CLEMSON — Area residents looking for a day of family fun and adventure should come to the Clemson Experimental Forest Saturday, April 23.

The first-ever Forest Fest takes place April 23 at the Clemson

The first-ever Forest Fest takes place April 23 at the Clemson Experimental Forest.

Clemson Forest Fest, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Lake Issaqueena Area of the Clemson Experimental Forest.

Stations will be set up for visitors to participate in activities and games. All activities are family-friendly and specific activities for children will be held at each station. Some of the many activities include: guided trail tours, wildflower walks, bird identification, scavenger hunts, forestry and forest management demonstrations and equipment, as well as fly fishing lessons and demonstrations. There also will be arrowhead-making, hunting/fishing/boating safety demonstrations and games; as well as outdoor gear giveaways, stream sampling and fish shocking, and much, much more.

This year is the first year for the event, said James Wilkins, educational and resource coordinator for the South Carolina Botanical Garden and the Clemson Experimental Forest. He said it is a way to “give back to the community,” as well as celebrate the people who manage the Experimental Forest and use it for teaching, research and service.

“Doing something of this sort was talked about long before I came on board,” said Wilkins, who as been working in this role since March 2015. “The interest in having a Forest Fest-type event finally reached a tipping point and we decided to make it a day to give back to the community.”

Forest Fest is a free event, open to anyone who wants to learn more about the Clemson Experimental Forest, Wilkins said. The format is one where people can come anytime and  “choose their own adventure,” he added.

“I particularly hope students might take a few hours break from finals preparation and come to Forest Fest to recharge and have some fun,” Wilkins said.

“There will be lots to see and do,” he said. “People are welcome to come for just one activity or come for them all.”
Water and light snacks will be available for purchase and restrooms will be provided.

“We also encourage people to bring their own picnic lunches and make a day of it,” Wilkins said.

Forest Fest will be held in and around the lake and Issaqueena Lake Road. The entrance to Forest Fest is the Issaqueena Lake Road entrance on Old Six Mile Road behind Maw’s Grocery near D.W. Daniel High School and Lawrence Chapel United Methodist Church. According to Wilkins, the Lawrence Bridge Road side of Issaqueena Lake Road will be used as an exit only during Forest Fest.

For more information on this and other Botanical Garden events, go to http://www.clemson.edu/public/scbg/.

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