Museum to host Spring Family Day

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Old Independence Regional Museum is going to the birds…and the bears, and maybe even some butterflies.

The museum has announced plans for the annual Spring Family Day, Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the museum grounds. As part of Arkansas Heritage Month, the theme for this year’s family day is “Wild History,” where families can learn about native wildlife in the area from settlement days to present time. This free program will feature hands-on crafts as well as guest speakers.

Myron Means, a bear expert with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, will discuss the history of black bears in Arkansas, bear facts and biology and the efforts to ensure the continuance of a healthy bear population.

Wildlife rehabilitator Rebecca Gage from Ash Flat will speak about the needs and habits of local wildlife as well as answer questions about rehabilitation and nuisance animals.

And Nathan Reinhart, Independence County CEA and Staff Chair with U of A Cooperative Extension Service will be on hand with a variety of natural specimens to view and can provide information and answer questions.

A variety of games and crafts with hands-on activities will be available for children, including the opportunities to make animal salt dough ornaments and bird feeders.

Other activities include making origami birds, tie-dyed butterflies, and more. The talented Becka Paxson will be on site doing free nature-themed face painting.

“We want families to enjoy their time together, learning about some of the wild creatures native to our area,” said Terri Crawford, humanities educator. “This will also be a great opportunity for families to visit the museum free of charge.”

The gift shop, stocked with items from local artists, authors, and crafters, will also be open to the public.

The museum is located at 380 S. 9th St., between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

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