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Night sounds, sights to be focus of museum’s annual Earth Day event

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The annual Earth Day celebration at Bethel College’s Kauffman Museum will be an evening event featuring frogs, owls, stars and marshmallows.

Although the official Earth Day is April 22, for this year’s activity at Kauffman Museum, participants are invited to meet at the museum Friday evening, April 24, at 7:45 p.m. for an introduction to nighttime sounds and the creatures that make them, given by Dwight Platt, North Newton, Bethel professor emeritus of biology. After the 30-minute program, the group will walk Sand Creek Trail to listen, especially for sounds made by frogs and owls.

The twilight hike ends at Memorial Grove with a campfire and marshmallow roast. At 9:30 p.m., Mabee Observatory in Krehbiel Science Center will be open for night sky viewing with Tracy Tuttle, Bethel assistant professor of physics.

The trail length is about one and two-thirds miles, said Andi Schmidt Andres, Kauffman Museum curator of education. Those going on the walk should bring a flashlight and their own water, she added.

“Dwight Platt will give an illustrated presentation on animal sounds in general – with a focus on the sounds made by owls and frogs – that will include listening to professionally recorded animal sounds,” Andres said. “By listening to their calls, he has counted frogs and toads in Harvey County for approximately five years while working on a project for the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department and the Kansas Herpetological Society.”

The Earth Day event is free and open to all ages. The Sand Creek Trail Committee is sponsoring it along with Kauffman Museum. For more information, contact Andres at 316-283-1612 or by e-mail,

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its Web site,

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