Friday, March 9, 2012

“Wild About Nebraska” Speaker & Event Series Celebrates Crane Season and Life on the Platte

Wood River, Neb–The Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center has announced the final schedule for its Wild About Nebraska Speaker & Event Series in March. The month-long series begins March 3 with a live art demonstration and concludes March 31 with a special Crane Trust report on the whooping crane telemetry project.

All events and presentations are open to the public and will be held at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center near Wood River in south central Nebraska, I-80 Alda Exit 305.

“With 19 different events scheduled for the month, this year’s program is bigger and more engaging than ever,” says Brad Mellema, director of the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. “Each of the events is truly unique in its connection to the Platte River Valley and the extraordinary life and diversity that depend on it to thrive.”

From live art demonstrations and book signings by award-winning authors to scientific updates, photo workshops and a multitude of historical narratives, the Wild About Nebraska series has something for everyone. The 2012 series will unveil a number of new features, including two open houses sponsored by Rockbrook Camera/Video and Nikon Sport Optics, with all the latest equipment and insights for outdoor enthusiasts. Nebraska wine tasting will also be featured on weekends, starting March 10.

Program highlights for the Crane Trust’s 2012 Wild About Nebraska series include:

Live Demonstrations:
Patricia Scarborough: Landscape Painting, Wings Over the Prairie Exhibit Featured Artist (March 3)
Blake Hatfield: Nebraska’s Birds of Prey, Raptor Recovery Program (March 11)

Book-signings and Presentations:
Jeff Kurrus: “Have You Seen Mary?” (March 10)
Jorn Olsen: “Across a Wide Horizon: Discovering the Uncommon Beauty of Nebraska’s Plains” (March 11)
Greg Miller: “The Big Year” (March 24)
Adam Jones: “Canon Explorers of Light” Speaker and Photographer (March 24)

Natural History and Conservation Presentations:
Dr. Will Locke: “Headwaters of the Platte” (March 4)
Dr. Paul Johnsgard: “Winter & Early Spring Birds of Nebraska” (March 17)
Dr. Bill Beachly: “A Crane’s Eye View of Central Nebraska” (March 18)
Dr. George Archibald: International Crane Foundation (March 25)
Dr. Jerry Kenny: Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (March 25)

Scientific Updates and Reports:
Martha Tacha: US Fish & Wildlife Division (March 31)
Dr. Mary Harner: The Crane Trust (March 31)

The 2012 series coincides with the spring crane migration, as more than 500,000 sandhill cranes converge on the area to feed, rest and store up energy reserves before moving on to their nesting grounds in the north. Visitors can experience this spectacular congregation as never before by signing up for a guided viewing blind at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. Special overnight photo blinds and step-on bus tours are also available.

For more details and information, visitors can go to or call 308-382-1820.

The Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of critical habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River. The Crane Trust recently acquired the Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center, which serves as an important gateway for the world to this extraordinary ecosystem as part of the Crane Trust.

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