Leach ‘Kids Fair’ edifies and entertains

See why folks say this annual outer East Portland fair at Leach Botanical Garden gets better every year …

In a meadow, behind a stand of trees, families from all over the area come to the Pleasant Valley neighborhood to explore all that’s available at this year’s “Leach Children’s Nature Fair”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Disguised as entertaining activities was a learning event for kids visiting this year’s “Children’s Nature Fair” at Leach Botanical Garden. They learned about the natural world, while having fun, throughout the day, on May 18.

From taking guided hikes around the garden, to making art, to enjoying an ice cream cone, activities abounded at the event.

Taking a brief break, after the fair is in full swing, was Leach Garden Friends Education Coordinator Joann Vrilakas.

“One of our favorite family events is our free nature fair – designed primarily for preschoolers up to sixth grade – but all who come seem to enjoy it,” said Leach Garden Friends Education Coordinator Joann Vrilakas.

“The idea is for families to outdoors, enjoy nature and have a great time while they explore and learn more about the garden,” Vrilakas told East Portland News.

Adeline Connor gets a look at this big chicken named “Lori Clark”, brought to the fair by Beatrise Shetler.

Participants were encouraged to make and send a postcard, visit a chicken, do chlorophyll rubbings, and listen to live music

“Our educational focus this year is on plants how they grow, photosynthesize, how chlorophyll helps the process; and we even have some insectivorous (carnivorous; bug-eating) plants, some with bugs trapped inside,” Vrilakas pointed out.

Doing “chlorophyll rubbings” is Daphne England, while mom Alice England and brother Riley look on.

This band, Possum 6-Pac, provide a musical soundtrack for the fair.

“The fair helps us meet our mission: to bring people outdoors, and to provide science and horticultural education,” Vrilakas said. “And, many families who visit for the first time come back, to take advantage of this amazing resource, right here in their neighborhood.”

As many as 50 volunteers came out at intervals throughout the day to help out. “Some of them are long-term Friends volunteers; others are with the David Douglas High Key Club; and, we have some first-time volunteers here from New Seasons,” Vrilakas said.

Enjoying an ice cream cone are Cora Zuniga and Evelyn Cote.

With Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union are Judy Kennedy and Dana Eaton, who made and brought “color-it-yourself” postcards for kids and parents.

“And, we’re thankful for the support of our major sponsor, Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union and their staff, whose contributions help make our fair successful.,” commended Vrilakas, “It’s wonderful! Without their support, and that of our volunteers, we just couldn’t do this.”

To learn about events at Leach Botanical Garden, or just to find when they’re open, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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