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Busy beavers to be subject of Kauffman Museum Earth Day event

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Scheduling conflicts and Earth Day (April 22) falling on Good Friday have combined to put Kauffman Museum’s annual celebration a week earlier.

The museum, located on the Bethel College campus, will host its Earth Day event, “Nature’s Engineers: Beaver Show-and-Tell,” Friday, April 15, starting at the museum at 7 p.m. and including a walk in Chisholm Park.

Richard Rempel, Bethel College professor emeritus of mathematics and Kansas master naturalist-in-training, will be the presenter.

The beavers along Kidron Creek in North Newton have been – well, busy as beavers. In the last few months, beaver activity has been evident, with fallen trees, gnawed stumps and the beginnings of a dam in Chisholm Park between 27th and 30th Streets.

Rempel will present a program on beavers in the museum auditorium, beginning at 7 p.m., to be followed by a walk along Kidron Creek in Chisholm Park, north of the museum, to see where beavers have been active.

Rempel is currently part of the first-ever Kansas Master Naturalist (KMN) class being held this spring at Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson. To be certified as a Kansas Master Naturalist, participants attend 10 three-hour sessions on Kansas natural history and take part in additional Saturday sessions and field trips.

The KMN program is organized and sponsored by Kansas State University Research and Extension Office and Dillon Nature Center, a facility operated by the city of Hutchinson. The neighboring states of Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma have all established Master Naturalist programs.

During the April 15 program at Kauffman Museum, Rempel will discuss the beaver’s life cycle, influence on the ecosystem and physical characteristics. He will use a short video clip, taxidermy specimens and museum artifacts to help describe the beaver’s habits and physical traits.

Bethel’s Sand Creek Trail Committee is co-sponsoring this year’s Earth Day event with Kauffman Museum.

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin founded Earth Day as an environmental teach-in first held April 22, 1970. More than 20 million people in thousands of schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day. Eight months later, the U.S. Congress authorized creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Kauffman Museum’s Earth Day program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Andi Schmidt Andres at 316-283-1612.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 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 current special exhibit, “K is for Kansas,” as well as 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, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/.

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