Sunday, June 18, 2000

Planting seeds of knowledge

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — Seeds weren't the only things sprouting at Rentschler Forest Preserve last week.


(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |

        In a “Lollipop” program titled “Sensational Seeds,” naturalist Bonny Seegmueller nurtured the botanical interests of preschoolers, helping them find the seeds of many plants and learn how those seeds are spread.

        “How do seeds travel around?” Ms. Seegmueller asked her crop of youngsters.

        “By birds,” was one answer.

        Molly Stamper, 3, of Trenton provided another answer by blowing on a dandelion.

        After their seed expedition Thursday, the children made sunflower wind-catchers by gluing sunflower seeds onto yellow paper plates. Ms. Seegmueller attached colorful streamers to the plates.

        “You can hang them up for awhile and then plant them, plate and all,” she said.

        “We're not going to believe anybody if they say they're not going to grow,” said Seven Mile resident Brittany Smith, 5.

What: “Sensational Seeds” Lollipop Program.
When: 10:30 a.m. June 27.
Where: Dudley Woods, off LeSourdsville West Chester Road.
Cost: $1.50 craft fee; advance registration is required.
Information: 867-5835 or (877) PARKFUN.
        “Sensational Seeds” is one of a series of Lollipop programs for preschool children and their adult companions sponsored by MetroParks of Butler County. During the summer, each month's program is presented three times: at Rentschler Forest Preserve, Dudley Woods and Governor Bebb Preserve. From September through May, the sessions take place one day a month at MetroParks headquarters in Hamilton.

        July's theme is snakes, and in August the spotlight will be on insects.

        “The purpose of Lollipop programs is to give children ages 3 to 5 a hands-on experience with nature, to help them not be afraid and to appreciate nature,” said MetroParks staffer Rhonda Smith.

        Each session consists of a theme-related story and activity and concludes with a take-home craft. Except for a small craft fee, the programs are free.


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