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New Melones Lake Activities for Summer

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New Melones Lake Activities for Summer


POSTED June 2, 2012 2:23 a.m.

SONORA – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Central California Area Office announces the summer 2012 Interpretive Activities at New Melones Lake, located in Calaveras County.

All activities are at the Amphitheater at the Glory Hole Recreation Area and are free of charge and suitable for all ages, and most do not require reservations. Please wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for weather conditions. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Gold Rush Reminiscing

Saturday, June 2, 7 p.m.

Park Ranger George will delight you with his tales of miners back in the gold rush days. He will teach you how to pan for gold. Everyone will have an opportunity to strike it rich! Arts and crafts begin at 7 p.m. and the presentation at 7:30 p.m. Stay after the program is completed and try your luck at gold panning!

Flying Rainbows

Saturday, June 9, 7 p.m.

You are all invited to join Park Ranger Jayme and learn about our colorful flying friends. Discover the butterfly lifecycle, their importance, and how to encourage them to live in your own yard. Find out what is threatening these beautiful creatures and what you can do to help.

Reptilian Encounters

Saturday, June 16, 7:30 p.m.

Join special guest Mike Sutton and his entourage of snakes, lizards and toads for an evening of education and fun! The non-venomous Gopher Snake is commonly mistaken for the dangerous Western Rattlesnake. This is your chance to see them both, side-by-side. Mike’s collection, consist of over 65 different species is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of native California reptiles available for public viewing.

Nature Photography

Saturday, June 23, 7:30 p.m.

Lights, camera, action! Bring your camera, owner’s manual, tripod and questions down to the amphitheater and learn the basics of photography. We will discuss F-Stop, Aperture, ISO, composition and play “What’s wrong with this picture?”

Hardluck Lin

Saturday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. 

Join living history persona Linda Teigland Clark as she shares her authentic tales of gold rush characters, places and events. This program is sure to enhance your understanding of who and what shaped the history of the California Forty-Niner.

Dangerous Creatures

Sunday, July 1, 7 p.m.

Join Park Ranger Hilary and learn about some of the creepy creatures at New Melones Lake. Learn how to avoid being injured and what to do if you are. Develop a better understanding of these creatures and how important they are to our own survival. Ranger Hilary will have fun activities starting at 7 p.m. and then a PowerPoint presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Turtles and Tortoises

Saturday, July 7, 7:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, Mr. Stan Reif will introduce everyone to his fascinating collection of native and exotic turtles and tortoises. Hear about their lives, challenges, and the care these unique animals require.

Mr. Reif’s local sanctuary is a refuge for many neglected, abused and non-releasable animals.

Wheel of Wealth!

Sunday July 8, 7:30 p.m.

Come down to the Amphitheater to spin the Wheel of Wealth! Will your team go home bankrupt or will you win the grand prize? Spin the wheel just right and solve word riddles to find out! Let the games begin at 7:30 p.m.

Water Safety

Saturday, July 14, 7 p.m.

What do you like to do around New Melones Lake? Swim, boat, or fish? Join us to learn how you can be water safe. Play the Life Jacket Relay and Save the Ranger games. Learn how to protect yourself and loved ones this summer at New Melones Lake. Activities will begin at 7 p.m. and the presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center

Saturday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.

Have you ever wanted to get close to a Kingsnake? See how big a great-horned owl really is? The Stanislaus Wildlife Center, which cares for injured and orphaned wildlife, will bring a variety of live creatures for you to see. Many of these animals can be found living around New Melones Lake. Meet Titus the great-horned owl, Oreo the kingsnake, Hopper the Raven and even Fizzle the California ground squirrel.

The Moon over New Melones Lake

Saturday, July 28, 8 p.m.

Do you know what waxing and gibbous have to do with the moon?  Join astronomer Denise Combs for a special look at the ghostly white hunk of beautiful barren rock that orbits our planet. Learn about the phases and features of the moon through fun poetry, edible props, and a very special NASA slide show. This presentation begins at 8 p.m.

Skins, Scat and Skulls

Saturday, August 4, 7 p.m.     

Come see a great collection of skins, scat and skulls! Feel a bear’s fur, examine real skulls, and identify tracks and scat. Match up the skin, scat and skull of the creatures and win a prize! Arts and crafts begin at 7 p.m. and the presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Eat a Bug Club!

Saturday, August 11, 7 p.m.

Join us for an evening discussing creepy crawlies and their roll in the ecosystem. Join the club by crunching down some crispy critters! Arts and crafts begin at 7 p.m. and the presentation at 7:30 p.m.

The Magical Apron

Saturday, August 18, 7:30 p.m.

Join storyteller and puppeteer Jennifer Aguirre in a journey through her magical apron. She will delight the young and old with her songs and stories about the creatures that make New Melones their home.

Dragon and Damselflies

Saturday August 25, 7 p.m.

Did you know that dragonflies existed before the dinosaurs? Learn all about these tiny dragons and their evolution. Arts and crafts begin at 7 p.m. and the presentation at 7:30 p.m.

The Calaveras Community Band

Saturday September 1, 6 p.m.

Come celebrate the end of the summer with us! The Calaveras Community Band will be playing all your favorites until the sun goes down. Get up and dance, clap and sing, or just sit back and enjoy the music. Bring the family and enjoy one last summer night! Music begins at 6 p.m.

Whooo’s Up When You’re Asleep?

Sunday, September 2, 7 p.m.

Come down to the amphitheatre and find out who’s up when you’re not. We will have arts and crafts starting at 7 p.m., a PowerPoint presentation at 7:30 p.m., followed by a short hike in the Great Outdoors around the campground in search of some night-time creatures. Please wear sturdy shoes appropriate for hiking. A headlamp or flashlight is required.

Interpretive programs and events at New Melones Lake tie into President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative ( which seeks to empower Americans to share in the responsibility to conserve restore and provide better access to our lands and waters and leave a healthy and vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come.

If you would like to participate in a program and need accommodation, please contact Park Ranger Tracy Neal at 209-536-9094, ext. 215, or e-mail, at least 14 days in advance.

The New Melones Visitor Center and Museum is managed by Reclamation’s Central California Area Office. Hours of operation are daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information on activities, directions, pet restrictions, or other questions, please call 209-536-9543 (TTY 800-877-8339) or visit the website at

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