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Field trip: Spring ideas for fun family learning

Mar 31st, 2017 | Category: Community

4-H Super Saturday, Veggie Patrol, Dirtfest and more

 by Grow Northwest

April is here, and with it comes a lot of spring fun and engaging opportunities for local youth and families. From plants and bugs to dirt and animals, following are some of the events we’re highlighting that get kids exploring an enjoying the natural world.

Whatcom County Youth Fair 2017: This annual learning fair offers a chance for local youth to compete and also to watch and learn. Registration is now closed, however spectators of all ages are welcome. Youth participate over two days in various categories, including animals, crafts, horticulture, dairy, photography, and more. The event runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 7-8 at the  Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. This is a great family event to visit, and a good ending to the Spring Break week for local schools. There is something for everyone and you will leave wanting to know more and participate. For more information visit the Whatcom County Youth Fair Facebook page.

Hovander Park and Veggie Patrol: Head up to Hovander Park, nearly 350 acres, to tour the grounds home to pioneer farming and current gardens. Visit the farmyard animals, and explore the fragrance garden and Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden with signage. Veggie Patrol, a 12-session Kids Gardening Program sponsored by WSU Whatcom County Extension Master Gardener Program, starts in May. Held at the Master Gardeners Children’s Story Garden, children ages 4-9 can visit Saturdays 10-11:30 a.m. from May 6 through Aug. 12 (no class on holiday weekend). Kids will learn about plants, soil and water, worms, and composting. They will build scarecrows, terrariums, and fairy/troll gardens, and grow and harvest a variety of vegetables for the Ferndale Food Bank. Kids can experience some new tastes, and  also talk about bugs, bats, and bees. The cost is $75 per child; some partial scholarships are available. For more information, contact (360) 778-5811 or email ChildrensStoryGarden@yahoo.com.

Garden Day: The Community Food Co-op’s Cordata store is hosting a Garden Day on Saturday, April 15. Hands-on and educational activities include seed planting activity for kids with Renel Anderson, president of Biochar Supreme, tours of native, edible, drought-tolerant landscaping with Scott Milam of Beeline Designs, and Master Gardeners on-site to share advice and answer questions. Food samples from the Co-op will be available, including breakfast sausage, cinnamon rolls, and strawberries topped with whipped cream from Twin Brook Creamery. The event runs 10 a.m. to noon at 315 Westerly Road in Bellingham. See www.communityfood.coop.

Dirtfest: This 3rd annual event hosted by Common Threads Farm on Monday, April 17 offers young visitors and their families a chance to try snacks, do some planting in the garden, visit educational booths, enjoy arts and crafts, and more. The location this year is at  Sunnyland Elementary School, 2800 James St, Bellingham, and the time will be 3-5:30 p.m. All are welcome. Common Threads is a non-profit organization working to connects local kids to healthy food in the garden, in the kitchen, and at the table. For more information, see www.commonthreadsfarm.org.

Young visitors explore the bug displays, including ladybugs and lacewings, during Kidz and Bugs at the Chuckanut Center. COURTESY PHOTO

Young visitors explore the bug displays, including ladybugs and lacewings, during Kidz and Bugs at the Chuckanut Center. COURTESY PHOTO

Kidz and Bugs: Does your child love looking for bugs and wants to know why they do what they do? Is your child afraid of bugs, but might think it’s cool to learn that most bugs are very helpful? The Chuckanut Center in Bellingham is hosting a Kidz and Bugs event on Saturday, April 22 to answer these kinds of questions and more. Visitors of all ages can explore the informational displays and talk about pollinating insects (such as bees) and the ways we can help create habitat by planting the right things. Talk about the good bugs who eat the bad pests, and how to identify them. This spring workshops runs noon to 1 p.m. and will be held outside so dress accordingly. Donations are welcome. Anyone wanting to attend should RSVP at  www.chuckanutcenter.org (see the bottom of the web page), call  (470) 236-8374 or email chuckanutcenter@gmail.com.

Skagit & Whatcom 4-H Super Saturday: The Skagit and Whatcom County 4-H groups offer this day of learning on Saturday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  at the Burlington Lutheran Church 134 S Victoria, Burlington. The event is open to both youth currently enrolled as a 4H member and those wanting to learn more about 4H. Participants can select hour-long workshop sessions from a variety of topics, including animals, arts and crafts, food and preparation, beekeeping, plants, first aid, and much more. Online registration ends April 17. Most sessions are free, however some may require a small fee and will be noted by the instructor. To register, and to view the complete list of available sessions, visit https://skagit4h.wufoo.com/forms/super-saturday/. For more information, contact Dorothy Elsner at dorothy.elsner@wsu.edu.


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