SYRACUSE — As April showers turn to May flowers, the nature lovers and the outdoorsmen are sure to be getting antsy for a day out in the sun and dirt. The annual Earth Day Festival, hosted by the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, 11586 N. SR 13, Syracuse, should be just the thing to scratch that hibernation itch.
This festival is free to all, and will run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30. There’s plenty to see and do for all ages, and the event offers a great mixture of fun and education. There will be more than 20 educational, fun, hands-on programs.
If you’re interested in seeing a raptor, learning what challenges birds face during migration, experiencing a muzzle-loading gun, explore wild spaces on trails in the county, find a geocache and so much more, you’ll find it all here. The Syracuse Lions Club will be among the many participants hosting a booth. The Lions Club’s booth will focuse on the wonder of butterflies where information will be available and Lions Club members will demonstrate how to make a folded paper butterfly and give away floating butterfly wands to children.
There will be a series of interactive sessions held during the festival at the amphitheater. “Does Nature Love Us Back” will be co-hosted by Cliff Kindy, Dani Tippman and John Edgerton, who have spent their lifetimes working with plants, animals, water and soil. They come together for the first time to offer a shared vision of their life’s work, woven from three independent strands into a unified message of hope, harmony and humility.
Session times and topics will be:
10-10:50 a.m. Remembrance — Water is life; human/plant diversity makes us stronger. Facilitated by Tippman.
11-11:50 a.m. Dialogue — How can we accept the coming difficulties of a distressed planet, so people can meet them with courage, empathy and resilience? Facilitated by Kindy.
12:45-1:35 p.m. Earth Stories — Sharing stories about how each person is needed in the web of life, and how harmony and mutual understanding are vital to survival. These ancient stories are now beginning to be validated by modern science. Facilitated by Edgerton.
This part of the Earth Day celebration is sponsored by Chautauqua-Wawasee. For details or updates, visit chautauquawawasee.org or facebook.com/chautauquawawasee or call (574) 377-7543. In the event of cold or rainy weather, the programs will move to the Syracuse Community Center.
Chautauqua-Wawasee will also host the butterfly lady, Cindy Gackenheimer, Flutterby Gardens, Claypool, at its booth. She will share about the metamorphosis of a butterfly, the monarch migration pattern this year and practical steps you can take to help the monarch. There will also be a “kid friendly” hands-on learning experience, and a special craft that involves stamping the butterfly life cycle on a take-home canvas bag, along with free pollinator seeds to plant, which will attract butterflies to your garden or landscape for years to come.
A free lunch will be available.
Bring the family, pack your hiking bags and get ready to get your hands dirty with an outdoor experience you can share with everyone.