Outdoor extravaganza will draw hundreds of kids to Norco

Archery, canoeing, creature ID among activities at Saturday event

The goal is to put a duck call (pink or camo) and a fishing pole – anything that’s not electronic – in every little hand Saturday at the first annual St. Charles Greenwing Day and Chili Cookoff.

It’s the first of its kind event where the St. Charles Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and Wetland Watchers have come together in force to promote their common mission – conservation, said Brian Landry, St. Charles Ducks Unlimited event chairman.

“So many people have gotten numb to the fast we lose a football field a minute – they can’t even wrap their mind around it,” Landry said. “But to hunters and fishermen, it’s their way of life. They’re seeing places disappearing. As we lose that and the fisheries, we lose our way of life out there.”

The Greenwing event will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Wetland Watchers Park in the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco.“This is the first time this has ever been done with the cooperation of these groups,” said Landry, which typically hold their own events. “We have that like-minded drive for conservation.”

An estimated 400 children or Greenwings (young Ducks Unlimited members)are expected at the event, a number that ballooned from the anticipated 50 children, Landry said.“It’s going to be a pretty fun event and it keeps growing,” Landry said.

The Boy Scouts are going to be there to teach knot tying, he said. Also, Hunters for the Homeless, a nonprofit group where hunters empty their freezers to the homeless shelters, also will be there. Landry said any leftover chili goes to the group, too.

Children will participate in activities including canoeing, archery, cast netting, creature and critter identification, plant identification and touring nature trails.

Landry said each activity serves as a station. At the fishing station, children will learn about fish and spawning patterns, learn how to cast a fishing line, go on a charter boat on land to learn boat safety and then go to a pier with a fishing pole and bait to fish 30 minutes.

With every station completed, the child gets a ticket that can be turned in for a chance to win prizes, such as camping and hunting packages, as well as camo bags and fishing gear. Additionally, the chili cookoff will feature 10 six-person teams and celebrity judges. Landry said the children can have chili all day. First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded top winners.

All soft drink proceeds will go to Wetland Watchers for conservation efforts such as Swamp School.Tickets are $15 each for children age 5 to 15 years old, which includes a membership in Ducks Unlimited and CCA. They get a wristband for all the activities and there are many of them.

Admission is $5 for youths age 18 to adult.

Advance tickets are available 7 – 10 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 26) and 5 – 7 p.m. Thursday(Aug. 27) at Ormond Plantation.

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