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Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival March 3-4
Updated January 31, 2017 6:35 AM
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(GREENE CO.) - The Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival is a community-based event timed to coincide with the peak Sandhill Crane and waterfowl migration at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County, Indiana.

Festival headquarters are at Humphrey's Park in the nearby city of Linton.

The Friends of Goose Pond organization invites everyone interested in wildlife watching, conservation, and family oriented outdoor adventure to join them at the 2017 Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival, March 3 and 4.

Events include a kick-off banquet, craft fair, live birds of prey on display, informational and educational presentations, bus tours, self-guided tours, kids activities, and much more.

The Festival is put on by the Friends of Goose Pond in partnership with Goose Pond FWA and with the help of many civic organizations and businesses from Greene County and beyond.

The festival will begin Friday with the Bill & Theresa Gray Kickoff Banquet at the Linton Elks Club. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

The Friday evening event will feature dinner and a live auction of wildlife and nature related items by auctioneer Brian Woods. Pre-dinner entertainment will be provided by harpist Tom Duncan. Anne Lacy, Research Coordinator for the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis. will be the featured speaker. Tickets are available online at

Also on Friday, the Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center venue in downtown Linton. Works by this year's featured artist, photographer Marty Jones, will be on public display. There will be a reception from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m. to meet and chat with Jones.

On Saturday, March 4, festival events will be held at the Linton City Park, Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center, and Goose Pond FWA.

At the park, visitors will be able to see live birds of prey and learn about their behavior courtesy of the Hardy Lake Raptor rehabilitation program. The Wabash Valley Herpetological Society will be on hand with live snakes, lizards and amphibians.

Craft vendors will be offering nature-related art and crafts such as birdhouses, feeders, photography, and paintings for sale. Parents or grandparents can also share time with the kids in a birdhouse building project.

Food will be available at the park.

Schedule of Events

Friday, March 3rd 2017

  • Venue: Carnegie Heritage & Arts Center
  • 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. A reception introducing Marty Jones, our 2017 Featured Artist, and
  • his photographic work.
  • Venue: Linton Elks SR 54 E.
  • Bill & Theresa Gray Kickoff Banquet
  • 5 p.m. Doors open.
  • Music by Tom Duncan
  • Cash Bar open.
  • 5:50 p.m. Welcome comments - Dane Strahle, President, Friends of Goose Pond
  • 6 p.m. Buffet dinner line opens.
  • 7:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker Anne Lacy International Crane Foundation
  • 8 p.m. Live Auction with Auctioneer Brian Woods.
  • 9 p.m. Closing remarks and auction checkout

Saturday March 4th, 2017

  • Venue: Roy Clark Community Building in Humphreys Park
  • 7:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Self-guided driving tours (see map)
  • 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fish King Concessions
  • by Trent Wilkes
  • 9 a.m. 4 p.m. Art & Craft Fair
  • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Live Birds of Prey display
  • 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Hardy Lake Birds of Prey Program
  • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wabash Valley Herpetological
  • Society Live Reptile & Amphibian Display
  • 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Hardy Lake Birds of Prey Progam


  • Venue: Girl Scout Cabin in Humphreys Park
  • 11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. An Owl Pellet Activity for Kids Young and Old. Amy Kearns. Join Amy for a hands-on investigation of the diet of the barn owl. Become a bio-detective as you dissect an owl pellet and identify their favorite prey.
  • 12 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Tall Tails About Indiana's Snakes. Andrew Hoffman. Love them or hate them, most of us have heard stories about snakes; and possibly told a few of our own. Come separate fact from fiction in this presentation about Indiana's native serpents.
  • 1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Bats of Indiana. Joy O'Keefe.
  • This presentation will review the bats of Indiana and particularly those found at Goose Pond FWA. Dr. O'Keefe will review the basic life history of bats, including timing of key activity periods. She will discuss the benefits of bats and will give tips for attracting bats to your backyard.
  • 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Indiana's Large Mammalian Carnivores. Taylor Rasmussen.
  • This presentation will cover the status of the bobcat, otter, black bear and other large carnivores that have the potential to recolonize Indiana. Taylor will address reports that he receives from the public and the problems with confirming such reports. He will also talk about the frequent "black panther" sightings in the state.
  • Venue: East Cabin in Humphreys Park
  • 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Bus Tours of Area (Refer to bus schedule in this guide)
  • 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Also at the East Cabin, Goose Pond: The Story of a Wetland and its Neighbors. This award winning documentary by Bill Barnes will play throughout the day.
  • Venue: West Cabin in Humphreys Park
  • 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Kids' Activities, Bird House Construction. Open to kids 12 & under who are accompanied by an adult.
  • Venue: Carnegie Heritage and Art Center. 110 East Vincennes St.
  • 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Photography Exhibit by Marty Jones

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