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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: June 16, 2014

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov


Paulita Cousin, Blackwater Falls State Park 304-259-5216 paulita.l.cousin@wv.gov

Howling and prowling at Blackwater Falls State Park West Virginia Day Weekend June 20-21, 2014

DAVIS, West Virginia – Bears, snakes and coyotes: what should you know about them? West Virginia Day weekend at Blackwater Falls State Park, June 20-22, includes coyote and bear programs by wildlife biologist Karen McClure, a former employee of the Division of Natural Resources and Project WILD instructor.

McClure is the guest naturalist Friday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m. with The Bear Facts and again at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 21, with Coyote Challenge.

"Karen enjoys teaching and sharing nature with children and adults," says Paulita Cousin, park naturalist at Blackwater Falls. "When we understand habits and habitats of wildlife, we can reduce conflict and enjoy the animals of our state."

June 20 - The Bear Facts and Crafts

Biologist Karen McClure talks about bear safety, what they eat, and bear family life. The presentation includes information about how to identify bear tracks and scat. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at Blackwater Falls Lodge and is open to the public without charge.

Other activities June 20 include sun catcher crafts at 10 a.m.; laces and loops craft at 12:30 p.m.; friendship flip-flops crafts at 2:30 p.m.; parachute cord bracelet or bottle buckle clips at 4 p.m.; and cabin craft at 5 p.m. Craft activities are at the Nature Center and have a small materials fee.

June 21 - Snakes and Coyotes
Snakes of West Virginia

Do you know a copperhead from a water snake? Does West Virginia have water moccasins? At 1 p.m. in the Nature Center, Park Naturalist Paulita Cousin presents an educational program about snakes found in West Virginia, their senses, habitats and behaviors. A black rat snake will be featured. Open to the public without charge. Following the program, a paper/paint-based craft, "all about snakes," is scheduled at 2 p.m. for a small materials fee.

McClure's Coyote Challenge

The Coyote Challenge is at 8 p.m. at the Nature Center. Biologist Karen McClure will talk about how coyotes entered the Mountain State. Discussion about coyote habitat and habits, what they like for dinner, and coyote behavior is part of the presentation. This program includes an outdoors component with a "howling" and the possibility of some coyotes returning the call.

Other activities June 21 include: tie-dye T-shirt making, pond game and yard games including Murbles, ladder golf, cornhole and more.

Blackwater Falls Nature Center and the boat house at Pendleton Lake are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with later hours West Virginia Day weekend, June 20-22, 2014.

Blackwater Falls State Park is located between Davis and Thomas in Tucker County. The park features the iconic Blackwater Falls, gorge views, lodge, cabins, campground, winter sledding, trails and restaurant. The area is known for its abundant wildlife and bird population.

To learn more about Blackwater Falls State Park, visit www.blackwaterfalls.com or email blackwaterfallsps@wv.gov.

About Karen McClure

Karen McClure is a native West Virginian, educated at WVIT (BSME) and Marshall University (M.S. Biological Sciences).  Karen is a former state parks seasonal naturalist, field biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, assistant editor of West Virginia Wildlife magazine, and Project WILD instructor. She volunteers for the West Virginia DNR Wildlife Resources Section and currently is employed by the West Virginia Public Service Commission, Engineering Division.


Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Coyotes have migrated into all areas of West Virginia.
Photo Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce.  Coyotes have migrated into all areas of West Virginia.