Birch Bay State Park closes interpretative programs with concert

By Steve Guntli

Birch Bay State Park is closing out a successful run of interpretive programs with a special concert at the BP Heron Center.

On Sunday, September 6, the park will host Canadian musicians the Whiskey Minstrels at the Heron Center. Whisky Minstrels are an award-winning folk duo comprised of Bruce Coughlan and Nolan Murray. The pair has toured the country as musicians for more than 40 years, and their music is a pastiche of Celtic folk music and American bluegrass.

The concert puts a cap on the summer’s interpretive programs, which have been very successful, according to program coordinator Jana Turner.

“We’ve had a great season,” she said. “We had some programs that drew 80 people on a Friday night, which is unheard of.”

The interpretative programs are weekly educational presentations designed to celebrate nature in Birch Bay. Nature walks, bird-watching tips, special presentations from renowned naturalists and story times for kids were held at the wildlife center in the park each week from May to September.

The concert will celebrate the closing of the season, while looking forward to the next one. The concert is doubling as a fundraiser for next year’s interpretive programs and for the park’s next project, Orcafest.

The Orca Network, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting and preserving the native orca whale population, will put on Orcafest. The festival, which is scheduled for May, would feature movies, speakers and musicians to raise awareness for the cause.

The concert starts at 6 p.m. at the BP Heron Center in Birch Bay State Park. The suggested donation is $20 for adults, $10 for kids and seniors. A Discover Pass is required for parking.

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