HAYS-- Fashion shows, leaping lizards and muddy boots are all on the agenda March 18 to March 26 at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center over spring break.
The KWEC is located 10 miles northeast of Great Bend along K-156 Highway at Cheyenne Bottoms. Spring Break hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Events are free and open to visitors of all ages.
KWEC Spring Break will kick off with “Marsh Madness” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 18. The event is led by biology graduate student Kaden Buer, Salina. Buer will take guests into the KWEC pond, where they will capture and learn about aquatic invertebrates, who are an important part of the Cheyenne Bottoms ecosystems. Rubber boots will be provided, as guests can expect to get muddy.
“Kid’s Fun and Games” will be from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, March 19. Children will learn about and play with toys and games used by pioneer kids on the Plains.
The “Wild Fashion Show” from 9 a.m to 5 p.m Monday, March 20, will showcase the many different shapes, colors and textures of nature. Guests will touch and explore fur, feathers, scales and skin.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, guests can come to “Fire! Fire!” and learn about the importance and use of controlled burning in agriculture. Biology graduate student Justin Roemer, Hays, will guide guests through the steps of a controlled burn and show off the tools and protective equipment that make it possible.
“Marsh Madness, Take Two” will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 22.
In “Phenomenal Plants,” 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 23, guests are invited to join biology graduate student Gentry Holaday, Abilene, to learn about the diverse plant species of Cheyenne Bottoms
“Nice Mussels,” 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 24, will introduce guests to native Kansas mussel species. Biology graduate student Andrew Karlin, Victoria, will also tell guests about alien species invading Kansas waterways.
In addition to “Nice Mussels,” a pre-school specific event, “Turtle Tots-Leaping Lizards” will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, March 24. Children ages 3 to 5 will learn about lizards and other reptilian creatures through stories, actives and crafts. Space is limited and guests are required to register by calling the KWEC at (877) 243-9268 by Wednesday, March 22.
“Spring Break in the Wild,” Saturday, March 25, takes guests along the KWEC nature trails to see plants and animals in their habitat. Nature walks, led by KWEC Educator Jean Aycock, will start every hour, on the hour, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each will last 30 minutes. Guests should dress according to the weather.
KWEC Spring Break will come to a close with “Paper Making,” part of the KWEC Craft Workshop Series, from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 26. Guests will learn about paper making and create their own paper to take home. Space is limited and should be reserved in advance by calling the KWEC.
For more information, call the KWEC at (877) 243-9268 or visit wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu.
The KWEC is administered by Fort Hays State University in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism.