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From Bats to Bugs to Bull Frogs: The Natural History Museum of Utah’s “Explore the Trails Festival" Offers Something for Everyone

The Natural History Museum of Utah is hosting the “Explore the Trails Festival,” a three-day celebration of Utah’s great outdoors, September 14, 15 and 16. Nearly every hour of the festival, a different workshop will be held to encourage Utahns and their families to interact with the natural world surrounding the Museum itself, which is uniquely situated right along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

 

Monday, September 10, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY – From its vantage point in the foothills above Salt Lake City, The Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto Center, University of Utah offers a portal into the Beehive State’s abundant natural resources. That’s why the Museum is hosting the “Explore the Trails Festival,” a three-day celebration of Utah’s great outdoors, September 14, 15 and 16. Nearly every hour of the festival, a different workshop will be held to encourage Utahns and their families to interact with the natural world surrounding the Museum itself, which is uniquely situated right along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

Scientist-led workshops will offer something for everyone. For example, Museum entomologist Christy Bills will guide walking tours that explore organisms that crawl, buzz and fly. Or, follow your nose on a walking tour along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail led by Museum botanist, Ann Kelsey, who will encourage participants to sniff out native plants.

“I’m most excited for the Bats of Utah activity,” says Ruby Thorn, Salt Lake City seventh-grader. “I want to learn about the different kinds of bats and how they use sound to find their prey.”

Those who feel like doing a little laboratory work may participate in a program called Bug Brigade, which will allow adults and youth alike to observe and handle live insects. Another workshop will delve into Utah’s Animals, and how they interact with their environments, such as the Great Basin gopher snake, North American bull frog, toads and salamanders. In addition, the Museum’s anthropologist, Annie Sager will delve into the ways prehistoric people used native plants in daily life.

Those with an artistic-bent might enjoy putting pencil to paper to recreate what they see during a scientific illustration workshop led by Natalia Wilkins. Participants who would like to “get physical,” can enjoy guided trail runs, movement activities inspired by Utah’s land formations and hiking with the Wasatch Mountain Club.

“The festival offers new ways to experience Utah’s unique natural resources,” says Stephanie Smith, interactive marketing manager for the Natural History Museum of Utah. “The Museum’s resources, scientists and location provide a great jumping off point to explore the natural world.”

The festival’s complete agenda is available at www.nhmu.utah.edu/events/explore-trails-festival. The Museum’s scientists will be on hand to lead tours and information sessions. Activities are either free, or included in the price of admission. The event is made possible in part by Museum community partners including Girls on the Run of Salt Lake, the Wasatch Mountain Club and Utah Family Magazine.

About The Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah, the University of Utah, is one of the leading scientific research and cultural institutions in the Intermountain West. Established in 1963, the Museum cares for over 1.2 million objects and offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including traveling and permanent exhibits, special events and other programs.  The Museum also offers a variety of outreach programs to communities and schools throughout Utah, reaching every school district in the state annually. The Museum has an active research program with more than 30 scientists and 10 field expeditions each year. A variety of images with captions are available on the Museum’s News Desk at http://newsdesk.nhmu.utah.edu/

 

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