Events

Also see the Volunteer page for volunteer opportunities.


November 2019 Upcoming Free Events

November 2nd - River Clean-up Event from 8:30 to 11:30 am (also listed on our Volunteer page)
Volunteers needed for our fall clean-up event along the Haw River.  Sign up by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "Clean-up" in the subject line.

November 3rd - Fungi Walk (rescheduled from October for those already pre-registered)
Explore the fascinating world of fungi with Dr. Van Cotter, fungi research scientist with Duke University.  Our walk will take place somewhere within the Lower Haw River State Natural Area, depending on conditions. (This is not a foraging walk to collect edible mushrooms! No foraging is allowed on State Parks land. Please note State Park rules: The removal, destruction or injury of any tree, flower, artifact, fern, shrub, rock or other plant or mineral in any park is prohibited unless with an approved collection permit for scientific or educational purposes.

November 10th - Going Nutz Family Hike from 1:00 to 3:00 pm 
Join Board of Directors member Megan Lynch as we wander along the Haw River. All the animals and plants are preparing for fall/winter. What do they do? Can we notice their preparations? The program will begin with a story about Mr. Squirrel, the best prepared in the woods. All ages welcome! This is an easy hike. Meet in the lower parking lot of the Bynum Mill area off Bynum Church Road (downhill from the old Bynum Bridge). No need to pre-register.

November 17th - Animal Skins & Skulls from 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Learn about mammals of the Piedmont through skulls and pelts, and what bones reveal about animals.  This is a hands-on family friendly presentation by Patricia Thomas-Laemont with Elon University.  Event will be held at the Bynum Front Porch in the village of Bynum.  Address is 950 Bynum Road, Pittsboro NC 27312.  No need to pre-register.



PAST EVENTS

October 2019
October 5th from 9:00 to 11:00 am - Drawing by the River
Join artist Julie Uhler for a charcoal drawing session by the Haw River.  This is a wonderful opportunity for nature lovers or anyone wanting to exercise their creative muscles.  Designed for beginner artists and the artistically curious.  All skill levels welcome. Julie will provide a 20 minute demo covering basic topics such as landscape composition, light effect and value, drawing basic shapes, and perspective. Then enjoy an hour of drawing with charcoal on paper, with the artist using a "follow along with me" approach to guide you along. All materials will be provided. A $5 donation payable to the artist at the event is requested to cover the cost of materials (drawing boards, paper, charcoal, stumps, erasers, and viewfinders). Space is limited to 12 and pre-registration is required by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "Drawing" in the subject line.
October 20th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm - Fall Hike
Join Board of Directors members Megan Lynch and Ryan Cadwalader on a fall hike to explore the Pittsboro side of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area in the Hwy 64 area. Pre-registration is required by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "Fall" in the subject line.
October 26th from 10:00 to 4:00 pm - Pittsboro Street Fair
Friends of Lower Haw will have an exhibit booth at the Street Fair in downtown Pittsboro.  Stop by to visit us!  We'll have animal skulls and a geology display.  Look for our booth on West Salisbury Street, between Postal Fish Company and the Kids Zone.

September 2019
September 19th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm - Annual Membership Meeting
Join us on September 19th for our annual membership meeting, and help us celebrate our volunteers who contribute so much! We will have refreshments and hold raffles throughout the evening to add to the fun.  There will be a special presentation on Eagles of the Haw and Jordan Lake by Ranger Steve McMurray and Doc Ellen.  Skilled at spotting eagles, Ranger McMurray with Jordan Lake State Recreation Area regularly holds programs about eagles and other birds of prey.  Doc Ellen, aka Dr. Margaret Ellen Tinsley, is a retired veterinarian and wildlife photographer who spends many hours photographing and videoing eagles at Jordan Lake.  See her images at www.dreamingsongsphotos.com.  Learn more about these majestic birds and see fabulous images of them around the river and lake.

June 2019 
June 15th at 8:00 pm - Lights in the Night
Join Friends of Lower Haw at our family friendly event at the Lower Haw River State Natural Area.  Discover the small lights of fireflies (lightening bugs) as they come out.  You will learn some facts about these beetles and catch some for closer inspection.  After we release our friends we will walk over to the bridge to see the almost full moon rise to color the Haw with magical light.  No pre-registration needed.  All ages are welcome!  Bring insect repellent, water, and a jar for firefly catching.  Also bring a net to catch fireflies if you have one.  Please note there are no restroom facilities at this location.  
June 29th at 8:30 am - Whack Attack Invasive Species Workday

Friends of Lower Haw is planning invasive plant species workdays led by State Parks Piedmont Biologist Sean Gough.  Our first workday is scheduled for Saturday morning, June 29th in the Bynum Mill section of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area.  We will meet at 8:30 am in the Bynum Mill Access parking lot off Bynum Church Road, and work until 11:30 am.  Learn about invasive plant species and removal techniques.  All tools will be provided.  Bring work gloves, wear long pants and sturdy shoes.  Bring insect repellent and water.  Contact lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "Invasives" in the subject line to sign up.  Please note there are no restroom facilities at this location.


May 2019
May 11th from 2:15 to 4:00 pm - Nature Observation for Kids

Come explore the beautiful trails beside the Haw River.  Spend quality time with your child as we walk along the river observing plants and animals, and writing and drawing what we see and hear along the way.  Kids are natural scientists, curious about the world around them.  Recording observations helps kids expand their awareness and appreciation of the natural world around them.  This free program is for kids ages 7-11 accompanied by a parent, and parent may bring more than one child.  Preregistration required since space is limited.  Contact lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "Nature Observation" in the subject line. 

May 23rd from 6:30 to 8:00 pm - Skulls and Skins

What are some of the mammals living in the Lower Haw? This hands-on program will introduce you to the species that are commonly found in North Carolina through their skins and skulls. Beyond identification, skins and skulls can reveal insights into animal behavior-what it eats, if it is a predator or prey, its habitat, and how it camouflages.  Patricia Thomas-Laemont is an instructor in Environmental Studies at Elon University with a background in behavioral ecology and mammals.  She will be sharing some of the fascinating secrets about mammals that are revealed in the bones.  Sponsored by Friends of Lower Haw, this event will be held in the Bynum Front Porch/Bynum General Store in the village of Bynum, address is 950 Bynum Road, Pittsboro 27312.


April 2019

April 7th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm - Family Fishing Fiesta
Friends of Lower Haw will have an exhibit booth at the Family Fishing Fiesta at Jordan Lake's White Oak Access on April 7th from 11:00 to 3:00.  Family Fishing Fiesta is a free family event on conservation education and outdoor recreation held by NC State Parks and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.  Take a trip in the Big Canoes, cast for fish, make your own fishing pole and practice your knots.  There will be over 20 hands-on interactive stations, including educational games, live birds of prey, non-living snake models, open burning info, and history of Jordan Lake.  Hourly raffles, food trucks, bounce house, and Fiesta Quest scavenger hunt add to the fun. We will have two children's games at our booth, as well as exhibits for the grownups.
April 20th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm - Bynum Bridge Fest
Friends of Lower Haw is thrilled to be honored the second year in a row as the charitable beneficiary for the "be PhilARThropy" 2019 Bynum Bridge Fest https://www.bephilarthropy.com/bridge-fest .  Bynum Bridge Fest is a one day Art Market held on the pedestrian bridge overlooking the Haw River in Bynum. Located between Pittsboro and Chapel Hill, just off HWY 15-501, each year the festival has three key themes: support the local arts, support a local charity, support arts in education.  Last year, Bynum Bridge Fest was the largest art festival in Chatham county! Over 40 artists are participating, featuring diverse works.  In 2019, "be PhilARThropy" will once again donate proceeds of the festival and patron donations to Friends of Lower Haw to continue the great work we began in 2018. 

March 2019
March 9th from 9:00am to 11:00am - Birding on the Haw River with Ranger McMurray
Ready to see what’s hanging around the Haw River? Join Ranger McMurray on the Bynum Bridge for an hour or two exploring the areas around the bridge. We will try to locate what birds are in the area and discuss bird identification and songs.  Anyone is welcome, from beginner to expert, from young to old.  Dress for the weather, bring binoculars and anything else you may need.  A spotting scope will be available for those birds that perched long enough!  Meet on the historic bridge at Bynum, address 502-592 Bynum Rd, Pittsboro, NC 27312.  Parking available near the bridge and at the lower parking lot at Lower Haw River State Natural Area. 
March 23rd from 2:15 to 4:00 pm - Nature Journaling for Kids
Nature Journaling for Kids is an opportunity for kids ages 7 - 11 to put away their phones, escape from the internet and enjoy the renewing power of nature.  Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian but a parent may bring more than one child.  Space is limited, pre-registration required by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "Nature Journaling" in the subject line.

March 24th from 9:00 to 10:00 am - Introductory iNaturalist Walk on the Haw

This walk will focus on use of the iNaturalist smartphone app to photograph nature observations and start identifying the subject. The walk will be led by botanist Jame Amoroso with the NC Natural Heritage Program.  After a brief introduction on how to use the iNaturalist app, we’ll head out and find some plants and animals to photograph. To get the most out of the hike, participants will need to install iNaturalist app on your phone before arriving.  The apps are free and available from Google Play or Apple App Store.  Space is limited, pre-registration required by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "iNaturalist" in the subject line.

March 28th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm - Native American Culture in North Carolina, Past and Present

Friends of Lower Haw is offering a special evening presentation on Native American Culture in North Carolina - Past and Present by UNC students Ryan Dial-Stanley, Blake Hite, Jamison Lowry and Taner Jacobs from the UNC American Indian Center https://americanindiancenter.unc.edu/.  The program will cover an overview of the eight tribes of North Carolina from the 1600's to the present, including participation in the American Indian Movement.  We'll have handouts with a recommended reading list and children's activities, and displays of maps, flute, and other art objects.   Chatham County resident Crist Holden will also be on hand with his collection of Native American artifacts rescued from the Jordan Lake area.  The presentation will be held on March 28th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in the Bynum General Store/Bynum Front Porch Music building in Bynum http://www.bynumfrontporch.org/.  Address is 950 Bynum Rd, Pittsboro NC 27312.

March 30th from 10:00 to 2:00 pm - Spring Ag Fest
Visit our Friends of Lower Haw booth at Spring Ag Fest, a free public event celebrating Chatham County's agriculture, forestry, and natural resources.  There will be lots of indoor and outdoor exhibitors, demonstrations, free pony rides, food trucks, Smokey Bear, and more.  Address is Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center, 1192 US Hwy 64 West Business, Pittsboro NC 27312.

February 2019

Feb 9th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm - High Ridgeline Hike

We are offering a special hike into the lesser traveled highest elevations on the west side of the river within the Lower Haw River State Natural Area.  Spectacular views of the Haw river from the uplands await with plenty of photo opportunities.  Space is limited so pre-registration required by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "High Ridgeline" in the subject line.

Feb 10th from 1:30 to 3:00 pm - Nature Heart Family Adventure

Our family adventure will begin with a short scavenger hunt to search for hearts that nature created along the Haw.  After our hike we will create some land art in the shape of hearts.  Enrollment is limited so pre-registration required by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com with "Nature Heart" in the subject line.


January 2019

Jan 1st - First Day Hike with Ken Moore Canceled Due to Flooding

Unfortunately, our First Day Hike with Ken Moore is canceled due to potential flooding and has been rescheduled.  Since we had overwhelming response, and even our wait list was full, we are not taking any more pre-registrations.

Jan 26th from 10:00 to 11:00 am - Birds of Lower Haw Ranger Program

Come out and join a Park Ranger at the Lower Haw River State Natural Area (Bynum Mill Parking Area). This is a great time of year to view migratory waterfowl that make their homes for the winter.  Also, learn about Bald Eagles and other birds that we can spot and identify!  Please come prepared for the weather.  If inclement weather, program will be canceled.  The Bynum Mill parking area is located off Bynum Church Road, approximately 1/4 mile from US 15-501.  A spotting scope will be available and if you have binoculars please bring them.  For further information, contact Ranger Steve McMurray at 919-362-0586 ext. 219 or at steve.mcmurray@ncparks.gov    


November 2018

Events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required for some events since space is limited.  Contact lowerhawevents@gmail.com to pre-register and location will be provided with confirmation.

Nov 3rd from 9:00 to 11:30 am - Post-Hurricane Clean Up (pre-registration required)

Volunteers needed for a post-hurricane clean-up at the Haw River.  Pre-registration required.

Nov 17th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm - iPhone Nature Photography (pre-registration required)

Want to improve the nature and landscape pictures you take with your phone?  Join photographer and naturalist Joe Zellers to learn some basic camera features and photography tips that will bring your pictures to the next level.

Nov 18th from 2:15 to 4:00 pm - Nature Journaling for Kids (pre-registration required)

This is an opportunity for kids ages 7-11 to put away their phones, escape from the internet and enjoy the renewing power of nature.  Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian but a parent may bring more than one child.

Nov 25th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm - Animals of the Haw River (no pre-registration needed)


October 2018
Events are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required since space is limited.  Contact lowerhawevents@gmail.com to pre-register and location will be provided with confirmation.  All take place in the Lower Haw River SNA.
Oct 14th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm - iPhone Nature Photography
Want to improve the nature and landscape pictures you take with your phone?  Join photographer and naturalist Joe Zellers to learn some basic camera features and photography tips that will bring your pictures to the next level.
Oct 21st from 2:15 to 4:00 pm - Nature Journaling for Kids
This is an opportunity for kids ages 7-11 to put away their phones, escape from the internet and enjoy the renewing power of nature.  Spend an afternoon connecting with nature and closely observing plants and animals.  Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian but a parent may bring more than one child.


September 2018

September 23rd - Kick off Take a Child Outside Week by joining us for a family-friendly scavenger hunt nature hike for kids and their grownups!  Scavenger hunt hike led by naturalist Andy Upshaw will take place on Sunday, September 23rd from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Wear sturdy shoes for walking on uneven ground and bring water and insect repellent.  Event is free and open to the public.  All ages are welcome but space is limited so pre-registration is required by contacting lowerhawevents@gmail.com.  More details and meeting location will be provided with registration confirmation. 


September 18th at 6:30 PM - Annual Membership Meeting

Learning to Love the Outdoors - Friends of Lower Haw annual meeting features Roads End Naturalist and nature photographer Mike Dunn as guest speaker.  Meeting is open to the public.  There will be a short business session before the guest speaker's presentation.  Join us on Tuesday, September 18th from 6:30 until 8:00 pm at the Bynum Ruritan Club in Bynum, next to the old Bynum Bridge in Chatham County.  Address is 28 Charlie Fields Road, Pittsboro NC 27312.  Light refreshments will be served.

Mike Dunn's talk and photos will examine why we need to encourage learners of all ages to explore outside and why this area is ideal for outdoor exploration.  A resident of Chatham County who lives near the Haw River, Dunn's professional experience as a naturalist and educator includes 8 years with NC State Parks, 24 years with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and now with the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

"Through photography, writing, and guided trips, I hope to share my love of nature with others and inspire people to conserve the beauty and diversity of this planet we call home.  Join me in this journey and see what lies just beyond the end of the road." - Mike Dunn   https://roadsendnaturalist.com/.

June 2018

Join us for the following upcoming events.  RSVP required since space is limited.

June 16th from 9:30 to 11:30 am:  Get the Dirt on Soil!  Come learn about soil with Rich Hayes and the Mobile Soils Classroom.  Suitable for children and adults. 

May 2018
Join us for the following upcoming events.  RSVP required since space is limited.
May 13th from 2:30 to 4:00 pm - Nature Journaling for Kids ages 7-11 accompanied by parent. 

April 2018

Join us for the following upcoming events.  RSVP required.

April 8 and April 22 from 2:30 to 4:00 pm - Nature Journaling for Kids ages 7-11 accompanied by parent. 

March 2018

Join us for the following upcoming events.  RSVP to lowerhawfriends@gmail.com since group size is limited.

March 18 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm (note this is rescheduled from March 11) - Spicebush Walk with popular naturalist Andy Upshaw

March 24 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm - Volunteer for a shift or stop by our Friends exhibit booth at the Agriculture & Natural Resources Spring Fest at Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro

March 25, April 8, April 22 from 2:30 to 4:00 pm - Nature Journaling for Kids ages 7-11 accompanied by parent


March 17, 2018 - Haw River Clean-Up-A-Thon Volunteer Opportunity
Our Friends chapter will be participating again this year in the Haw River Clean-Up-A-Thon on Saturday, March 17th from 8:30 to 11:00 am.  Nancy Strong will once again coordinate our team of volunteers. Last year’s team had a lot of fun while doing a good deed!

February 18, 2018 - Conservation Hike
After rescheduling because of rain, we finally had a beautiful day for our guided hike with Tandy Jones and Jeff Masten of the Landspring Group to hear about the mechanisms of how land acquisition evolved for the Lower Haw River State Natural Area.  We learned about what’s involved in creating conservation projects.  We don’t really hear about all the work that goes on behind the scenes, we just hear about the end result.  Tandy and Jeff both worked for Triangle Land Conservancy at the time and were involved in the land acquisitions that created this state natural area.  Our Friends Debbie and Ken Tunnell were also there to talk about their involvement as volunteers and the role Haw River Assembly played.  We hiked on the former Pegg tract that is less familiar to the public. Visit our Facebook page to see photos of the hike.

December 2, 2017 - Geology Hike a Learning Experience

Geologist Phil Bradley led a hike along the west side of the river north of US 64 to show the geologic points of interest in this part of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. Interesting features include steep slopes, outcrops, and the presence of Mountain Laurel, which is more commonly found in the mountains instead of the Piedmont. 


November 4, 2017 - Fall Clean-up Event

Thanks to our clean-up crew and Nancy Strong, our event organizer, for a successful fall clean-up on November 4th.  Twelve volunteers hauled in 14 bags of trash, one metal tank, two tires and a TV.  Thanks to Clean Jordan Lake and Haw River Assembly for supplying grabbers and work gloves, and to REI for providing our volunteers with stewardship t-shirts and goodies. 


October 22, 2017 - Annual Membership Meeting and First Anniversary Celebration

Save the date!  This year's annual meeting will be Sunday, October 22nd at the Bynum Ruritan Club.  We're celebrating our first year anniversary!  Potluck lunch begins at 12:30 pm, so bring something to share. Meeting begins at 1:00 pm.  Our guest speaker will be Guil Johnson, the Haw River Trail Coordinator with Alamance County Parks & Recreation.  Optional guided walk from 2:30 to 3:30 pm on plants and animals of the lower Haw will be led by environmental educator Megan Lynch.
    
June 10, 2017 - Next Clean-up Event
Our next clean-up effort is scheduled for Saturday, June 10th, beginning at 9:00 am.  We will focus again on the area at US 64, including the hillsides by the small parking lot on the southeast corner of the US 64 bridge (river left).  Contact us if you would like to volunteer.

April 2, 2017 - Spring Membership Spicebush Walk

Great day for a hike on April 2nd!  We saw some wonderful elements of our universe as expressed in Piedmont riparian habitat.  We also saw a little Fowler's toad, a cormorant, goose, and canoeist on the water, and many more plants and rocks and things, including spicebush, and heard a variety of birds.  Thanks to our leader Andy Upshaw for a great walk, and to George Pauly for organizing it.  Visit our Facebook page to see more photos taken by George during the walk.


March 25, 2017 - Friends Chapter Exhibit Booth at Ag Center Grand Opening

Friends of Lower Haw River SNA had an exhibit booth at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center on Saturday, March 25th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center is located at 1192 US 64 W Business, just one mile west of the traffic circle in downtown Pittsboro.  Visitors enjoyed educational exhibits (indoors and outdoors), entertainmentfood, and tours of the new Agriculture & Conference Center. The Grand Opening Celebration was hosted by the Chatham County Center of NC State Extension, Chatham County Soil & Water Conservation District, USDA Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the North Carolina Forest Service.  The free event was sponsored by the Chatham County Farm Bureau and was open to the general public.  Visit our Facebook page to see photos of our exhibit.


March 18, 2017 - Friends Participate in HRA's Clean-Up-A-Thon

Members of Friends of Lower Haw participated in Haw River Assembly’s Clean-Up-A-Thon on March 18th.  Our chapter’s Secretary, Nancy Strong, organized a team to work the Haw River below US 64 down to Robeson Creek.  Friends members Ryan Cadwalader and David Everage, and David's daughter and her friend participated along with other volunteers on Nancy’s team.  All of them working in that area hauled in about 20 bags of trash, 2 bags of recyclables, one tire, one soggy couch cushion, and one scorched and sodden sleeping bag.  They also identified two large tanks for removal at a later date.  Although it was raining that Saturday morning, everyone on Nancy’s team showed up ready to do what needed to be done.  What a bunch of troopers!  It was a bit wet and chilly but the river and the woods were quite beautiful.  Everyone said it was fun.  David says the two girls worked for a solid two hours and made him proud!  Thanks to these dedicated volunteers for their good deed to help clean up the Haw River.  Visit our Facebook page to see more photos of the clean-up team.  Our Friends chapter is planning more clean-up events this year.  The next one is June 10th.


 

September 20, 2016 - Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area Membership Meeting
Join us for our chapter meeting on September 20th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Bynum Ruritan Club on 28 Charlie Fields Rd.  Agenda includes business session, guest speaker, and planning discussion on future activities for the Lower Haw River SNA.  Guest speaker will be Hillary Pace with the Chatham County Planning Department, who will give a presentation on the  "Comprehensive Plan:  Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources".