Find the Wild America Nature Festival at Panama Rocks Scenic Park
Two days of nature-inspired classes, workshops, music, art, crafts, and talks
Saturday, Jul. 27
American naturalist and Jamestown native Roger Tory Peterson (1908-1996) devoted his life to increasing awareness of the environment, promoting sustainability and conservation, and celebrating the American wilderness. Roger Tory Peterson's Wild America Festival at nearby Panama Rocks Scenic Park in New York's Southern Tier echoes those initiatives, with two days of nature-inspired classes, workshops, music, art, crafts, and talks.
Roger Tory Peterson's youngest son, Lee Peterson, will present on the life and legacy of his father, a renowned ornithologist and one of the driving forces behind the environmental movement in the 20th century. The junior Peterson, author of the Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants, will also teach guests how to identify and use edible wild plants. Sarah Sorci of Sweet Flag Herbs invites fellow foragers for a walk around Panama Rocks to identify all the wild plants worth eating, while mycologist Garrett Taylor will chime in on the fungi side of things.
If you prefer your organisms less stationary, don't despair. You'll have the opportunity to meet live wild animals with expert handler Jeff Musial and the wildlife educators from Wild Spirit Education, as well as observe live birds of prey, see flight demonstrations, and learn about the art of falconry with Sky Hunters and American Hawkeye. Should you miss out, Dr. Twan Leenders of the Royal Town Planning Institute will discuss some surprising natural things found in our neighborhoods.
Otherwise, you'll be able to interact with fellow humans and their artwork. Attend the "Hope is a Thing with Little Clear Wings" presentation where internationally renowned photographer Clay Bolt will share some of his favorite images and stories about native bees and what we can do to protect them. Join painter Matt Patterson in a presentation of his past and present projects on art and conservation. Watch a demonstration from artist Debbie Penley on felting and how to make amazing felted animals from scratch.
Be moved by the original songs and traditional folk music of Steel Rails and Davis & Eng, a powerful and stirring reenactment of the Seneca Thanksgiving Address, or the surroundings themselves. For a more serene approach, fit in some yoga with Jen Raines. For a more active approach, sign-up to run or walk in the "Wild 5K." This trail race takes you through Audubon Community Nature Center's grounds including forests, fields, and around the pond edges.
Revel in the natural beauty of the Sanctuary while helping to raise funds for the preservation and restoration of Audubon's unique habitats. — Madeline Dufala
July 27-28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. // Panama Rocks Scenic Park, 11 Rock Hill Rd, Panama, NY 14767 // For schedule and pricing, go to wildamericafest.com