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Meadowside Nature Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary and Soars to New Heights | Community Spirit

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Meadowside Nature Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary and Soars to New Heights
Meadowside Nature Center Celebrates 40th Anniversary and Soars to New Heights

The following information was sent to us by Julie Super:

Montgomery Parks’ Meadowside Nature Center celebrates its 40th anniversary on Friday, April 6th, 2012 from 10am to 1pm at 5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855.  

Since 1972, Meadowside has provided quality nature programming for the surrounding community. Continuing in that tradition, the nature center is currently focusing on a few new initiatives: Eco-TEEN Montgomery, a series of hands-on, outdoor activities for teens; Nature Matters lectures given by experts on local nature and conservation topics; and, expansion of the center’s raptor program, one of the only education-based raptor programs in the County.  

Early on, what set Meadowside apart from other M-NCPPC nature centers was its display of live birds of prey native to Maryland. Today, the center has strengthened its commitment to raptor programming by sending staff to the University of Minnesota raptor workshop to hone their bird-handling skills. Local Eagle scouts built and installed training mews (housing for the birds prior to putting them on display) and there has been a new feathered recruit, a red-tailed hawk named Duke. “All of the birds housed at Meadowside are permanently injured and non-releasable, but Duke’s ability to fly short distances along with his unflappable personality has allowed staff to take programming to a new level. He’s an exciting addition to our aviaries, and we’re looking forward to introducing him to visitors at the anniversary celebration on April 6th,” says Grace Yick facility manager.

In addition to meeting Duke, visitors to the anniversary event can explore the world of raptors by dissecting an owl pellet, taking part in the Bird Olympics, munching on an ‘Owl’ cupcake, or by making a festive raptor craft. Meadowside’s other resident birds of prey will be on display and visitors can have their picture taken with the center’s larger-than-life mascot, Otus the Owl. 

Along with the April 6th festivities, the nature center is conducting a raptor-themed kite contest. Kites will be judged in various categories and the winning designs will be displayed in the lobby of the center throughout the anniversary year. Contestants can drop by the nature center to pick up a kite kit and entry form. The deadline to enter is June 1st.

The anniversary celebration is free and welcome to all ages; no registration required. Visit www.MeadowsideNature.org for more information on the 40th celebration, the kite contest,   and other special, anniversary programs happening throughout the year.