Xtreme Fun: Children take part in annual naturalists’ rally

Published 12:26 am Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Over the nine past years, children throughout the region have had the chance to get an up-close and personal look at what Mother Nature has to offer.

The weekend was no different for the Friends of Roan Mountain, who held the ninth annual Xtreme Roan Adventures kid’s naturalist rally at Roan Mountain State Park.

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While each year brings it own share of fun, Saturday was a sight to see according to event co-organizer Ken Turner.

“We’re extremely happy with the turnout for this year’s rally,” Turner told the Elizabethton Star Saturday morning. “The turnout has been great and this is a perfect opportunity for children to up to the state park and learn about the outdoors. We couldn’t ask for a nicer day”

Children up to 17 years old had the resources available Saturday to learn about different animals and view different exhibits on hand, including the Fossil Casting Adventure sponsored by the East Tennessee State University Department of GeoSciences.

Students from Lees-McRae also provided a variety of different animals, including snakes, opossums and turtles for children to view.

“There are so many people to thank for this event. I’d hate to name everyone because I’d be afraid I’d forget someone,” Turner said with a chuckle.

One aspect the Friends were thankful for was the assistance provided by the staff of the state park.

“They’ve been incredible to work with,” Larry McDaniel, co-organizer, said. “They’re so accommodating for letting us use their park.”

Promoting nature resources is the goal of the Friends of Roan Mountain. McDaniel added he’s seen students come through the rally and go on to lead hikes and strike up a serious interest in the outdoors.

The past nine years have been a joy, according to Turner, but sights are now set for next year’s event. With 10 years on the horizon, Turner added the Friends group is already eyeing what’s ahead for the next year.

For more information about Xtreme Roan Adventures, visit xtremeroanadventures.org or the Friends of Roan Mountain Facebook page online.