Midway via a nature walk Sunday afternoon at Prairie Loft’s Harvestfest, Josh Wiese helped establish and take away beggar’s tick weed seeds on 6-year-old Christian Conroy’s T-shirt.
Wiese, a habitat ecologist on the Crane Trust outdoors of Wood River, led a pair of nature walks throughout Harvestfest on the Prairie Loft Center for Outdoor and Agricultural Learning. He recognized wildflowers, grasses and weeds alongside the way in which.
“Plants have been a passion of mine since I was little,” he mentioned. “I liked watching kids be able to pick up on stuff and see them realize things they knew all along, but they didn’t contextualize yet. Just to watch them put those pieces of the puzzle together and see how connected ecology is is pretty special and it’s cool to be a part of that.”
He did a fast walk earlier than Harvestfest began to see what was rising on the market.
Christian Conroy acquired fairly the schooling.
“My favorite part was just learning about the plants,” he mentioned.
He was joined at Harvestfest by his dad and mom Kyle and Kayla Conroy, and his 4-year-old brother, Archer. The household lives in Roseland.
“It’s always fun, and it’s so valuable for them to actually see the grasses, touch it, smell it,” Kayla Conroy mentioned of her sons.
The Conroys have farms and dairies on respective sides of their household.
Kayla’s brother is a panorama architect.
“Lot’s of plants. Lots of wildlife,” she mentioned.
The household loved Harvestfest and Prairie Loft.
“It’s always so nice and so open,” Kayla mentioned. “The weather’s always perfect, and it’s great to get the kids outdoors, show them the local vendors, show them the learning center in general.”
Wiese was joined Sunday at Prairie Loft by his youngsters, Lillian, 9, and Judah, 8.
“I think it’s pretty awesome,” he mentioned. “There’s a lot of stuff to see. They love seeing the tractors and the animals and going around to see the different venues. There’s a ton of room to play and walk around and stuff to climb on. Every kid wants that.”
He related with Prairie Loft via Prairie Loft Executive Director Amy Sandeen.
Sandeen teaches a category at Hastings College encouraging college students to disconnect from expertise and reconnect with nature.
She introduced her class to the Crane Trust to do some seed accumulating. She requested Wiese if he needed to be a part of Harvestfest.
“I signed right up and thought it was really cool,” Wiese mentioned.
The connection to the Crane Trust is a particular one, Sandeen mentioned.
“There are a lot of organizations in the area doing good work around land stewardship, agriculture and environment,” she mentioned. “It’s important for all of us to cooperate and coordinate, so we can get more education out into the community.”
On a day that noticed temperatures within the excessive 70s, Harvestfest introduced in a giant crowd.
“I’m thrilled,” Sandeen mentioned. “Mother nature cooperated again this time. People are happy. We’ve got all ages. A lot of folks I don’t recognize, which is awesome.”
Families visited distributors, participated in farm-based actions and video games, and pet cattle.
Harvestfest drew slightly below 900 individuals on the day.
Another new exercise this yr was the corn not-a-maze, which included a keyhole-shaped move via an adjoining cornfield. This is an area Prairie Loft has used for programming all through the summer time.
“A lot of our field trips will take a walk through the cornfield and look at the stalks and the ears and get that close-up experience,” Sandeen mentioned. “We used it in the summer when plants were growing, so people coming back month to month would be able to see that growth. It’s one more teaching tool we can take advantage of here where we are.”
Musician Jim King returned, performing for households all through the afternoon.
“He has the most positive vibe of just about anyone I know, and we’re all about the positive vibes,” Sandeen mentioned. “I really want to encourage that kind of feeling and takeaway from our events. He just adds so much to that.”
Harvestfest is sponsored partially by Cooperative Producers Inc., Adams County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Berger Livestock, and the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program.
“The sponsors of this event allow us to welcome people with free admission, and that means a lot to all of us,” Sandeen mentioned.