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Bob Wise, Governor
Ed Hamrick, Director

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : August 16, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Vickie Hash, Director's Office (304) 558-2754


Wildfood Pioneers Will Be Focus of 38th Annual Nature Wonder Weekend September 16-18 at North Bend State Park


     “Wildfood Pioneers” will be the theme of the 37th annual Nature Wonder Weekend, to be held September 16-18 at North Bend State Park near Cairo, West Virginia. Participants will learn the identification and uses of wild plants, and also pay tribute to those who have eaten food during the past four decades and called it wild.


  “We truly are wildfood pioneers,” said Edelene Wood, president of the National Wildfoods Association. “Since the late, legendary wildfoods author Euell Gibbons spoke at the first Nature Wonder Weekend at North Bend State Park in 1968, we have been part of this new way to look upon free food from nature and we want to recognize each participant since as a pioneer.”


     The program, field trips, parties and cooking experiences during the weekend will explore the wild food recognized in the new world by the many who have come to America from other lands. For instance, those from Sweden saw the value of wild rose hips as something they used for fruit soup back home.


     Speakers will include Doug Elliott, an herbalist, naturalist, basket maker and author who has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to plants. His first book, Wild Roots, has been around for 30 years and is considered an “underground” classic.


  Also featured will be Louise Zimmer of Marietta , Ohio , author and radio entertainer whose English-Irish ancestors were among the settlers of the first city in the Northwest Territory in 1791. She has written two books regarding life in the pioneer past, and says that finding food was so important to early settlers that they frequently recorded what they ate in their diaries.


     Other activities include a wildfoods cooking contest (with three $50 prizes), wildfood hikes, and workshops related to the identification and cooking of wildfoods. Although wildfoods are featured throughout the weekend, five conventional meals will be provided by North Bend Lodge Restaurant.


     Reservations for the lodge and cabins are available, or campsites may be used. For registration and reservation information, call DNR Environmental Resources Section at 304-558-2754, Edelene Wood at 304-428-9590, or e-mail . Registration deadline is September 10.


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