry Dolphin, naturalist and director, said of the impact made by the many volunteers. "The Hormel Nature Center's volunteers and many 'Friends' are very special people who support the Nature Center with their time and talents."

Among those special people are the members of the Friends of the Nature Center organization. Among the many projects undertaken by the group is the current Preserving Our Legacy land acquisition fund-raiser. A progress report of the major effort will be heard tonight.

Also tonight, David Stokes returns to entertain.

A naturalist, educator and entertainer, Stokes is committed to providing engaging, humorous nature programs for all ages.

Stokes' program is free and open to the public.

RSVPs are due today. Call 437-7519 or e-mail

On Friday, Karla Kinstler and Alice, a great horned owl, will inform and entertain, beginning 7 p.m. in the Ruby Rupner Auditorium.

Kinstler and Alice last visited the Nature Center in September.

The program is free and open to the public. RSVPs are due Friday. Call or e-mail the Nature Center immediately to reserve a seat.

The week ends Saturday with a walkathon and tree-planting exercise.

Called "Steps to Preserving Our Legacy," the Saturday events celebrate Arbor Week's conclusion by raising money for the Nature Center and planting trees.

According to Dolphin, sponsors to plant 42 of 65 trees have already been obtained.

Dolphin said Monday, "We expect the rest to be claimed by Saturday so anyone who is interested should contact us as soon as possible."

The intent is to take a walk through the Nature Center to a specific site and plant a tree. Pledge sheets are available at the Nature Center or the Austin Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department's office in downtown Austin.

Proceeds from the fund-raising activities will go toward the Nature Center's on-going needs.

Saturday's events are co-sponsored by Spruce Up Austin, Inc. and will be held rain or shine.

Crews of SUA, Inc. volunteers will be at each designated tree planting site to assist the teams, families or individuals in planting their tree.

Registration begins 9 a.m. Saturday.

For information, call the Nature Center or Austin PRF office at 433-1881.

Wednesday seminar

Not to be out-done this week, Spruce Up Austin, Inc. is sponsoring a free seminar Wednesday.

Brian Dolan will be the guest lecturer on selection of trees for planting and landscaping.

The public is invited to the free 7 p.m. seminar Wednesday in the Ruby Rupner Auditorium at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.

Door prizes and other incentives will be awarded.

Lee Bonorden can be reached at 434-2232 or by e-mail at