First 'Discover Nature Day' in Bend a big hit

More than 300 people learn about animals, nature

Kids get back to nature at Bend event

BEND, Ore. - A little rain Saturday didn't stop hundreds of kids and their families from enjoying 'Discover Nature Day' at Bend's Shevlin Park.

Deschutes Children's Forest and Bend Parks and Rec put on the day of fun and nature-focused learning.

Attendees got to learn about using compasses for direction, animal tracking, habitats, stream exploration, and participate in scavenger hunts.

The High Desert Museum put on birds of prey demonstrations--a big hit with the kids.

"Probably feeling the owl -- (it's) soft on the bottom," toddler Phoenix Page said when asked about his favorite part of the event.

The start of Arbor Week was also celebrated with tree plantings in the park.

 More than 1,200 Ponderosa pine seedlings were planted by volunteers and community members.

It was the first "Discover Nature Day," a partnership between Bend Park and Rec, the U.S. Forest Service,  Deschutes Forest Conservation Association, High Desert Museum, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and Deschutes Children's Forest.

Event coordinator Katie Chipko said organizers hope to make it an annual event and are scheduling similar programs for the summer.

"The idea was just to create a positive experience for families to come out here, engage in nature and run around, play, learn -- have fun," Chipko said.

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