Area wildlife enthusiasts are invited to a Hungry-for-Habitat Holiday Chili Dinner on December 14 at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game office in Lewiston to celebrate what people can do for backyard wildlife.

The free event will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will offer a bowl of soup or stew, bread, refreshments and holiday desert. Information on developing backyard wildlife habitat, various nest boxes, bat roost houses and plans for constructing your own will be available.

Donations are appreciated with the all proceeds to benefit the Lewiston Wildlife Habitat Area located next to the Fish and Game office at 3316 16th St., Lewiston.

Registered with the National Wildlife Federation as a “Backyard Wildlife Habitat Area,” the five-acre wildlife-friendly oasis has a paved trail that winds through a variety of habitats. Various evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, grasses, and forbs attract a diversity of wildlife – 115 species of birds have been observed, as well as small mammals, deer, amphibians and reptiles.

A wildlife viewing shelter with one-way glass provides excellent wildlife photography opportunities. A stream-viewing window provides a unique underwater view of the stream habitat. At each entrance, information boxes contain bird checklists and brochures about the 15 educational stations developed for self-guided tours.

Once a hayfield, development of the area began in 1985 with the most expenses and labor donated by local businesses, schools, youth groups and volunteers. The goal is to showcase the importance of habitat in an urban environment and what people can do in their own backyards to benefit wildlife. For questions, please call Jen Bruns, Fish and Game’s Clearwater Region volunteer coordinator at 208-799-5010.

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