Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006
Come out and enjoy the exciting natural resources of the Upper Mississippi River during Prairie du Chien Bald Eagle Appreciation Day! Prairie du Chien will be the site of Bald Eagle Appreciation Day activities scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2006. Activities will run concurrent to the 56th Annual Fisheree; bald eagle events will be centered along the Mississippi River on the grounds of the Wisconsin Welcome Center / Prairie du Chien Chamber, 211 S Main Street, and the adjacent AmericInn Lodge and Suites. Complimentary hot beverages will be available at the AmericInn.
Bald Eagle Appreciation Day will offer outdoor viewing of bald eagles through spotting scopes and other educational opportunities for families and outdoor enthusiasts ? including live bald eagle programs, eagle and raptor exhibits and presentations, children?s craft activities, a ?hands on? life-size eagle nest building demonstration, eagle photographs, wooden eagle carvings and eagle paintings by Prairie du Chien Intermediate School students. A special display featuring the framed painting and incredible story of ?Freedom?, one of the largest bald eagles ever recorded in this region, will be located in the AmericInn lobby. Birding experts will be on hand at the primary event locations; short field trips to other bald eagle watching locations will take place if eagle activity is reported.
Live Bald Eagle (45 minute) programs will be presented by Mary Beth Garrigan, Director of the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota, at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the lobby of the AmericInn. These bald eagle programs will be preceded at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. by a special presentation on the significance of the bald eagle to Native Americans by Chloris Lowe ? a member of the Sky Clan of the sovereign Ho-Chunk Nation. Twice elected as the leader of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Chloris also held a position with the National Museum of the American Indian ? Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and taught current Native American Issues at the University of Delaware. Patricia Manthey, WDNR Bureau of Endangered Resources, will give a presentation on ?Eagles in Wisconsin? at 10 a.m. and 12 noon.
Prairie du Chien is nestled on the banks of the upper Mississippi River, home to the largest concentration of wintering bald eagles in the lower 48 states. As with other regional Mississippi River communities, the Prairie du Chien area offers excellent bald eagle watching opportunities. Additionally, this small city of 6,000 inhabitants offers an unsurpassed combination of amenities and natural habitat vistas. The event locations are within the heart of the 261-mile Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge, in close proximity to Prairie du Chien?s La Riviere Park, Wisconsin's Wyalusing State Park, Iowa's Pike's Peak State Park, Clayton County Iowa?s Osborne Nature Center and Effigy Mounds National Monument.
During the Annual Fisheree and Bald Eagle Appreciation Day, visitors to the Prairie du Chien area can enjoy countless opportunities for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. The Wisconsin Welcome Center is located within walking distance of downtown Prairie du Chien shopping and restaurant establishments, and short driving distances to shopping, lodging, entertainment and dining amenities located along the routes to the nearby parks and wildlife refuge.
Winter hiking is available along miles and miles of trails within La Riviere Park, Wyalusing State Park, Pike?s Peak State Park, Effigy Mounds National Monument and Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge. Each park has a significant number of ancient American Indian mounds that are situated along the trails, as well as magnificent bluff top views of the Mississippi River. For history buffs, two of Wisconsin?s oldest National Historic Landmark sites are located within walking distance of the bald eagle day locations in Prairie du Chien ? Villa Louis on St. Feriole Island and Ft. Crawford Medical Museum on South Beaumont Street.
The event is a collaborative project of the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Wyalusing State Park, Pike?s Peak State Park, Wisconsin DNR, Iowa DNR, Upper Mississippi Wildlife & Fish Refuge, Upper Iowa Audubon Society and Osborne Nature Center. The AmericInn is participating as a host site.
Come out and enjoy the exciting resources of the Upper Mississippi River throughout the winter season and especially during Prairie du Chien Bald Eagle Appreciation Day!
Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves prehistoric American Indian burial and ceremonial mounds, including some in the shape of animals. The park is located three miles north of Marquette, Iowa, and 17 miles south of Waukon, Iowa, on Highway 76. For more information, call (563) 873-3491 or visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/efmo.