Sunday, February 03, 2008
Weekend Snapshot: 22
On Saturday, Bill and I went to the Winter Open House for Open Spaces at Blue Jay Point. The activities centered around why open space is so important and it was a perfect day for an outing. The weather was more like fall than winter which was a nice change. Blue Jay Point is a 236 acre park on the shores of Falls Lake, and is a peninsula bordered on 3 sides by the lake. The lake is a reservoir managed by the US Army Corp of Engineers and is the main source of water for where I live. The reservoir is man made and covers 12,500 acres with water. The reservoir is surrounded by 25,500 acres of public land. We were visiting a county park on the lake but the Falls Lake State Recreational Area includes a number of good places for boating, swimming, hiking, and camping. Rangers present educational and interpretive programs about the lake and its aquatic environment. The majority of the Blue Jay Point is second growth forest land and was once primarily agricultural land. They have three acres devoted to open play fields, a playground, an environmental education center and an overnight lodge. It's a beautiful park and not that far from where I live but I don't make it there very often. Since there are two smaller lakes very close to my house and so many trails that are part of the greenway system, I forget to explore some of the large parks a little farther away. I was glad Bill suggested we go to the open house because I tend to stick close to home too much lately. They have environmental programs for children and also for adults. I liked the children's definition of biodiversity above. They came up with the definition in an ecology workshop. You will probably have to click inside the photo above to enlarge it, if you want to read it. The education center has a lot of interesting displays and information. There were rooms set up with puppet shows for children and other family oriented events that were pretty crowded but the main part of the center wasn't too full. We almost didn't go inside when we saw how many people were there but I'm glad we did. We also enjoyed walking on the trails to the lake. I love tall grasses especially when they are brown in the winter and the parks near where I live get mowed too fast to suit me. I always like places with natural areas where they don't mow, and Blue Jay point has several large fields of tall grass.
I know the wildlife appreciates the natural areas. The center has exhibits and programs for exploring the natural habitat found at Blue Jay Point including the ecology of the fields, forests and streams. The exhibits take a look at the perils currently impacting the local environment. Water is the focus of a lot of the exhibits and they explain the water cycle, the Neuse River basin, the watershed and the city's dependence on Fall's lake for its water.
They had exhibits about conservation of water as well as other environmental issues. If it hadn't been such a pretty day, I would have spent more time looking at the exhibits inside as well as some of the special displays outside. However, Bill and I headed for the trails to the lake pretty quickly, after taking a quick look at the open house. The day was far to pretty to waste inside.
The shot above is the playground which is in front of the trails that lead to the lake. That's it for my weekend snapshot(s). If you want to find out more about WS and locate other participants, you can go to weekend snapshot's home page. You can also find WS posts on technorati - Weekend Snapshot