Hungry Mother State Park Opens Registration for New Birding Festival

Registration is open for Hungry Mother State Park’s inaugural Life’s Extras Birding Celebration, a festival to honor the life of long-time volunteer and Virginia Master Naturalist Randy Smith.

Smith, who always looked for “life’s extras,” passed away after a brief illness in January 2023. He loved spending time in nature and was an active birder. He maintained a list of bird species he had seen over his lifetime and took great joy in leading bird walks and owl prowls at Hungry Mother.

The park will honor his memory May 3-5 with a birding festival featuring 15 different birding activities, from bird hikes and owl paddles to a live raptor show and programs on bird rehabilitation. Speakers include birding experts, licensed wildlife rehabilitators, Virginia Master Naturalists and more.

Admission to the festival is $25 for a three-day pass, which includes all festival events, a commemorative patch and a three-day parking pass for Hungry Mother State Park, or $15 for a single-day ticket on Saturday or Sunday, which includes the programs on the day of your choice; parking and a commemorative patch are not included.

Registration for Life’s Extras Birding Celebration closes on April 26. All proceeds from the festival will benefit the Friends of Hungry Mother State Park. To learn more or to register, click here (https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/event?id=2024-01-23-15-25-36-511057-c5s).

The park also offers overnight accommodations for festival goers, including cabins, a family lodge, yurts and camping. Early reservations are encouraged. You can book your stay online at reservevaparks.com or by calling 1-800-933-PARK (7275).

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