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E-M:/ CraneFest 2000 Oct 14 & 15

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


Contact:        Mike Boyce  (616) 763-3377 or 763-3090


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

CraneFest 2000 will be Saturday and Sunday October 14 and 15 from noon
to 7:00 PM in north central Calhoun County.  The Festival will be held
at the Kiwanis Youth Area, 3.5 miles North of Cornwell’s Turkeyville, on
15 Mile Road between T Drive North and Junction Road.  A major
attraction will be watching more than a thousand Sandhill Cranes return
to the adjoining Baker Sanctuary.  The “Fly-In” typically begins slowing
around 4 PM with best viewing of large numbers of cranes between 5 PM
and dusk.  Admission and parking are free.

Nature and human artistic achievement come together at CraneFest 2000,
Michigan Audubon Society's sixth Annual Sandhill Crane and Art Festival.
The works of some of the Midwest's best professional artists will be on
display and for sale.  In addition to the art work, cranes, and the fall
colors, the Festival features expert guided nature walks, nature
photography workshops, crane origami, nature crafts, a large selection
of nature and wildlife books, picnic areas and food concessions, hay
rides and much more.  Merging with nature, the Festival takes place on
the beautiful uplands, owned and operated by the Kiwanis Club of Battle
Creek, which border Big Marsh Lake, a successful wetland restoration
project.  With free admission, beautiful setting, and so much priced so
reasonably, this is truly the place smart shoppers will look for those
extra special holiday gifts.

Several attractions promise to be of special interest this year.
“Sandy”, a live Sandhill Crane that was imprinted on humans and cannot
be released to the wild, will be on display compliments of the Kellogg
Bird Sanctuary. The Michigan Hawking Club returns again this year with
their live hawks, falcons, and Owls.  Additionally, Michigan United
Conservation Clubs will present Michigan’s Wonderful Wetlands at 1 PM
and 3 PM both days.  And finally, acclaimed professional nature
photographer Jim Gift will hold a free nature photo fundamentals
workshop at 4 PM both days (registration is on-site in advance).

More than 2,000 cranes are expected to greet CraneFest visitors again
this year. With autumn color predicted to be near its peak the same
weekend, everyone should consider making CraneFest 2000 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.

Sandhill Cranes are believed to be the oldest living bird species having
existed for more than 60 million years.  The cranes are Michigan's
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 autumn migration to Florida.  With 4,165 Sandhill Cranes counted
October 30th, 1998, Baker Sanctuary set a new single day state record
for crane numbers.  Saved from the brink of extinction, cranes have
become a Michigan environmental success story.

The 900 acre Baker Sanctuary was Michigan Audubon Society's first
sanctuary and is still one of its largest.  Centrally located, the
Sanctuary is about six miles northwest of the intersection of I-94 and
I-69.  The Festival site is roughly an hour from Grand Rapids, 40
minutes from Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Jackson, and within a dozen miles
of Battle Creek, Marshall, Charlotte, Bellevue and Olivet.

An extensive website containing maps and additional information about
Baker Sanctuary and CraneFest 2000 is available at:
http://www.cranefest.org and the Baker Sanctuary phone number is (616)

CraneFest 2000 is sponsored by the Michigan Audubon Society and the
Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek, with additional assistance provided by the
Bellevue Lions Club and the Bellevue Boy Scouts Troop 345.

I encourage all interested individuals to Email me and request a
CraneFest 2000 flyer with map and activities schedule in PDF format.
PDF documents require the freely distributable Adobe Acrobat Reader
available for free at:

This flyer can be printed and copied double sided on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet
and shared with friends, colleagues, relatives, neighbors, etc.

Michael Boyce
Baker Sanctuary Resident Manager
Michigan Audubon Society

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