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EnviroFest celebrates 17 years

The 17th annual Envirofest educated people about environnmental topics.

Posted on July 14, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — As the humidity let up, people gathered at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens to partake in the 17th annual EnviroFest.

Parents came with children to listen to music, learn more about the environment and enjoy the gardens.

People walked through the gardens and stopped at various booths, included the Michiana Gem and Mineral Society, Woodlawn Nature Center and the Humane Society of Elkhart County. Vendors sold homemade soap, cookies, vegetables and aprons.

The city of Elkhart provided a recycled watering can coloring activity for children. Two Indiana University South Bend students and one recent graduate volunteered at the booth, trying to teach children about recycling and the environment.

Hailey Hennessy, Myles Robertson and Kayla Mowbray, all members of the sustainability and wellness club, helped kids decorate their watering cans.

Hennessy said she got the idea from the Internet and had tried it with kids a few weeks ago.

“I just really love sustainability and what it offers people,” she said. It’s important to teach children about recycling, she said, so they can raise a new generation who cares about the environment. The trio handed out packs of sunflower seeds to visitors.

Krissy Wingard brought her daughter, Kailah, 5, to the event. Recent transplants to Elkhart, Wingard said they came to do something different. Kailah enjoyed decorating her watering can with flowers and clouds.

Kyle Hannon, vice president public policy/media relations for the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, talked about bike friendliness for the “Bike Elkhart” booth. He handed out pamphlets about the new city bike lanes, bike safety and the Bloom & Zoom event happening in August. Most people had questions about where they can ride in the city.

City of Elkhart aquatic biologist Daragh Deegan brought about 20 species of fish caught from the St. Joe River. Earlier on Friday, he had done a fish survey and brought the sample of fish he had collected. Deegan said he wanted to teach people about the variety of species in the river to dispel any rumors that the river is dirty or unfit to be in.


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