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Blacklick Woods hosts family events
Messenger photos by Linda Dillman
Metro Park volunteer Susan Moore, left, helps Alexander Kennedy, 10, right, with a crayfish he caught during the Blacklick Creek celebration.
What do children, nets, water and crayfish have in common?
They were all part of the outdoor fun and learning at the Blacklick Creek Celebration held on Sept. 24.
Blacklick Woods Metro Park hosted families and individuals who spent the afternoon getting up close and personal with critters inhabiting the land and water.
The event featured displays by park naturalists and the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservancy. Representatives from Ohio Nature Education introduced visitors to baby opossums, owls and a flying squirrel. At the Nature Center, a large viewing area afforded people the opportunity to watch flora and fauna in a secluded setting.
“We want to make kids aware so they can help and be a part of affecting the quality of water,” said Franklin County Environmental Education Specialist Linda Pettit. “Kids are like a sponge and have no problem bringing information home to their parents and telling them if they’re doing something wrong.”
Children waded into Blacklick Creek with nets to hunt down elusive creatures swimming and hiding under rocks.
Alexander Kennedy, 10, and his mother, Anne, routinely attend Metro Park events.
Kennedy said her son loves to go “creeking,” was a camp champ at crayfish hunting and is working his way through a multi-part series of Metro Park activities. He collected more than 15 crayfish while wading in Blacklick Creek—adding his shellfish to a large bucket containing similar creatures of various sizes, along with a handful of minnows.
“We love the programs the parks offer,” said Kennedy. “When the weather is nice, you need to be outside. I grew up playing outside and having fun and I want the same experience for my child.”
Park volunteer Susan Moore said the celebration is an opportunity for kids to go outdoors and experience nature firsthand. She said children get so excited participating in various events that it’s difficult not to get drawn into their exuberance.
Moore said volunteering is, “A way to give back to the park district for what they give to the community and it’s always fun to see the look of discovery on the children’s faces.”
Senior Naturalist Diana Morse said the Blacklick Creek Celebration began six years ago as a program to bring attention to the creek and surrounding watershed.
“We try to make people aware of what we do here impacts others downstream,” said Morse, who said the event annually draws 150 to 250 people. “It’s a fun, relaxed, family day.”
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