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Start celebration of National Trails Day with a bird walk on Sand Creek Trail

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Celebrate Bethel College's Sand Creek Trail and a day devoted to the nation's recreational trails with an early-morning bird walk.

On June 7, for the third year, the Sand Creek Trail Committee will join American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®.

SCT Committee members will be at the trailhead in Memorial Grove between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., where they will have water for visitors, both human and canine, and be available to answer questions.

June 7 is also the date of the first-Saturday bird walk that meets at sunrise (according to local papers or online listings) in the parking lot of Kauffman Museum. The walk will follow Sand Creek Trail and last about an hour.

National Trails Day® is meant to bring together outdoor enthusiasts across the country for the 22nd annual celebration of the nation's trail system and its many supporters and volunteers.

The 2014 event marks Sand Creek Trail's third anniversary of being designated a National Recreation Trail.

This year, National Trails Day® is part of Great Outdoors Month, an effort throughout June to get Americans outside, coordinated through a coalition of recreation and environmental organizations including American Hiking Society, American Recreation Coalition, National Wildlife Federation and the Corps Network, among others.

By proclamations issued by the President and all 50 state governors, Great Outdoors Month celebrates America’s abundant outdoor recreation resources and Americans’ passion for the outdoors, while also calling for a re-dedication to conservation efforts and volunteerism.

There will be more than 2,000 events nationwide June 7, including trail maintenance, hiking, paddling, biking, horseback riding, bird-watching, running and trail celebrations.

The Kauffman Museum/Sand Creek Trail first-Saturday bird walks began in May and will be led each month by local birding experts, continuing as long as there is interest.

Kauffman Museum (and its parking lot) are at 27th and Main Streets in North Newton. Call Andi Schmidt Andres, curator of education, at 316-283-1612 for more information.

Each year on the first Saturday of June, American Hiking Society sponsors National Trails Day® with the goal of inspiring the public to discover, learn about and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities and trail stewardship projects. National Trails Day® is a registered trademark of American Hiking Society.

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org.

For more about Sand Creek Trail, including how to get there, see www.bethelks.edu/community/affiliate-organizations/sand-creek-trail/.