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E-M:/ CraneFest '97 Press Release

Enviro-Mich message from Mike Boyce <birder@voyager.net>


Contact:        Mike Boyce  (616) 763-3377


Imagine a cool, crisp afternoon amidst the splendor of autumn colors. 
The stillness is interrupted by the cry of the cranes, oddly
prehistoric.  As the Sandhill Cranes fly into view, you are thrilled by
the majesty of Michiganís largest bird.

CraneFest Ď97 will be Saturday and Sunday October 18 and 19 from noon to
7:00 p.m. in north central Calhoun County.  The Festival will be held at
the Battle Creek Kiwanis Youth Area, 3.5 miles North of Cornwellís
Turkeyville, on 15 Mile Road between T Drive North and Junction Road.  A
major attraction will be watching hundreds of Sandhill Cranes return to
the adjoining Baker Sanctuary, with the best viewing of this migration
spectacle between 3 p.m. and dusk. Admission is free.

Nature and human artistic achievement come together at Michigan Audubon
Societyís Third Annual Sandhill Crane and Art Festival. The works of
some of Michiganís best professional artists will be on display and for
sale.  In addition to the art work, cranes, and the fall colors, the
Festival features guided nature walks, creative movement and nature
photography workshops, nature crafts, a large selection of nature and
wildlife books, picnic areas and food concessions, hay rides and much
more. With free admission and so much priced so reasonably, this is
truly the place smart shoppers will look for those special holiday

More than 1,000 Greater Sandhill Cranes are expected to greet visitors
at this yearís festival.  With autumn color near its peak the same
weekend, everyone should consider making the event part of their fall
color tour.

The Festival was started to raise awareness and appreciation of our
natural heritage and to support ongoing educational and conservation
projects of the Michigan Audubon Society and Baker Sanctuary.  This
yearís festival will be extra special as it commemorates the 25th year
anniversary of the Clean Water Act with the dedication of the newly
created 1.7 mile Meadow and Marshland hiking and cross-country skiing

Sandhill Cranes are believed to be the oldest living bird species having
existed for more than 9 million years.  The cranes are Michiganís
largest bird measuring up to five feet tall with wings spanning an
impressive six to seven feet.  Thousands of these majestic birds return
annually to roost at Big Marsh Lake in Baker Sanctuary before completing
their winter migration to Florida.

The 900 acre Baker Sanctuary is Michigan Audubon Societyís first
sanctuary and one of its largest.  It is located northwest of the
intersection of I-94 and I-69.  Only minutes south of Bellevue and
Olivet, itís just ten minutes north of historic Marshall and only 12
miles from Battle Creek.

CraneFest Ď97 is sponsored by the Michigan Audubon Society and the
Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek, with the assistance of the Bellevue Lions

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