Family Nature Fair introduces kids to the wonders of nature

Discover how this annual Leach Botanical Garden event delights – and educates – kids of all ages …

Families come to the upper area of Leach Botanical Garden, ready to enjoy the Family Nature Fair.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It’s a mid-May tradition to which area families – and the Friends of Leach Botanical Garden, the volunteers who put it on – look forward every year: The Family Nature Fair.

In addition to displays set up by the Garden’s volunteers, partnering organizations – like the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, the Audubon Society of Portland, and Portland Parks & Recreation – provide activities, such as making fish mobiles, holding slug races, leading ladybug walks, making pencil critters or butterfly sun catchers, face painting, tattoos, and making birdfeeders.

The band Organic String Beans serenades the crowd.

Friends of Leach Botanical Garden volunteer Ron Goodwin once again is the referee of a favorite activity at the fair – the Slug Races.

Volunteer Katie Goodwin, Chair of the event, helps leads activities at a “recycled material craft” table at the Fair.

Katie Goodwin, Chair of the Leach Botanical Garden Friends Family Nature Fair, said she was glad for the pleasant weather on May 14. “It’s good, because this gets kids outdoors. We try to provide activities that are nature-related, doing crafts that are sustainable. For example, I’m using old address labels for the stickers, as well as magazine pictures and old ribbon, and streamer material, for this craft.”

The main purpose, Goodwin added, is to help kids “connect with nature. We want to help give kids an appreciation for what’s here on the planet, so maybe they will want to be stewards and caretakers of it when they become adults.”

Scooping up ice cream cones is Gay Greger, President of Leach Garden Friends.

Jason Bomb with Environment Education – City Nature East, Portland Parks & Recreation – leads a “Ladybug Walk” in the garden.

Leach Botanical Garden holds many activities for kids, families and adults. You’ll find most of them listed in our COMMUNITY CALENDAR.

Leach Botanical Garden is located at 6704 SE 122nd Avenue, a couple of long, twisty blocks south of SE Foster Road. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE open their homepage.

> From our front page: Emmalin Burgard looks fascinated by the racing slugs!

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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