BREVARD, N.C. (July 27, 2017) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is offering free outdoor-related workshops for people of all ages and skill levels in August.
The workshops are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. Online registration is required.
In addition to the open-enrollment programs listed below, the Commission offers group programs for 10 or more people who call to schedule a program. Groups can schedule the date, time and topic of the program. For more information on group programs or the open-enrollment programs listed below, call 828-877-4423.
Aug. 5 and Aug. 28 – Nature Nuts: Monarchs from 9 to 11 a.m. Open to ages 4-7. Spend the morning with Pisgah Center staff exploring the world of butterflies, with a focus on monarchs. Learn about their annual migration patterns and conservation efforts to help save this beautiful butterfly.
Aug. 5 and Aug. 28 – Eco Explorers: Reptiles from 1 to 3 p.m. Open to ages 8-13. What do snakes, turtles and alligators have in common? They are all reptiles. Learn about the world of reptiles through classroom instruction followed by a short hike in the woods to look for some common reptiles.
Aug. 7-11 & Aug. 14-18 – Week in the Woods from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily. Open to ages 8-15. This weeklong series of hands-on classes focuses on the Pisgah National Forest. Participants will learn about wildlife, fish and habitats and participate in activities such as hiking, GPS and compass, tracking and more.
Aug. 12 – Fly Tying for the Beginner from 9 a.m. to noon. Open to ages 12 and older. Learn the basics of fly tying during this introductory level class. Participants will work at their own pace to tie a basic pattern. Equipment and materials will be provided.
Aug. 12 – Introduction to Tenkara from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open to participants 14 and older. Join guest presenter Jason Sparks of Appalachian Tenkara as he introduces the trending, popular form of traditional Japanese fly fishing, tenkara. Topics covered will include a history of angling style, equipment orientation, a unique perspective on Japanese flies (kebari), and tenkara methods to use in local waters. A hands-on learning session will follow the classroom instruction. Participants should bring a lunch. Limited to 15 participants.
Aug. 15 and 16 - Hunter Education Course from 6 to 9 p.m. No minimum age. This two-day course, which is mandatory for anyone who wants to hunt in North Carolina, will cover hunter responsibility and firearms and is accepted in every state in the United States. Attendees must be present both days to earn certification.
Aug. 19 – Fly Tying: Level II from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. After learning the basics of fly tying, participants can take the next step with experienced fly tiers who will teach them more advanced patterns and techniques. Equipment and materials will be provided.
Aug. 23 – Casting for Beginners: Level 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. This is a perfect introductory workshop for beginners. Topics include casting theory, mechanics and practice techniques. Participants can learn the overhead cast, roll cast and art of false casting at their own pace. This class will be held at Lake Imaging in DuPont State Recreational Forest. All equipment and materials will be provided. Participants should bring a lunch.
Aug. 24 – Snorkeling in the Stream from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to participants 8 and up.
Come spend the afternoon with experienced Pisgah staff exploring a local river in search of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Based on the aquatic organisms they find, participants can determine the water quality of the river and learn how these little critters play such an important role in the ecosystem and to mountain trout. Snorkels and masks are available, so participants should come prepared to get wet. Swimwear and a towel are recommended.
Aug. 25 – Leader Building from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to ages 12 and older. One often overlooked aspect of fly-fishing is the leader. In this workshop, participants will learn why different leaders make fly-fishing more effective. They will construct furled leaders and hand-tied leaders. Materials will be provided. Participants should bring a bag lunch.
Aug. 26 – Backyard Birding by Ear: For Beginners from 9 a.m. to noon. Open to participants ages 10 and up who enjoy listening to birds in the morning. Learn how to identify common backyard birds by their calls and songs. Participants will start in the classroom with some listening quizzes and then move outside to put their listening skills to the test. Participants should come prepared for light hiking.
Aug. 30 – Introduction to Fly Fishing: Lake Fishing from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open to participants 12 and up. Learn the basics of fly fishing for lakes. Topics covered include equipment, knots, casting techniques and aquatic entomology. Equipment and materials will be provided. Participants should bring a lunch and meet at High Falls parking area in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Limited to six participants who must have completed the Introduction to Fly Fishing class or have equivalent experience before taking this class.
For more information on August workshops, call 828-877-4423, or sign up online. The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is located near Brevard, just south of Asheville, by the Davidson River in Transylvania County. The center features nature trails and five large aquariums representing aquatic mountain habitats. The center is adjacent to the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery, where trout are raised in 54 raceways. The center is open Monday through Friday from December through March, and Monday through Saturday from April through November. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
For more information on the Wildlife Commission’s four wildlife education centers and other activities and events, visit www.ncwildlife.org/learning.
Jodie B. Owen