Shooting, archery, falconry and fly fishing are just some of the activities that kids can try at Luther Marsh on Sept. 17.
For the 15th annual Luther Marsh Outdoors Day, youth from all across the townships are invited to test out as many outdoor activities as they can manage in one day, and all for free.
Alma’s Sharon Grose is a Youth Outdoors Day board member and helps organize the event, and she says there some activities on Youth Outdoors Day that really draw a crowd.
“Archery and target shooting are our most popular spots on that day,” she said. “We also do butterfly banding and bird banding on opposite years and that is always popular too. The gentleman lets the kids actually release them after they are banded. It is all really hands-on. We also have the falconry demonstrations. The kids actually get to put the gloves on and hold the falcon.”
Parents are invited to join the fun as well, participating alongside their kids.
Grose says the event has always been popular with a couple of hundred participants roughing it in the Luther Marsh.
“I think that we plant a seed and it helps develop a passion. People don’t generally have the opportunity to explore outdoors like this. We are providing them with that opportunity and it is hands on. The fact that it doesn’t cost anything is also a big thing,” she said. “On this day, all of the equipment is provided, and you have a mentor and instructor right beside you. Some of this stuff can be costly, but because you have an expert and instructor right there, it makes it easy.”
Grose started her involvement with the event back when she brought her son to check out the different activities available.
“I attended the first event with my oldest son. I was amazed at the enthusiasm and passionate volunteers who were ready and willing to share their skills and it really was a great way to engage youth in outdoor activities,” she said. “It’s a great place for kids to learn about conservation. We’ve seen reptile displays, dog training, and archery – a lot of activities that you would not find anywhere else. My son has taken up hunting and fishing and now is one of the volunteers for the event.”
The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area northeast of Arthur. Grose asks that participants preregister for the event, so organizers can get an idea for numbers.
“The great outdoors has so much to offer kids, but sometimes they need a little nudge to discover it – whether it is fishing, bird watching, camping or simply hiking and enjoying wildlife,” she said.
To learn more about Youth Outdoors Day and to register, visit www.youthoutdoorsday.com.