ATTENTION ALL OUTDOOR SPRING FUNGI (MUSHROOM) HUNTERS – Stop by THE WAYNEDALE NEWS office at 2700 Lower Huntington Road on Monday, April 1st and pick up your 2002 Spring Morel Mushroom Hunting license before you head for your favorite ‘schroom’ patch. There are a limited number of these permits left.

When my kids were growing up and we couldn’t get away for a whole weekend of camping, we used to put up a tent in our back yard, build a campfire in the fire ring (old truck wheel) that we had set in the ground at the edge of the garden. We had a piece of metal that set over the ring when we were not using it. It kept anyone from stumbling into it and acted as a ‘fire snuffer’ when we were through with our campfire. We did a lot of “s’more making” over that old truck ring. Sometimes other families would see our campfire and invite themselves to join in. They were always welcome and we made sure we had plenty of marshmallows on hand.

Sometimes our kids and a few of the other kids in the neighborhood would ‘camp out’ in our yard. I have counted as many as 8 tents of all shapes and sizes set up in our yard for an overnighter. The rules? They could not leave the yard until the next morning once they were set up. We left the front door open for have-ta-go’s during the night. By early morning we usually found all the boys in one tent or sleeping in the garage on the floor after a night of thunderstorm ‘boomers’.

Families are getting away from camping and spending quality time together. We need to reaffirm our family values. I think wives and husbands (mothers and fathers) are too busy working to keep up with the Jones. I think if families spent more time together we wouldn’t have the juvenile delinquency that we have now. Kids would have something to do instead of getting into trouble with the law for doing drugs or shop lifting. If you can’t spend quality time outside with your kids then put them into a program that is based on ‘outing’; it’s called Scouting. You won’t regret it.



If you’ve ever wanted to check out the bird observation building at Fox Island County Park and it wasn’t open, or if you didn’t know it existed, this is your chance. Starting now, the building will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am until noon. Bring your lunch and watch the birds, bring the kids for a close-up view of nature through the glass, stop by on your way to do a little hiking, or just enjoy the view. Beginning this spring, a working beehive exhibit will be on display in the bird building as well. The building is open other hours as volunteers are available to staff it; if you are interested in volunteering weekend afternoons or during the week, please call Jodi Leamon at 449-3180.



Come out to Fox Island County Park to explore the park in the twilight hours. Listen for the mating songs of the native frog populations in the marsh. Dress appropriately and leave your flashlights at home. The program starts at the Nature Center at 7pm on March 30. The cost of the program will be $2 per person. Reservations are required. For more information contact us at 449-3184 or email us at angfoxisland@yahoo.com



Earth Day is April 22nd, and Arbor Day is April 26th. Please help Fox Island celebrate these environmental holidays by entering your child in a poster contest. Children up to age 15 are invited to the Bird Observation Building at Fox Island anytime between 9am and 2pm on Saturday, April 13 to have fun, compete for prizes, and beautify our building. All materials will be provided and artwork will be displayed at the park. For questions, please contact the park at 449-3180.



Fans of “Roosevelt” and “Freedom”, the peregrine falcon pair atop ONE SUMMIT SQUARE, can see them once again online courtesy of American Electric Power (AEP). FalconCam offers viewers the chance to observe the birds as they begin a new season of raising chicks in their urban perch overlooking downtown Fort Wayne. The first egg has been laid and “Freedom” is spending more time in the nest.

The online project was developed by AEP, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and two nature conservation groups, Soarin’ Hawk and the Audubon Society in 1995. The image is updated every 30 seconds from sunup to sundown on AEP’s World Wide Web site at: www.AEP.com/go/falconcam from a surveillance camera installed on the roof of the building.



Fox Island County Park at 7324 Yohne Road used to be a nice place to camp. I remember undergoing Scoutmaster training there. I think camping has been closed to the general public for quite sometime. What Allen County needs is a place to camp overnight that is close to Waynedale/home. Some families just can’t break away to go camping at any great distance.



Join Fox Island trail guides to see the park in all its spring glory. The hikes are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday in April from 2pm to 3:30pm. Meet in the nature center and head out from there.



Interested in sharing your love of the outdoors with others? Workshops are free and open to trail guides and other interested adults. The program starts at the Nature Center on April 7, 2002 from 1pm to 3:30pm or on April 13, 2002 from 8:30am to 12noon. Call ahead (449-3184) to register.

The Waynedale News Staff
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Ray McCune

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