Fresh Air Family set for next Saturday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2011

Covington County residents know they have a treasure in their own backyard in the Conecuh National Forest.

Now, there is an opportunity for parents to give an up-close and fantastic look at the wonders these woods hold by attending the upcoming Fresh Air Family event at Open Pond.

Verna Gates, Fresh Air Family founder and executive director, said the day will feature tours and a meet-and-greet with Roger Reid, Roger Reid, producer of Discovering Alabama and author of Longleaf, an adventure book for youth set in the Conecuh National Forest.

“This free and open event brings together naturalists with expertise ranging from longleaf pines to rare plants and animals living in this wonderland, as families are guided through the adventure of discovering the national forest, which is the world’s largest remaining stand of longleaf pine,” Gates said.

Members of the U.S. Forest Service and Fresh Air Family will serve as guides.

The event, which is being sponsored by the Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation, will be held Sat., April 30, at 9 a.m. at the Open Pond pavilion. Saturday evening will feature a night of storytelling under the stars. Campers will sleep to the calls of the whippoorwill.

“Few people have ever seen this magnificent site, all part of the longleaf ecosystem,” Gates said. “Everyone is invited to camp Friday and Saturday nights in the Conecuh Camp Ground at the Boy Scout Loop.”

Camping is $40 for the entire weekend per family for campers needing tents. Payment is required for reservations. To register for camping, visit

Deadline for reservations is Monday.

-Stephanie Nelson