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Earth Day festival combines fun, facts on environment
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Virginia Museum of Natural History volunteer Erica Gilley blows elaborate bubbles at the Earth Day event. (Bulletin photos)
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

David and Adrianne Bowyer of Martinsville believe it is important to teach children to help protect the environment.

That is why they brought their daughters, Jolie, 8, and Autumn, 4, to the Earth Day Family Festival at the Smith River Sports Complex on Saturday.

The festival was sponsored by the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

One activity at the festival was a race in which children were given garbage items, such as cups and bottles, to place in containers for recycling.

David Bowyer said he wants to teach his children not to litter. Littering is “a big problem in our community,” he said.

Adrianne Bowyer said Jolie “really likes the music” at the festival the most.

Kim and Jimbo Cary of Nelson County performed acoustical music, much of it aimed at children and having a “protect the environment” theme.

Children and their parents joined in with the Carys’ performances by playing instruments made of gourds as well as household items, such as old-time washboards used in Cajun-style percussion music.

Jessica Wulff of Martinsville and her three children took part in the music, along with other family members. She said the Carys are “really good” performers.

Wulff said she and her children came to the festival because “it was a chance to get outside” and enjoy warm weather.

“It’s been kind of a long winter,” she said.

Other activities at the Earth Day festival included face-painting, inflatable play areas, lessons on how to assemble paper helicopters and “star finders” (used to observe constellations in the night sky) and guided hikes given by the Southwestern Virginia Master Naturalists.

On Friday, the museum also sponsored Earth Day activities for school groups at its complex on Starling Avenue in Martinsville.

One of the activities, which is continuing through today, is the assembling of balloons into a large dinosaur sculpture (see related story, Page 1-A).

Wulff, who also visited the museum on Saturday, said the sculpture-in-progress is “incredible.”

“I didn’t think you could do something like that” with balloons, she said.


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