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Nature programs offered for children at Yellow Creek State Park

on July 10, 2013 10:50 AM

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has developed a DiscoverE Program designed to help youngsters learn about their world. This series consists of four programs that allow young people to explore their environment with others of the same age and abilities.

Yellow Creek State Park is offering three of these program series this summer.

The second series — for children ages 9 through 13 — begins July 17 and will feature wildlife forensics, tracking, and three mysteries participants will be asked to solve.

Registration is required. Call the park office at (724) 357-7913. Children must be accompanied by an adult/ guardian.

Programs are:

• “Introduction to Wildlife Forensics,” beginning at 6 p.m. July 17 in the environmental learning classroom.

Forensic science has had a huge impact on putting criminals behind bars. It’s hard to watch TV and not hear something said about DNA or some other forensic science technique. This program will introduce students to the basics of wildlife forensics.

• “Tracking and Trailing,” beginning at 7 p.m. July 17 in the learning classroom.

Participants will pretend they are a park ranger at Yellow Creek State Park. You hear a gun shot on the other side of the lake by IUP Sailing Base and you immediately start over to investigate the scene. You’re about to make it to where you think the shot came from when a fisherman suddenly stops you and says he saw someone shoot a deer. It appeared to be hit and when the shooter saw you, he drove off in a hurry. There has been a wildlife crime committed! Now it’s your job to find the culprit and find the wounded deer.

• “The Case of the Barn Bucks,” beginning at 6 p.m. July 18 in the environmental learning classroom.

This activity is designed to give students a practical look into the science of wildlife forensics. Wildlife agencies use these and other techniques to solve crimes related to wildlife across the state each year. Wildlife cannot speak for itself, so conservation officers and concerned citizens try and do it for them. Join the fun in solving a wildlife crime.

• “The Case of Car Trunk Capers,” beginning at 7 p.m. July 18 in the environmental learning classroom.

This activity is also designed to give students a practical look into the science of wildlife forensics.

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