Payson Wildlife Fair set for Saturday, May 9

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April 29th, 2009

PHOENIX — Green Valley Park in Payson, Ariz., will undergo an amazing transformation on Saturday, May 9, when its sprawling grassy expanses turn into a carnival full of wildlife and fun outdoor activities. The 15th annual Payson Wildlife Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, and organizers have been working hard to make it the best yet. Admission to the public is free.

“This is a great way for the family to spend a Saturday,” says Craig McMullen, Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife manager in the Payson District. “Parents and kids can fish, play games and get a close-up look at lots of amazing animals. The wildlife featured is magnificent.”

Live animals on display will include raptors, rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, prairie dogs and alligators. Fair visitors can also test their skills at one of the casting booths or pellet gun and archery ranges, and they can visit booths from a variety of conservation groups, including the Arizona Antelope Foundation, Phoenix Herpetological Society, and Arizona State Parks, to name a few.

Green Valley Lake will receive more than double its normal stocking of trout in preparation for this event. The park typically receives about 300 pounds of trout per stocking. For this event, 800 pounds of fish will be released into the lake prior to the fair. No fishing license is required for fair attendees, and equipment and bait can be borrowed from the free fishing booth at the fair.

The Payson Wildlife Fair is a cooperative effort between the Arizona Game and Fish Department, USDA Forest Service, Mogollon Sporting Association, and Payson Parks and Recreation Department.

Green Valley Park is located at 1000 W. Country Club Drive, Payson (take State Route 87 to Main Street and go about one mile west).

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