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Kenai refuge plans fun day to celebrate winter in Alaska

Refuge Notebook

Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008

 

  To preregister for a free showshoe walk at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at 11 a.m. on Feb. 9, call Michelle Ostrowski at 262-2839. Photo by Dave Kenagy, KNWR

To preregister for a free showshoe walk at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at 11 a.m. on Feb. 9, call Michelle Ostrowski at 262-2839.

Photo by Dave Kenagy, KNWR

Winter is a challenging time for Alaska animals facing cold temperatures and deep snow. Through a variety of wonderful adaptations, wildlife cope with winter. Furbearers have thick, snow resistant coats. Hare and lynx move easily over snow with large snowshoe-shaped feet. Others escape winter, like bears digging dens and going into dormancy, while voles and shrews use snow as an insulating blanket to shelter under and search for their food.

We humans mimic their adaptations by layering with warm clothes, insulating our homes, sleeping extra hours, and traveling over the snow with snowshoes and skis.

To learn more about how Alaska wildlife handles winter and how people can adapt and have fun in this chilly season, come to Winter Fun Day at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon.

From 10 to 11 a.m., there will be a variety of free activities, crafts, and games for families and kids of all ages. Refreshments include snow slush cones and hot chocolate. There will be a special free drawing for winter theme door prizes provided by Alaska Geographic.

At 11 a.m. and again at noon, the movie "Stranger in the Woods" will be shown. This 40-minute movie is for children of all ages and shares a magical winter mystery story.

A guided snowshoe walk is offered for first-time snowshoers from 11 a.m. to noon. The refuge provides snowshoes. The walk covers 1/4 mile round-trip and includes a variety of outdoor activities. Space is limited to 25 people. You need to be 9 years of age or older to go on the walk. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

To go on the walk, you need to preregister with Education Specialist Michelle Ostrowski by calling 260-2839.

Please join us for Winter Fun Day to celebrate our beautiful, snowy winter or get outdoors and create a fun day of your own!

Candace Ward is a park ranger who leads the refuge's Information and Education Program. For more information about Winter Fun Day, contact Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at 262-7021.



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