Special to the Citizen:

September is the beginning of fall. Temperatures start to cool, days are getting shorter, and it is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. Come out and explore Hard Labor Creek State Park. For more information on Hard Labor Creek State Park, or other Georgia Parks, visit www.gastateparks.org/Hard Labor Creek

“Labor Day Weekend Night Kayak Paddle”—Friday, August 29, Sunday August 31, 8:30-10 p.m. – Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing, and a relaxing time on the water during Labor Day weekend. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

“Atlanta Audubon Beginners Bird Walk” – Saturday, August 30, September 27, 2-4 p.m – This field trip is designed for anyone interested in learning more about birds, habitats critical to some species, and organizations like the Audubon Society which are dedicated to bird conservation. Meet at the Park Office/Trading Post. Donations of bird seed for the park bird feeder are welcome. $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

“Georgia State Astronomy-Observatory Open House”—Saturday, September 6, 7:15 – 8:15 p.m. – Georgia State University’s Observatory will have an open house monthly. In case of inclement weather, facilities will be open for a tour and slideshow. Night sky observations start one half hour after sunset. Open house lasts all day. Large groups need reservations: 404-413-6024. 706-557-3001.

“Full Moon Kayak Tour”—Friday, September 5th and Saturday September 6, 8:30-10:30 p.m. – Join a guided tour of Lake Rutledge, and enjoy a peaceful paddle under a bright moon. Listen for night sounds, enjoy the night sky, and learn about the history of Hard Labor Creek State Park. There will be a “Super Moon during the month of September. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

“Bike Trails Work and Ride”, Saturday September 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Join bike trails volunteers and spend some time working on bike trails, and enjoy a ride after the work! If you assist with trail work, there is no bike trail fee to ride that day. 706-557-3001.

“Home School Wednesday – Stalking Native Butterflies”—Wednesday, September 24, 1:30-3 p.m – This month we will discuss butterflies and butterfly habitat on a walk in a habitat restoration area. Recommended for children 10 and up, bring comfortable shoes, clothes and a hat to keep off the sun. Participants are encouraged to bring a digital camera to record their findings. $3 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

“Your State Parks Day – Volunteer Day”—Saturday, September 27, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. – Join park staff and “Friends of Hard Labor Creek” volunteers, and help re-furbish the beach house, located near the public beach area on Lake Rutledge. The interior of the beach house will be re-painted, and there will be landscaping work to do trimming and pruning shrubs and small trees along the edge of the beach house. This event is sponsored by “Friends of Georgia State Parks.” 706-557-3001.

“New Moon Kayak Tour”—Saturday, September 27, 8-10:30 P.M. – Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing, and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the night-time paddle. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.