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Trumpeter Swan And Geology Day At Grotto In West Bend

By Staff | Sep 9, 2008

WEST BEND – The Grotto of the Redemption will sponsor a free educational event on Trumpeter Swans and Rock & Mineral on Saturday, September 20. Young and old are invited and encouraged to attend both sessions.

The swan educational session (11:00 & 1:00) presented by the Iowa DNR includes a thirty-minute swan/wetland presentation, a unique opportunity to touch and view swans up close, and a historic photo opportunity for all ages. As the largest North American waterfowl, these magnificent all-white birds can weigh up to 36 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan.

Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1800’s. By the early 1930’s, only 69 swans remained in the lower 48 states. The trumpeter swans are part of the DNR’s statewide Trumpeter swan restoration effort, with hopes that they will help restore a wild free flying population to Iowa. In 1995, the Grotto of the Redemption joined swan restoration efforts with the release of a pair of Trumpeter swans on the Grotto pond. Since that time, forty-two cygnets have been hatched at the Grotto.

A 35-minute DVD featuring Rock & Mineral will be shown in the new theater facility located in the Grotto Museum. Viewers will discover how rocks keep a constantly changing record of our planet’s fascinating history, and see how minerals are at the very core of our civilization.

Often called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, the Grotto represents a vast collection of minerals and stone (petrified wood, stalactite and stalagmite, malachite, quartz crystals and many more). The Grotto is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an internationally recognized shrine.