(UNDATED) - The behind-the-scenes plans have been made for the Fourth Annual Marsh Madness event set for this weekend with expanded offerings in the Linton and Jasonville areas.
Nick Schneider of the Greene County Daily World reports that it's now up to the weatherman to provide the region with suitable conditions for some outdoor observation and to entice a large contingent of Sandhill Cranes to delay their migration for a few more days.
Brad Feaster, property manager for Goose Pond, Hillenbrand and Minnehaha Fish and Wildlife Areas, said a crowd of between 150 and 175 is expected for the Peabody Energy kickoff banquet Friday night at Shakamak State Park.
Keynote speaker will be Michael Sertle, of Ducks Unlimited, and extensive live and silent auctions will be conducted from 7 to 10 p.m.
Admission is $25 person, which includes a one-year membership to the Friends of the Goose Pond organization and admission or a discount for Saturday's events.
A highlight of the live auction will be an offering from wildlife artist Robin Myers, of rural Bloomfield. Myers will bring three paintings to the auction and the highest bidder will be able to have their pick of one of the three art works, according to Feaster.
One of the features of the two-day event is observation time for the migration southward of thousands of Sandhill Cranes.
"I think we're going to be OK. We are obviously down from what we were (last week), but yesterday (Sunday) we still had 18,000 or 19,000. There will be some leave today, but we should still be all right. Other than today (Monday) there shouldn't be many good migration days between now and then."
Feaster explained that Sandhills like warm sunny days to migrate.
"Sandhills really need to ride thermals (warm air currents) to get elevation to help them fly," Feaster said. "We'll be all right."
There will be bus and self-guided tours through parts of Goose Pond FWA with special waterfowl viewing opportunities from 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, Myers will be showing his work at Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center in Linton.
An art show reception will be conducted by Myers from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Tickets for the kickoff dinner can most easily be purchased online at www.friendsofgoosepond.org and tickets for the Ducks Unlimited event can be purchased at www.ducks.org .
Arrangements to buy tickets can also be made by calling the DNR office at the Goose Pond FWA at 659-9901.
Feaster is excited about the expanded offerings into the Jasonville area.
Aside from the kickoff banquet at Shakamak State Park, a new event on Saturday, sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, will be offered.
Sportsman's Night Out will run from 7 to 10 p.m. at Shakamak State Park.
"We'd like to get 80 or a 100 there Saturday night if we could," Feaster stated.
Another new addition will be pancake and sausage breakfast sponsored by Linton Rotary Club from 7 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Linton Fire Department.
Tickets are $5 in advance; $6 at the door; and children 10 and under are $3. You can buy tickets at the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce Office or Richard Brown Insurance.
"The Rotary pancake breakfast is new, it's something they wanted to do during Marsh Madness while people are in town. It raises money for their local scholarships that they do," Feaster said.
Ducks Unlimited is sponsoring a waterfowl-calling contest Saturday afternoon on the stage at Humphreys Park in Linton.
The Ducks Unlimited retriever dog demonstration is also planned for Saturday on Goose Pond Unit ll South starting at 4 p.m.
"If you haven't seen dogs work and see how they handle, it's really cool to watch," Feaster said.
Throughout Saturday will be wildlife and conservation-related informational sessions and workshops from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Humphreys Park.
One feature will be the Hardy Lake Birds of Prey Demonstrations that will highlight close-up viewing of a live bald eagle from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A variety of exhibitors will be set up in the Roy Clark Community Building from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Admission will be $5 a person or a family of three to five will be admitted for $15.
In the West Cabin at Humphreys Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, there will be Kids' Activities, including birdhouse construction, picture coloring and handouts.
Earth Joy Tree Climbing will also be featured from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the front part of the park.
2013 Marsh Madness
Schedule of Events
All venues are within Humpreys Park in Linton unless noted.
Venue: Shakamak State Park Youth Camp Dining Hall, Jasonville.
7-10 p.m. ---- Peabody Energy Kick-off Banquet Dinner and Soft Drinks, Cash Bar; Keynote Speaker Michael Sertle of Ducks Unlimited; Live and Silent Auction; Overnight lodging is available at the Group Camp or cabins of Shakamak State Park. Call park office to make reservations at 1-866-6CamPIN (1-866-622-6746).
Venue: Linton Fire Department
7-10:30 a.m. -- Pancake & Sausage Breakfast sponsored by Linton Rotary Club.Tickets: $5 advance; $6 at door; children 10 and under $3. Buy tickets at Linton Chamber Office or Richard Brown Insurance. Proceeds will benefit Rotary student scholarships.
Venue: Roy Clark Community Center
9 a.m. - 5 pm ---- Art & Craft Fair
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. ---- Birds of Prey
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. ---- Lunch available
Venue: Scout Cabin
9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m Speakers/Workshops
9:30 - 10:10 a.m. ---- Travis Stoelting: Happenings at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area
10:20 - 11 a.m. ---- Adam Phelps: The Mississippi Flyway, Rivers & Waterfowl Migration
11:10 - 11:50 p.m. ---- Lee Sterrenburg: Migratory Birds of GPFWA: Do the Local Wetland & Grassland Restorations Have Global Impacts?
1-1:40 p.m. ---- Dan Kaiser: Adventures of a Crane Fanatic
1:50 - 2:30 p.m. ---- Amanda Wuestefeld: Take Pride - It's YOUR Nature
2:40 - 3:30 p.m. ---- Michael Sertle: 75 Years of Wetlands Conservation & Still Going Strong
Venue: Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ---- Art Show Reception featuring Art from the Wild by Robin Johnson Myers. Meet the artist, see her work and enjoy the historical Carnegie Heritage & Arts Center
Venue: East Cabin
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. ---- Bus Tours
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. ---- Self-guided tours (maps available)
9 a.m - 6 p.m. ---- Exhibitors
Venue: West Cabin
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. ---- Kids' Activities, includes birdhouse construction, picture coloring, handouts and other activities
Venue: Humphreys Park (near front)
9 a.m.-5 p.m. ---- Earth Joy Tree Climbing, brought to you by McDonald's and Greene County General Hospital
Venue: Humphreys Park Stage
4 p.m. ---- Retriever Demonstrations
Venue: Shakamak State Park Youth Camp Dining Hall
5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. ---- Ducks Unlimited Sportsmen Night Out Fundraiser. Overnight lodging is available at the Group Camp or cabins of Shakamak State Park. Call park office to make reservations at 1-866-6CamPIN (1-866-622-6746).
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