Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Green Fest 2018

One of our local high school's hosted a "green fest" focused on recycling, conservation, and various critters who live locally.

Low key display at the entrance

The first activity that drew my children was a beanbag toss that simulated sorting waste items into trash, recycling, and compost. They were better at identifying what should go where than they were at throwing the items through the right hole.

Throwing stuff away

Tea bag and broken mug, do you know where they go?

The high school students made displays on going green, giving advice on how to shop locally and use resources wisely.

Scout display

Another fun activity was painting little pots. After the pots were dry, the kids picked out plants to take home and grow to full size.

A quick painter

The highlight of the morning was a presentation in the school's media center about rescue animals. A representative from the Maryland Park Service told us about three birds currently kept at a local sanctuary. The birds are unable to live in the wild for various reasons.

Three mystery guests!

The first bird was a red shouldered hawk. The hawk was hit by a car when it was eating on the side of the road. The hawk lost its right eye!

Red shouldered hawk

Next was a barn owl who is nearly blind due to cataracts. Normally, the rangers occasionally switch the birds' habitats at the sanctuary to give them some variety. This owl stays in the same habitat since it has memorized where everything is.

Barn owl

The third bird was a turkey vulture. This bird was discovered as an egg by a nun, who raised the bird until she died. The other nuns did not want to take care of the bird, so the vulture wound up in the habitat. Turkey vultures are social birds, scavenging together. They are migratory as well. This particular bird spent too much time with people to live the vulture life style. It's twenty-nine years old and in good health.

Turkey vulture

Mighty wing span!

Back in the main room, our youngest (who bailed out on the bird program when they got too noisy and flappy for him) worked on a sail boat donated by a local big box hardware store.

A happy worker!

I was amazed at the boat on the table which I assumed he had built and painted. Later, when we got home, I saw the right boat, which was more in line with his talents as a three-year old.

What I thought was his final result

Actual result

The local library had a display of nature books and a simple rock decorating craft. My daughter tried it out. We already have plenty of books from the library at home so we didn't pick up anything new.

Library craft!

Adding a finishing touch

A local beekeeper brought a small hive and had his bees on display. He showed us the queen bee, whom he marked in the display below. Can you find her?

Look carefully

He explained that he marks his queen bees with a white dot so they are easy to find and take care of if there are any emergencies. He doesn't sell honey or wax or anything, he just keeps them as a hobby.

Close up of the marked bee

The kids were hungry at this point, so we decided that rather than eat snacks from the snack counter, we'd head home for lunch. We had a fun and educational time at the green fest!

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