Bus tour to spotlight agriculture, natural resources

WINTERSVILLE – The Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District is inviting residents to take a day “Off the Beaten Path.”

Stephanie Vance, JSWCD public relations chairman, has announced the second in a series of bus tour journeys being coordinated in the next year to highlight the county’s diversity. The tour series is being organized to create an awareness and appreciation of the amenities of Jefferson County, according to Vance.

Open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, the tour participants will travel June 15 by charter bus to central Jefferson County. There they will have the opportunity to hike on the trails of Jefferson Lake State Park.

For proper planning, attendees will hike about 1.5 miles on some uneven terrain. A naturalist will guide the guests as they learn about the plants and animals in the environment.

Participants will have the opportunity to view a nearby gas drilling site and learn about such activities being operated in the county. Lunch will be a barbecue picnic served on the grounds of a local farm. A tour of the family beef farm will follow and visits with local farmers also will be coordinated.

The cost of the day-long tour is $25 per person and a group of three adults or more may receive a discounted ticket price of $20 each. Ticket price will include bus travel, light breakfast menu, snacks, drinks and lunch. The Jefferson County Farm Bureau has assisted with a grant to help defray the costs to the participants. Attendees will have the opportunity to win a rain barrel, coupons to purchase produce at the Farmers’ Gateway Market and other giveways.

The bus will leave the JSWCD office at 587 Bantam Ridge Road, formerly the Bantam Ridge Elementary School Building, at 8 a.m. and return by 4 p.m. There will be limited seating, so contact the office as soon as possible.

The reservation form is available on the Jefferson SWCD website at www.jeffersonswcd.org or at the office. Call (740) 264-9790.