Cleburne children get final lessons in last ‘Wild Wednesday’
June 27, 2018
By Bill Wilson
The Anniston Star


Thirty-nine kids attended the final in a series of “Wild Wednesdays” at Cahulga Creek Park in Heflin.

The summertime environmental education program for children taught them low-cost ways to have fun.

Heflin Parks and Recreation director Tammy Perry spoke to the group under the newly constructed Arbacoochee pavilion, overlooking the silver waters of the Cahulga watershed, and told them of activities that are available for free in the park.

Perry told the kids all of the activities available at the park including fishing, kayaking, disc golf and hammock-making. The group was divided into four sections so as to rotate among the various stations — hammock-making, fishing, disc golf and crafts.

Tim Perkins taught the kids about fish and fishing and the different species swimming around the Cahulga watershed.

“How many of you have ever caught a crappie before? That’s a fun fish to catch,” Perkins said.

Perkins displayed and talked about a variety of fishing poles and reels, including a spinning reel, spincast reel and a baitcast reel.

“This is the number-one selling reel in the world. It’s a Zebco 33 ... I’ll bet you sometime in your lifetime you will own a Zebco 33,” Perkins said.

“How many of you have ever caught a tree? I’ve caught a bunch of them — come on be honest,” Perkins said as a flurry of hands were raised.

Up on a hill from the Chulafinnee pavilion, Jon Swafford, director of facilities for Heflin’s parks department, taught the kids the correct way to throw the discs used in disc golf. Kids lined up as the discs went wobbling into the summer breeze one after another.

Near the entrance to the park, Jo Morrison gave instructions for the creation of hammocks. He helped the kids attach straps to colorful pieces of fabric which swallowed them up and sometimes spit them out onto the soft ground below when the hammocks flipped over.

Jennifer Swafford had brought her Heflin summer camp kids and said that the lessons of this summer’s Wild Wednesdays will continue.

“We’re going to continue getting outdoors and enjoy in all that our community has to offer for our kids,” Swafford said.

“Today we’re going to conclude with a rock-skipping contest to make sure these kids know how to skip a rock because that’s something every kid should know how to do,” Swafford said.

Perry said that the Wild Wednesdays encouraged kids to get outdoors and to be more aware of what they see there, as well as how to identify birds, insects and different reptiles.

“Today we’ve encouraged them to play more outdoors and to find the places where they can come and play that’s close to them and real inexpensive and to find new lifetime hobbies,” Perry said.

Wild Wednesdays is sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service Shoal Creek District, the city of Heflin, Friends of the Talladega National Forest and Cheaha State Park.