Environmental education at the EcoFest

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Grove City resident Samantha DeCastro, 4, is always on the look-out for an adventure and she found it just down the road as the city hosted its annual EcoFest event in the Town Center Park on Aug. 14. Though the primary mission of the event is to highlight sustainable projects and programs within the community, it also offers a fun time for children and adults looking for hands-on activities. Here, DeCastro turns to tell her mother her findings after she closely examines a geode at the Class2Trail station. Class2Trail specializes in hands-on, discovery oriented environmental education programs for children in grades 1 through 8. Courses are offered through the city’s parks and recreation department (visit parks.grovecityohio.gov for more information).
Deb Orlando, the president of the Grove City Arts Council, helps Sophia Costell put the finishing touches on her handmade T-shirt that was decorated with all of her favorite animals. Orlando said she was surprised by the number of children and adults who came through the Art and Kids Zone to make their own T-shirts. “We have had about 100 people make their own T-shirts today so it’s been unexpectedly busy but so much fun. They all seem to be having a great time making art.”
Travis Sidelinger takes this Atlas Trike out for a spin during the event. Josh Stamper, the co-owner of the local bike shop Heritage Cycles, said this model is almost always out of stock because of its reputation as a reliable mode of transportation that is also comfortable for the body.
Karen Murphy (right) and her granddaughter, Faith Murphy-Pickett try to identify the herbs and plants put on display by volunteers with The Gardens at Gantz Farm.
One of the most popular destination’s at this year’s EcoFest was the mobile Eagle’s Nest vehicle from Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. Though the outside resembles an attractive nest for the birds, the inside is more of an attractive play area for children like Nova Boes, 5. The Grove City resident is not a big fan of climbing, but she did make an attempt at the climbing ropes within the mobile unit.
Johnny Byas, 10, “putts” the disc during a round of disc golf. His mother, Jennifer says their family are all avid players of the game and considered Grove City to be a great destination for the sport.


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