Pettit Environmental Preserve to present Summer Evening Hike
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 15, 2012 | 1377 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In March, Pettit Environmental Executive Director Marina Robertson, left, and Leisa Schmidt set up a bluebird house at the 70-acre forest and lake ecosystem. At the Preserve’s Summer Evening Hike on Saturday, patrons will utilize identiFlyer bird and frog song devices.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
In March, Pettit Environmental Executive Director Marina Robertson, left, and Leisa Schmidt set up a bluebird house at the 70-acre forest and lake ecosystem. At the Preserve’s Summer Evening Hike on Saturday, patrons will utilize identiFlyer bird and frog song devices. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
slideshow
By using audible recordings of nocturnal frogs and birds, patrons of the Pettit Environmental Preserve will tap into the sounds of the season at the venue’s Summer Evening Hike on Saturday from 6 to 9. Along with offering self-led hikes, the nonprofit’s staff believes the event will be an ideal time to debut its new identiFlyer devices, which were purchased with funds from a Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia grant.

“We’re going to talk about birds that you might hear at night [as well as] cicadas, grasshoppers, crickets and how they make their sounds,” said Lori Jewell, education coordinator for the Preserve. “We’ll all have an identiFlyer and that is a device that allows you to hear the sounds specific to the different species. So we’ll be able to hear frog sounds and we’ll be able to hear bird sounds with the identiFlyer [which is] a little electronic device. You can purchase it on Amazon or a bird store and what it does is it has an electronic card and you can switch them out. On the card are pictures of the animals that you want to hear and you just press a little button and it gives you their sound.

“We did [this program] last summer but we’re going to expand it this summer to include more of the sounds because we did not have the identiFlyers last year. I had to use downloaded information from the Internet. So with the identiFlyers, [it] is going to allow us to use a wider range of sounds,” she said referring to owls, hawks, frogs and woodland birds.

Situated off Ga. Highway 61 in southwest Bartow County, the Preserve consists of trails developed by Cartersville’s Switchbacks Trail Design & Construction, a swinging bridge, a 9-acre lake, two aquatic stations, three amphitheaters and a Learning Shed. With the 70-acre forest and lake ecosystem primarily accessed by appointment only, Saturday’s event will provide the public a free glimpse into the Preserve.

The venue was formed as a private, nonprofit corporation — The Margaret and Luke Pettit Environmental Preserve Inc. — in 1999 when the late Gay Pettit Dellinger and her children initially donated 60 acres of property to this endeavor. Tailoring educational programs, such as tree identification and water testing, to youth, the Preserve has served more than 4,700 students since 2006.

“As our society becomes more and more focused on urban living, these preserved areas, these wild areas, become more and more scarce,” said Marina Robertson, executive director for the Preserve. “You have to have a number of acres to really have a lot of animals be around because they need the space for their habitat. So as people become more focused on living in cities and even towns, having some place where they can go where nature’s very unspoiled and untouched and they can experience that is very important to keep us in touch with nature and remind us that we better hang on to what we have left.”

For more information about the Preserve and its upcoming event, visit www.pettitpreserve.org or contact Robertson at 678-848-4179.