This Saturday, the George Washington Carver National Monument will host two events, including a new one.

“One to explore the earth and one to explore the sky,” said Randall Becker, supervisory park ranger.

Walk with a Doc is the new program and is to support and encourage community health and well-being. Discover the nature and history of the monument from a park ranger, while getting a brief informative talk by a Freeman Health System doctor. That program begins at 1 p.m. at the visitor center and is free and open to all ages.

Becker said after the brief introduction, they visitors will walk with the doctor.

“Then along the walk, [the doctor] can offer more information and answer any questions they have about general health and well being,” he added.

Other national parks have done this program.

The second program is titled “Wonders of the Night Sky” and will begin at 7 p.m. also at the visitor center. This is the fifth time this program has been held.

Come and learn about celestial navigation and the Underground Railroad, star stories and the effects of light pollution. The program will last an hour – 30 minutes for a slide show and then 30 minutes looking outside at the constellation tour.

“We are kind of saying goodbye to the winter constellations and welcoming the spring constellations,” Becker said. “We have the big bright winter Orion, Taurus and we also have Leo the Lion coming over the horizon and that is an incredible constellation to look at.”

This program is also free of charge. Becker noted that on both programs – Wonders of the Night Sky and Walking with a Doc, visitors should bring comfortable shoes and a coat.

Carver was born a slave on the Moses and Susan Carver farm about 1864. When he was an infant, outlaws kidnapped him and his mother, Mary. Carver was later found in Arkansas and was returned to the Carvers, but his mother was never found.

Carver became famous later in life when he studied plants, flowers and invented several uses for the common peanut. He later taught at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and in 1921, he gave a captivating testimony before a United States Congress House Committee debating a peanut tariff bill. On Jan. 5, 1943, Carver died at Tuskegee, where he is buried. In July 1943, Congress designated George Washington Carver National Monument, which was the first park to honor an African-American scientist, educator and humanitarian.                                       
For more information, call the monument at 325-4151.