Oskaloosa.com

October 30, 2013

Costumes, creativity and nature at Russell Wildlife

By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA —

This past Friday, people out at Russell Wildlife Area got into the Halloween spirit while learning about nature.

Laura De Cook, a naturalist with the Mahaska County Conservation Board, said the event included opportunities for children to create crafts by making skeletons using pasta noodles and glue. Children also had a chance to play games including one that had them tossing balls into a “black cauldron,” as well as hedge ball bowling with glow-in-the-dark bowling pins.

Of course, children and adults alike were invited to wear costumes to the event, as well.

That's not all.

Children were also encouraged to bring in pumpkins decorated like their favorite animal, noted De Cook.

Mixed in with all this Halloween fun were the educational displays that are viewable year round, noted De Cook.

Once it got dark outside, the actual Halloween Hike began.

De Cook said that she had set out corn for the wildlife to feed on along their hiking route at Russell Wildlife Area. This corn had non-toxic florescent powder on it, she said. Using a black light, they planned to follow the tracks of animals that went through the corn, she said.

Along the way, De Cook planned to educate hikers with information on things like how some nocturnal animals see in the dark.

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.