This weekend: Save a turtle, celebrate a squirrel (or eat one)


We’re going with an animal theme this week. Turtles at the coast, bears and other hearty survivors in the mountains … and would you believe we’re celebrating the squirrel in the Piedmont?


Ever been walking along the coast and come across an area marked off with yellow tape? Holy crustacean killing! you think. Actually, the area has probably been roped off to protect a sea turtle nest. Sea turtles are revered at the coast and you can find out why this Saturday and Sunday when the rangers at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area talk turtle at Turtle Talk. Some of the critter’s mysteries will be unveiled and you can find out more about the conservation effort behind that yellow tape.

Logistics: The program is both days, at 2:30 p.m., in the park’s Exhibit Room. No fee, find out more about Fort Fisher here, more about sea turtles here.

Weekend forecast: Highs in the mid-60s, 30-40 percent chance of rain. True, the program is indoors, but afterward you’ll want to take a hike on the intriguing Hermit Trail.

Bears love music with their dinner.


I will refrain from mentioning the number of their kind that I have inadvertently hit on my bike (7) and move right to the fact that Saturday is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Yes, a day to celebrate what Charlotte’s Reedy Creek Nature Center refers to as “adorable mammals,” what we refer to as neurotic nut-hiding nitwits. And celebrate sciurus obnoxious they will at Reedy Creek, from 2-3 p.m. Saturday. “We’ll feed them, read about them, and celebrate all that is squirrelly about those squirrels!” exclaims an excited park. If that sounds like a good excuse to get out and explore the woods, the particulars follow.

The particulars: Saturday, Jan. 21, 2-3 p.m. at the Reedy Creek Nature Center. It’s free, but registration is requested, by calling 704.432.6460. More about the event here.

Saturday forecast: High of 59, 30 percent chance of rain.

Reckon there's a squirrel in that pic-a-nic basket?


Do you know how a bear might celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day? By having one for dinner (that’s “for,” not “over for”). Harsh! you think? Actually, that’s survival. So what else to animals do to survive, especially to survive a harsh winter like the ones often suffered in the animal kingdom at Mount Jefferson State Natural Area? Find out Saturday at 2 p.m. on an Animal Adaptations Hike atop Mount Jefferson.

Logistics: Program is Saturday at 2 p.m. Free, no registration required. For more info, go here.

Saturday forecast: High in the mid-40s, 50 percent chance of rain.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.

Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).


Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times
From the main page, click on “Calendars,” then Main Events.

Todd’s Calendar



Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.


Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

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