Vacation planning for 2014 has probably been resolved in most households across the Lehigh Valley, but if you're interested in the outdoors at all, love camping and scenic views, consider the month of June as your gateway to the rivers that make up our local landscape.
Even if you're new to camping or don't want to camp, you can still take part in a daily segment of one of the three river sojourns that cross through the Lehigh Valley in June. People can register for single days, multiple days or the full trips for the Schuylkill River Sojourn, the Lehigh River Sojourn and the Delaware River Sojourn.
The Schuylkill River Sojourn (www.schuylkillriversojourn.org), fresh off the river's winning river of the year honors from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is being held June 7-13 and runs 112 miles from Schuylkill Haven all the way to Boathouse Row in Philadelphia.
The Lehigh River Sojourn (www.wildlandspa.org/get-involved/lehign-river-sojourn) is a three-day adventure that runs June 20-23 (the first night is an optional overnight of camping at Mauch Chunk Park) that runs 28 miles from the Lehigh Gorge into Northampton.
The Delaware River Sojourn (www.delawareriversojourn.org) is June 22-28, beginning in Barryville, N.Y., and ending at Neshaminy State Park outside of Philadelphia.
Registration for all three sojourns is currently open. You can use your own kayaks and canoes, or rent them for the sojourns, which aim to make people aware of the history, importance and ecological value or the rivers and surrounding landscapes in our region.
Junior naturalists club forming: A Junior Naturalists Club for children in grades 2-6 is forming at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in Slatington.
An organization meeting for the club will take place 10 a.m. Saturday at the LGNC, and will include a short nature walk. Students who join the club will learn to explore nature in a variety of experiential ways.
The free club will explore the habitat areas at LGNC and learn about birds, butterflies, bees, native plants and other creatures. They'll also discover the variety of forests, grasslands and ponds, the Lehigh River, and the habitat gardens at the LGNC.
LGNC staff, and members of the Naturalists Club for middle school and high school-aged students will serve as mentors for the elementary club.
Parents who wish to register their child or children for the outdoors club can contact the LGNC by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 610-760-8889. The center is asking for preregistration so they know approximately how many participants to expect. LGNC is located at 8844 Paint Mill Rd., Slatington.
Youth Outdoors Adventures: The Delaware River Shad Fishermen's Association's annual spring meeting takes place 7 p.m. Wednesday in the social hall at the Se-Wy-Co Fire Company on Route 378, south of Bethlehem. This is annually the biggest meeting of the year in terms of attendance, merchandise and prizes available.
The DRSFA has also announced that its 8th annual Youth Outdoors Adventures event will take place Saturday, June 21 at Blue Mountain Fish & Game Association in Walnutport.
The event is free for 100 youngsters between the ages of 8 and 15, and runs approximately 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a full slate of hands-on outdoors skills and adventures.
For more information or to register a child for the event, email Dave Carl at email@example.com, or call 570-325-4336.
Raptors up close: Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton is celebrating Earth Day 2014 with a special full-day live raptor program courtesy of Baywings Falconry from Central Pennsylvania.
Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22, but Hawk Mountain is celebrating it with the live raptor program 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26.
In addition, the expert falconers from Baywings will show off raptor flight with controlled flight demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
"The educators at Baywings Falconry are great because they use their birds to captivate visitors and that leaves a ready audience who wants to learn more," Hawk Mountain Director of Education Erin Brown said in a statement. "It's a great strategy to share our conservation mission, to build interest in raptors, ant it's a guaranteed fun way for visitors to celebrate Earth Day."
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