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Spring Break goes wild at Cheyenne Bottoms
new slt KWEC
Soon Cheyenne Bottoms will be green again. Several special activities are planned for Spring Break. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

KWEC offers Twig Monogram craft workshop

The Kansas Wetlands Education is taking registrations for a free craft workshop on how to make a twig monogram. The class will meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 20.
 All materials will be provided.  To register, call the KWEC’s toll-free number, 877-243-9268. Fort Hays State University’s KWEC is located 10 miles northeast of Great Bend at 592 NE K-156.
Mother Nature supplies the best craft materials, said Jean Aycock at the KWEC. “Learn to use simple twigs to create a beautiful piece of personalized wall art for your home. We’ll also learn other methods to use twigs to make fun home accessories.”

CHEYENNE BOTTOMS — One of the wildest places to spend Spring Break just might be the Kansas Wetlands Education Center.
“We are planning to have special activities going on each day throughout next week’s Spring Break,” said Curtis Wolf, site manager for the KWEC, located 10 miles northeast of Great Bend on K-156. In fact, one program will be offered this Saturday.
“We will be open on Monday, due to the high visitor traffic,” Wolf said. “We historically have a nice increase in visitors over Spring Break, so we wanted to provide some additional activities to do at the KWEC. For regular visitors, we hope this adds some new and exciting activities and information. For people who have never visited the KWEC, it provides an excellent opportunity to come check us out.”
Although the KWEC is usually closed on Mondays during winter months and until April, hours over Spring Break are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.  Admission is free. For more information or to register for any program visit or call 877-243-9268.

Spring Break programs
• “Marsh Mammals” – Saturday and Sunday March 12-13. Come learn more about the aquatic mammals that make Cheyenne Bottoms their home with Betsy Bainbridge, FHSU Biology graduate student. Without healthy wetlands these mammals would not be able to survive. Learn about the different ways mammals live and thrive at Cheyenne Bottoms and at other wetlands around the world. This is a come-and-go event throughout the day.
• “Savoring the Kansas Outdoors, One Bite at a Time” – Sunday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m. Join outdoors writer/photographer, Michael Pearce as he discusses and demonstrates recipes from his wild game cookbook, “Michael Pearce’s Taste of the Kansas Outdoors.”
• “Fishy Tales” – Monday, March 14. Come see some of the fish species that live in the waters of the area.  Some live fish will be on display to observe along with other fish specimens and parts from fish that you probably did not know existed. Some of these parts can even be used to tell how old a fish is. This is a come-and-go event throughout the day.
• “Birdy Behavior” – Tuesday, March 15. What are Cheyenne Bottoms’ birds doing for spring break? Learn all about what the birds are up to, then participate in a fun scavenger hunt.  Find all the bird behaviors and win a prize. This is a come-and-go event throughout the day.
• “Snake Theory” – Wednesday, March 16. Snakes are generally feared and misunderstood. FHSU Biology graduate student Sam Pounds will help you to better understand the habits and ecology of some of the snakes that are commonly encountered at Cheyenne Bottoms. This is a come-and-go event throughout the day.
• “Cheyenne Bottoms Rocks!” – Thursday and Friday, March 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Have you ever collected an interesting rock or fossil from the area and wanted to know more about it? Gather your interesting rocks and bring them to the KWEC and let a geologist help you identify them. Other local rocks and fossils will be on display as well.
• “Geology Tour of Cheyenne Bottoms” – Thursday and Friday, March 17-18 at 3 p.m. each day. Join FHSU Geosciences graduate student Logan King for a short presentation followed by a free guided tour of Cheyenne Bottoms focusing on the geologic history and features of the basin and surrounding area. Space is limited; reserve a spot on these tours by calling the KWEC at 877-243-9268.
• “Spring Break in the Wild” – Saturday, March 19 at 9 a.m. Bring the whole family out to the KWEC for a fun morning of activities and learning. How do wild critters get ready for spring? Where have the birds been all winter? Can you spot the signs of spring on our nature trail? Answer these questions and more while enjoying some springtime refreshments and quality time at Cheyenne Bottoms.