Nature Fest is a free celebration of the great outdoors presented by Cookeville Leisure Services, Tennessee Tech University biology department, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Nature Fest organizing committee. The event will begin at Cane Creek Park, 201 C C Camp Road, Cookeville, from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. and conclude at Dogwood Park, 30 E. Broad St., from 6-10 p.m.
Nature Fest began in 2005 as an effort to showcase nature’s treasures in Putnam County and the surrounding area. Locals are fortunate to have an abundance of opportunities to enjoy nature: on lakes, in parks, along creeks, in forests, on trails, and even in their own backyards. Organizers continue to tap into the wealth of knowledgeable people willing to share their expertise through hikes, lectures, workshops, presentations and activities that focus on land, water, air and animals.
The day’s schedule is as follows:
Cane Creek Park
- 7-9:45 a.m. – Bird Walk: Look and listen for a variety of birds that inhabit Cane Creek Park. Meet Dan Combs at the Hilltop Shelter.
- 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – TWRA Wildlife Exhibit: Visit the educational exhibit provided by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in the parking lot near the Hilltop Shelter.
- 10-11:45 a.m. – Flint Knapping: Join John Zentz at the Hilltop Shelter for a live demonstration of making arrowheads from flint.
- 10-11:45 a.m. – Creek Critters: Explore the diversity of species that occupy creeks and streams with the Department of Environment and Conservation. See live critters at the Hilltop Shelter.
- 10-11:45 a.m. – Wildlife Tracking: Use wildlife telemetry equipment to find transmitters hidden in the woods. Meet Steve Hayslette at the Courtside Shelter.
- 10-11:45 a.m. – Knots: Join the Boy Scouts at the Courtside Shelter to learn to tie a few simple and useful knots. Rope will be provided.
- 10-11:45 a.m. – Tree Walk: Learn to identify trees by shape, bark, foliage and other clues. Meet Dan Combs at the Hilltop Shelter.
- 10-11:45 a.m. – Fishing Techniques: Join TTU Fisheries to learn techniques and equipment for successful fishing. Meet at the lakefront fishing pier.
- 12-1:45 p.m. – Scavenger Hunt: Look for items found in nature. Meet Beth Smith at the Hilltop Shelter for this activity that is fun for both kids and parents.
- 12-1:45 p.m. – Container Gardening: Gain expert tips for growing and maintaining healthy, productive container gardens. Join Randy Dodson at the Courtside Shelter.
- 12-1:45 p.m. – Wildflower Walk: Join Dan Twyman at the Hilltop Shelter to learn about the flowering plants at Cane Creek Park.
- 12-4 p.m. – Gold Panning – Pan for gold and identify common minerals with the Tennessee Tech University Geology Club. Meet at the lakefront by the duck-feeding area. Materials provided.
- 2-3:45 p.m. – Snakes!!! Join Dan Combs at the Courtside Shelter to learn interesting facts and myths about snakes. Live snakes will be present.
- 2-3:45 p.m. – Bees: Learn all about honey bees and beekeeping with David LaFerney at the Hilltop Shelter.
- 2-3:45 p.m. – Exotic Insects: Meet Nadeer Youssef at the Hilltop Shelter to see an extensive insect collection displayed.
- 6-7:30 p.m. – Live Birds of Prey: Join Dave Haggard at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion to learn interesting facts and stories about various birds of prey. Many live birds will be displayed.
- 7:45-10 p.m. – Nature Films: See two hour-long films on the big screen outdoors at the Dogwood Performance Pavilion.