Newton, NC – Catawba County Parks will celebrate Take a Child Outside (TACO) week, which takes place September 23-30, with a series of events for families and kids. Take a Child Outside Week, a national initiative spearheaded by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, was designed to help break down obstacles that keep children from exploring the natural world and encourages children and adults to spend time together outdoors.
“Getting kids outside and interested in nature is one of our passions here at Catawba County Parks,” said Mountain Creek Park Superintendent Lori Owenby. “It allows them to use their senses and experience the novelty of discovering things they never knew existed, all while boosting their moods and helping their overall well-being.”
“One of the best things about TACO week is that it coincides with fall bird migration and allows us to celebrate two events at once, Take a Child Outside Week and the annual Hawk Migration Week which is September 17 through 25,” said Riverbend Park Superintendent Dwayne Martin. “It’s a great opportunity to invite kids outside, get them excited about the different species of birds they can see, engage them in nature, and teach them the importance of maintaining quality habitats.”
Events taking place at Catawba County Parks for Take a Child Outside week are as follows:
• Friday, September 23, 3-7pm: “Family Fishing Fun Day” at Riverbend Park
• Saturday, September 24, 2-4pm: “Hawkwatching for Kids” at Riverbend Park
• Sunday, September 25, 5-7pm: “Picnic at the Park” at Riverbend Park
• Monday, September 26. 5-7pm: “Bird Walk for Kids” at Mountain Creek Park
• Tuesday, September 27, 5-7pm: “Pump Track Demo” at Mountain Creek Park
• Wednesday, September 28, 4-7pm: “Nature Bingo Hike” at Riverbend Park
• Wednesday, September 28, 5-7pm: “Fishing on the Flats” at Mountain Creek Park
• Thursday, September 29, 5-7pm: “Pickleball for Kids” at Mountain Creek Park
• Friday, September 30, 5:30pm: “’Who Pooped in the Park?’ Animal Scat Program & Hike” at Riverbend Park
All events are free and open to all ages, not just children. No registration is required, but a valid NC fishing license is required for anyone 16 years old or older to participate in the fishing events. Fishing licenses can be purchased online at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website at ncwildlife.org, by phone at 1-888-248-6834 or in person at select Wildlife Service Agents.
Mountain Creek Park, the Catawba County Park System’s newest outdoor destination, is located at 6554 Little Mountain Rd. in Sherrills Ford. Riverbend Park is located at 6700 North NC Hwy 16 in Conover. Both parks are operated by Catawba County as part of the Catawba County Park System, which also includes Bakers Mountain Park and St. Stephens Park in Hickory.
Details about the events can be found on Catawba County Parks’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CatawbaCountyParksNC or by calling Riverbend Park at 828-256-9157 or Mountain Creek Park at 828-465-9645.
PHOTO: Hickory resident Lyric Riddile takes a spin on the mountain bike pump track at Mountain Creek Park.