A hands-on event designed to promote an interest in the natural world will be held on Oct. 4 at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center near Tupelo.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is partnering with the Natchez Trace Parkway to host Mississippi BioBlitz, a 13-hour event that teams scientists, students, teachers and community members to track down and identify as many local species as possible.
The resulting inventory of living things helps scientists determine if biodiversity in the area is increasing or decreasing. BioBlitz participants will scour the local habitat for amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, fungi, mammals, insects and plants, both in and out of the water. The family-friendly event is free and open to all ages. Attendees can participate for a short time or stay for the entire day. Participants should bring drinking water and wear closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing suitable for outdoor exploration.
The event is from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Extension Service forestry and wildlife experts and county agents will lead groups through different natural habitats and help participants identify and understand their discoveries. Lunch is not included. Picnic tables are available on the grounds of the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center.
Participants must register at the visitor center located three miles north of Highway 78, near milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
For more information about BioBlitz, contact Jason Gordon at 662-325-8851. To learn more about the Natchez Trace Parkway, call 662-680-4027 or visit nps.gov/natr.