The Canal Winchester Times

Nature Fair in Groveport

Smokey Bear to be special guest June 15

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Groveport's Heritage Nature Center has pulled out all the stops for this year's annual Nature Fair, featuring special guest Smokey Bear.

"This is the ideal family day filled with animals, nature activities, entertainment and fun," city naturalist Tina Dillman said.

The free event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road. Several family-friendly activities for all age groups are planned, according to event organizer Linda Haley. Since this will be the first big summer event, she said she expects a good turnout.

"We've done this for several years now but this is the first time we're doing it as this large of an event," Haley said. "This is going to be a great opportunity for kids to get a photo with Smokey the Bear but also, this is an opportunity for kids who don't often get to see reptiles or farm animals up close to have that chance."

The list of activities and exhibits includes: P.T. Reptiles and Briar Patch Ranch petting zoo; beekeeper demonstrations; Innisfree farms exhibit; the nature center's skins, skulls and cockroaches; the Groveport Garden Club and Gahanna Herb Center; Mr. Eric's Interactive Children's Music, musical instrument making, balloon artists, face painting and prizes; concessions and Happy Family Natural Foods.

"Of course, we'll host the annual fishing derby again at the Heritage Park Fish Pond and the 1815 Log Cabin will be open," Haley said. "The fishing derby will get started around 1 p.m. and will include prizes for the kids as well, such as biggest fish caught, etc."

Haley said adults will have a chance to learn some gardening techniques and to connect with their kids through nature.

"This is really going to be a great opportunity for kids and parents to connect with one another and connect with their natural world together," she said. "I'm really proud of all the activities the Nature Center offers and the partnerships we've made to bring this together, not to mention what a great job the city does showcasing these resources."

The Groveport Heritage Nature Center started out as a partnership with the Columbus Metro Parks in 2003. It is located in the two-room log house in Heritage Park.

For additional information about the Nature Fair, call Town Hall at 614-836-3333.

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