Worthington News

Pawpaw festival

Event promotes awareness of local arboretum

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The second annual APPS Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 21.

That stands for "Art, Native Plants and Pawpaws," and it's intended to foster more awareness of the Lower Olentangy Urban Arboretum.

Sponsored by the arboretum, Scioto Gardens and the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association, the festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. directly across the street from the Indianola Informal K-8 School at 251 E. Weber Road.

Pete Kovarik, a member of the LOUA board of directors, helped launch the first APPS Festival last year, after going several times to the annual Gardening and Arts Festival at Scioto Gardens in Delaware.

"My eyes were wide open, and I said, 'We could do something like this here,' " Kovarik said. "It's just a real neat gathering and I thought we could do something like that."

Musicians will be on hand, as will entertainers and a food truck, he said.

"It's to promote awareness of LOUA and just try to get new members signed up, but also, it's to support people who are selling things that will go with what we're trying to promote here," Kovarik said.

As with any first-time venture at drawing a crowd, success wasn't guaranteed during the inaugural APPS event, he admitted.

"The first one started slow," Kovarik said. "We were sort of scared at first because no one was arriving."

Eventually, a good crowd was on hand, he added, and organizers decided to push the starting time back by an hour from last year's 9 a.m.

Members of the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association will be selling trees, fruit and frozen pulp during the festival.

The Lower Olentangy Arboretum Steering Committee was formed in late 2010 after the Columbus Foundation awarded both the United Crestview Area Neighbors and Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed grants to purchase and plant canopy trees in the areas north and south of the Glen Echo Ravine.

Earlier that year, a group of residents living near the ravine had begun getting together to encourage the planting of native trees to attract more birds and butterflies.

Various individuals and organizations since have become involved in the arboretum project.

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