Thursday, August 23, 2001

Sun hidden; fun apparent

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — The sun was a no-show, but youngsters had a good time anyway at Wednesday's “Fun in the Sun” program.

        The event, sponsored by MetroParks of Butler County, was a farewell to summer and a wrap-up of MetroParks' 2001 Youth Ecology Study (YES) sessions.

        Between thunderstorms, children and their parents created giant soap bubbles and made fossil rubbings. When it rained, everyone gathered under the picnic shelter at Rentschler Forest Preserve and reminisced about YES experiences they'd enjoyed.

[photo] Matthew Nichols, 8, of Fairfield Township pulls a perfect bubble from his hoop Wednesday at Butler County MetroParks' “Fun in the Sun” event
(Dick Swaim photo)
| ZOOM |
        “I liked the snake one,” said Danielle Bare, 12, of Liberty Township, recalling a program in July that brought kids and reptiles face to face.

        Walking in Dry Fork Creek topped Bethany Strotman's list of summer memories. “I was looking for fossils and different birds and water creatures,” said the 8-year-old West Chester resident.

        , Josh Zubrowski, 10, didn't think twice about naming his favorite program.

        “Eating bugs,” said the Fairfield Township boy.

        Earlier this month, Josh and his mother Pat ttended a MetroParks session during which they sampled dry-roasted crickets, deep-fried mealworms, and “chocolate chirpy chippy cookies” containing crickets.

        “I told him that if he ate a cricket he could go home and not have to do any (home school) paperwork,” Ms. Zubrowski said.

        Wednesday's weather provided a good excuse to review electric-storm safety tips provided by Channel 12 meteorologist Layne Mason at another MetroParks session.

        “You crouch down, cover your ears and keep your heels together,” explained naturalist Bonny Seegmueller. “They all remembered that.”

        Perhaps the most popular activity Wednesday was building and then consuming an edible glacier.

        “It's made of Oreos, vanilla ice cream, Hersey's syrup and M&Ms,” said Danielle Bare. “Oreos are the dirt, M&Ms are the boulders, and the syrup creates melting.“

        MetroParks programs draw children and their parents from all over Butler County and are gaining in popularity. Staff member Debbie Bidwell said that attendance at a typical session is about 50, “and that's just the kids.”

        For information about fall programs, call 867-5835 or toll-free 877 PARK FUN.


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