19th Annual Wild Things Festival

10.21.2016 | In Community & Events
By Samantha Carter, Senior Outreach Coordinator, Mississippi River Delta Restoration, National Wildlife Federation

On October 15, outreach staff from Restore the Mississippi River Delta attended the 19th Annual Wild Things Festival in Lacombe, LA. The fun-filled day included nature walks, a wildlife youth art show, live animal exhibits, and much more.

To encourage spending time outside and creating backyard wildlife habitats at home, our team worked with hundreds of children and families to make bird feeder tree ornaments out of easy-to-find household snacks.

Staff also led discussions and answered questions about coastal restoration in Louisiana and distributed information about restoration solutions and upcoming public meetings on the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. While we can’t guarantee that all the ornaments made it home without being consumed by their makers, we can guarantee that a good time was had by all. Wild Things is hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Bayou Lacombe Center on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

National Wildlife Federation and Louisiana Wildlife Federation tables and activities at the Bayou Lacombe Center during Wild Things.
National Wildlife Federation and Louisiana Wildlife Federation tables and activities at the Bayou Lacombe Center during Wild Things.

While nutria as a species can be quite destructive to wetland habitats – our furry nutria friend was happy to share the tent and tables with our coaltion staff.
While nutria as a species can be quite destructive to wetland habitats – our furry nutria friend was happy to share the tent and tables with our coaltion staff.

Outreach Coordinator Helen Rose Patterson helps kids string bird snacks onto pipe cleaners.
Outreach Coordinator Helen Rose Patterson helps kids string bird snacks onto pipe

cleaners.

Sam the bobcat hanging out with Sam Carter the Outreach Coordinator.
Sam the bobcat hanging out with Sam Carter the Outreach Coordinator.

Kids busy stringing bird snacks and making ornaments to decorate their back yard trees. There were many great debates about whether birds or squirrels would feast on their creations.
Kids busy stringing bird snacks and making ornaments to decorate their back yard trees. There were many great debates about whether birds or squirrels would feast on their creations.

These two caused a big stink about Louisiana’s disappearing coast. They think that we should all do everything we can to get large-scale restoration underway as soon as possible.
These two caused a big stink about Louisiana’s disappearing coast. They think that we should all do everything we can to get large-scale restoration underway as soon as possible.

As Senior Outreach Coordinator, Samantha Carter works to develop and implement outreach and engagement strategies to advance the priorities of the Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program for the National Wildlife Federation. Focusing on the Greater New Orleans area, she educates and engages community leaders and other key stakeholders, including elected officials and neighborhood associations, to address the alarming loss of coastal wetlands in Louisiana. Additionally, Samantha helps coordinate the MRGO Must Go Coalition – a group of 17 environmental, community, and social justice organizations working to restore the degraded wetland ecosystem that protects the Greater New Orleans area from storm surge.