It’s Summer Vacation. Time to get outside and soak up the great outdoors. For the fourth consecutive year, the Macksville City Library received a grant to host an Outdoor Kansas Kids (O.K. Kids) event at the Macksville City Park. The Kansas Wildscape Foundation helped fund the program with a grant of $100 plus 30 T-shirts to give away.
Thirty-nine kids and ten adults attended our TREE-Mendous Fun in the Park program on June 14th. Participants were divided into groups and rotated through four different, tree-themed stations.
The first station was led by Tim McDonnell of the Kansas Forest Service. Kids looked at cuttings from trees and hiked around the park, learning about some of the wide variety of trees planted there. The catalpa tree with its large soft leaves was a favorite of many.
The second station was our Artist-Tree and Poet-Tree stop. Participants made leaf rubbings to represent their own Family Tree. And, if time allowed, they wrote acrostic or haiku poems about trees.
The third station was our Story and Snack station on the stage of Macksville’s beautiful Band Shell. Eileen Loomis read tree stories, including: The Giving Tree by Silverstein, A Tree is Nice by Udry, Little Tree by Long, The Tree Lady by Hopkins, and Grandpa Green by Smith. Bottles of water donated by GBT were given out, as were apple slices, and cookies donated by Macksville’s G.S. Troop #12.
Our final station was led by Pamela Martin of the Kansas Wetland Education Center. Located south of the park, in the shade of a huge cottonwood tree, she told kids about the animals that receive food and shelter from cottonwood trees. Among the many visual aids she shared were nests, insects, stuffed birds, and a live bat and kestrel.
It was a beautiful morning, and everything ran smoothly courtesy of wonderful staff and volunteers: Linda M., Crystal L., June M., Debbie S., Jacob S., Anna S., and those mentioned above. We concluded by drawing for T-Shirts, encouraging kids to take the WildLifer Challenge, and by taking a large group picture, where everyone smiled and said: “TREES!”