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Warbler Festival to feature tours, vendors, kids events and poker walk

ROSCOMMON – The Kirtland’s Warbler Festival is schedule for June 3-4 in Roscommon

The home opener is schedule for Friday, June 3 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center. Tickets are $25.

Kirtland’s Warbler Alliance, Kirtland Warbler’ Festival and Huron Pines for an evening celebration of North America’s rarest songbird – the Kirtland’s Warbler!

The program includes a silent auction along with Michigan beer and wine served up by Roscommon’s own Fifth Street Market. Dr. Nathan Cooper from the Smithsonian Institute will be on hand to talk about his work on the migration of Kirtland’s Warblers between Northern Michigan and their wintering home in The Bahamas.

Saturday’ events begin at the CRAF Center in Roscommon with registration for the event and the poker walk involving many of Roscommon’ finest establishments.

Other events include:

7-11 a.m. – Community Breakfast served by the American Legion Post Roscommon #96 for $6.

7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. – Kirtland’ Warbler Tours

Two great opportunities to see Michigan’s signature warbler- the Kirtland’s Warbler! Join our knowledgeable and energetic tour guides to receive a “behind the scenes” look at Kirtland’s Warbler habitat and learn more about the species’ incredible recovery.

The Firemen’s Memorial Trolley will be providing transportation, meet at the CRAF Center 15 minutes prior to tour start.

10-11 a.m. Interactive Program with Jim McGrath

Jim McGrath of Nature Discovery in Lansing, MI kicks off family fun activities with a “Michigan Snakes Extravaganza!” Featuring over 12 species of Michigan snakes this interactive program is sure to entertain and delight!

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Vendors Market and Kids’ Tent with Live Music in the Gazebo!

12 local organizations will be part of Festival Kids’ Tent – a festival favorite – providing hands on activities and fun games highlighting the great woods, waters and wildlife of the region! Kids’ who complete all activities receive a special Kirtland’s Warbler prize!

A diverse offering of vendors will be on hand for this year’s festival ranging from wood carvers, painters, maple syrup producers, and much more!

Make sure to stop by the local Amateur Radio Operators booth to pick up a special commemorative keepsake card and maybe hear a transmission from The Bahamas – the Kirtland’s Warbler winter home!

1-2 p.m.

“Conservation programs for your backyard!” John Bailey, Huron Pines Watershed Coordinator and Julie Crick, MSU Extension Forester

This program is perfect for local property owners looking for first-hand information and guidance on how to put in place conservation practices in their backyards. John and Julie will cover a range of topics and provide helpful tips on how to get started. Participants can ask questions and even visit John and Julie at their booths in the vendor area of the festival to receive one-on-one time with these local conservation professionals!

“Beginning to bird by ear.” Jim McGrath, Nature Discovery

Jim will “upgrade” participants birding experiences by introducing them to the world of birdsong! Even better yet, this presentation will provide tips and techniques for recognizing familiar, local bird song so participants can really round out their birding experiences. After the presentation, Jim will step outside and help put the information he’s shared to good use helping people start to hear and identify local birds.

1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Kirtland’s Warbler Family Fun Run and 5K 1K Kids’ Fun Run – Hosted by Michigan Nature Association as part of the “Race for Michigan Nature” race series!

Races located at North Higgins Lake State Park (CCC Museum Trails) . To register please visit https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Roscommon/KirtlandsWarbler5KRunWalk

2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Making your yard more attractive to birds!” – Rosann Kovalcik, owner Wild Birds Unlimited, Grosse Point, MI

Rosann brings a wealth of knowledge to this year’s Kirtland’s Warbler Festival and will share with participants sure-fire ways to bring amazing bird activity to your backyard. Topics will include using different types of bird feeders and how best to place them, seed preferences of different species, offering water and cover to the birds as well as the importance of using native plants.

“Kirtland’s Warbler…the rest of the story!” – Phyllis Higman, Botanist with Michigan Natural Features Inventory

This presentation will take you past the jack pine tree and into the jack pine barrens! These naturally occurring open areas that can be found in our local landscape are full of rare and interesting plants, wildlife and information! Phyllis will shed light on why these tree-less pockets are so important to the health of our region as well as to the Kirtland’s Warbler.

2:30-5 p.m.

Kayak Tour – Roscommon to Steckert Bridge Road Landing (2.5 trip)

In partnership with Campbell’s Canoe Livery in Roscommon a portion of kayak/canoe rentals will be donated back to the Festival. Rentals are available through Campbell’s – $18 for a kayak, $27 for canoes. Paddlers will meet up at 2pm at Campbell’s location. In order to take care of rentals and vehicle spotting please reserve your spot by calling Campbell’s Canoe Livery directly at (989) 275-5810. Moderate activity level and basic experience with river kayaking/canoeing experience preferred.





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