This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Earth Day at Brookside Park

There were Earth Day festivities at Brookside Park on Saturday, April 24. At 9:00 the Student Council of the Rensselaer Middle School sponsored a 5K run/walk. Only a few people participated.
The girl in the lead here, one of the excellent cross country runners from Kankakee Valley High School, won the race in 20 minutes plus change.
One of the popular attractions for kids was an inflatable obstacle course. The Rensselaer Chamber of Commerce rented it and another inflatable. For each they charged a dollar for unlimited access.
One of the people with the Chamber made this display of plastic grocery bags. She got them from the Walmart recycling containers for grocery bags. I joked to her that she would probably just throw them into the park trash, but she was quite insistent that they would be going back to Walmart.
Friends of the Sands were giving away native prairie plants. I decided to see if I could get a seedling of Rattle Snake Master to grow.
I think the women sewing are part of Carnegie Quilters. They were cutting the arms off old tee shirts and sewing up the bottoms to make tee-shirt bags. (The arm holes become handles for the bag.)
Bob Brodman from Saint Joseph's College had five salamanders on display that were very popular with both children and adults. This is a tiger salamander, which is native to our area and quite widespread. Two of the other speciess were from Jasper-Pulaski, and two were from southern Indiana.
Another popular attraction was the REMC display, which had a bike-powered generator. Most kids could produced enough power to light four fluorescent bulbs but only one incandescent bulb.
The 5K course was a little short this year. This third grader finished in about 25 minutes, which is a good time for someone so young.
Meanwhile, behind the softball field another Earth Day activity was taking place with no audience. Brown's Garden was replacing some of the redbuds that were supposed to make up a redbud trail. Maybe this group will do better than last year's planting.
If you wanted your own redbud, you should have been at the Earth Day festivities. The Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District was giving away redbuds, and the Master Gardeners were giving away pin oak.

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