Glenwood First Day hike

Kevin Dials, director of Glenwood Park, leads a guided hike at Glenwood Recreation Park. This was the first in a series of guided tours planned at the park. The next one is scheduled for Feb. 8.

GLENWOOD — Nature lovers can now expect monthly guided, and themed, tours through Glenwood Park.

Kevin Dials, the superintendent of Glenwood Park, is seeking to not only encourage park interest but also teach guests about nature. Dials also looks to share his hobby, hiking, with his community.

"It's something new and different for Glenwood. I think in the past they probably didn't do too many hikes," Dials said.

This month, Dials lead guests through the park's trails on a first-day hike, on January 1. The next walk is scheduled for February 8 at 2 p.m. and is entitled Valentine for a Vulture.

During this hike Dials will discuss the area's vultures and raptors. Dials will also have a properly obtained animal carcass to attract the avians. Birds that Dials will teach guests about include black vultures, turkey vultures, various eagles and hawks.

The discussion will include the bird's habits, traits and how to distinguish them.

According to Dials fowl is a relatively new topic to him. For the past three years, he has been learning more about the feathered animals and interested in sharing his newly learned knowledge.

"I just want to pass that along to folks," Dials said.

Dials is also seeking to expand on nature interpretation in the park is by creating a nature center. Though there are no set plans for this he hopes that this is something available for the future.

"Maybe in a space out here somewhere we can get a nature center. Maybe some interpretive signage around the lake," Dials said.

For the February hike Dials will be meeting guests at the 4H Camp in Glenwood then leading them around the soccer fields, onto the dam, around a short route and then back to the camp. This is shorter than the full trail around the lake.

"It's less distance and a slower pace. We're going to be stopping to look at the birds and talk about them," Dials said.

The park is also undergoing many improvements. This includes updating restroom facilities with improved sewer systems. Other improvements include the possibility of a stage installation, updating the mini-golf course and improving picnic shelters.

Those interested in the Valentine for a Vulture walk can meet Dials at the 4H Camp parking lot at 2 p.m. on February 8.

— Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com

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