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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Raptors, MLK programs set at monument

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  • Two events will be highlighted at the George Washington Carver National Monument this weekend.
    The first is at 11 a.m. Saturday and is called “Raptors, Birds of Prey” and the second is the Martin Luther Kind, Jr. film: “We Shall Overcome,” which will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday through Monday.
    The events are free of charge and open to the public.
    “Raptors, Birds of Prey”
     “We have partnered with Pittsburg (Kan.) State University’s Nature Reach, and Della Lister [program coordinator] will bring in live raptors and talk about them,” said Randall Becker, GWC supervisory park ranger. “And then we may go out and look for raptors ourselves in the prairie.
    Raptors are a powerful force in the natural world, Becker said, with long sharp talons, amazing strength, hooked beaks that tear, and highly developed eyesight and hearing. Visitors will be able to see the Eastern Screech Owl, American Kestrel, Barred Owl, and Harris’ Hawk, among others. The 50-minute long program will focus on raptor biology, the importance of raptors, and conservation.
    “It is the first time that we have done this with live raptors that I am aware of,” he said. “We have had, in the past, a winter raptors program. We went out and looked at the raptors in the woodlands and the prairies. That has been a lot of fun.”
    A Call to Action Strategic Plan charts a path toward the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service. One action concept, Live and Learn, creates multiple ways to learn about the national parks and what they reveal about nature. This special program will give visitors an up close look at the raptor family of birds.
    MLK film: “We Shall Overcome.”
    “It is a 45-minute film, highlighting his major speeches that he gave during his lifetime,” Becker said. “It is a timeless story, it is important that we all recognize King and his work toward racially equality and the Civil Rights movement of course.”
    King’s birthday — Jan. 15, 1929 — is observed on the third Monday of January. In the past, the Carver Monument observes his birthday in some sort of fashion.
    “We always observe it in the park,” said Becker. “Of course, we encourage people in the communities to get out there and do some service work in King’s honor that day.”
    The monument is located two miles west of Diamond on Route V, then a quarter mile south on Carver Road. For more information, please call the park at 325-4151.

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