BELLBROOK — The Little Miami Watershed Network is planning a river festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Little Miami River’s National Wild and Scenic River designation. The river festival will be held at 12 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at Washington Mill Park in Bellbrook.
Festivities will include a morning canoe/kayak/paddleboard race which will launch at 9 a.m. from the Narrows Reserve and Nature Center, 2575 Indian Ripple Road in Beavercreek. Participants will need to bring their own canoe/kayak. The journey should take about three hours, ending at Constitution Park in Spring Valley.
There is a sign up fee of $25 per boat/vessel. Entrants must pre-register online by Thursday, June 8 in order to participate. Registration for the nine-mile river race opened at www.lmwn.org May 1. Local river enthusiast Mike Freemont, 101-years old, will be bringing his canoe and sharing his river navigation adventures.
The festival, which will feature food trucks selling pork sandwiches, pizza, and ice cream treats, will begin with a musical performance by the Cornhuskers, a local bluegrass band.
Hope Taft, president emeritus of LMWN, will discuss the importance of the Little Miami Watershed Network, caring for the river and watershed, and how people can get involved. Rebecca Victor, executive director and Kathleen Scheltens, Jess Evans, and Adam Panstingel — volunteers for the LMWN — will be on hand to answer questions about the LMWN and provide information.
At 1:15 p.m., “Mister C Alive! It’s River Science Time!” will begin. As the creator and host of the regional Emmy nominated show “Full STEAM Ahead,” Mister C is known for finding exciting and engaging ways to explore science in everyday lives.
“We are celebrating the river and bringing groups together for opportunities to provide information,” Victor said.
There will be many outdoor, wildlife, and river organizations present including Rails to Trails; Bellbrook Amateur Radio Club (BARC), Clifton Gorge, Enviroscape, Greene County Parks & Trails, Beaver Creek Wetlands, and Tecumseh Land Trust.
The Ohio School of Falconry will be bringing peregrine falcons, a Harris’ hawk, a barn owl, an Eurasian Eagle owl, an African Auger buzzard, and other special raptors.
Joseph Dorrian, founder and executive director, will present “Raptors and Rivers” at 2:15 p.m. See a hawk, falcon, owl, and a buzzard in action as their human companions work with them and share stories about them and their relationships with the river.
Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.