Cars lined the Clay County Fairgrounds parking lot Saturday morning as families gathered for the 4th Annual Nature Day — an eclectic mix of activities hosted on the property.
Sue Urban, 4-H leader for the Purdue Extension Office in Clay County, said the annual event has grown each year since its inception.
“We try to kick off the fall season and get everyone outside and moving around,” she said inside the exhibit hall, where 30 booths filled the building with activities ranging from gardening to exercise and nutrition.
Meanwhile, outdoor exhibits included presentations by the Master Gardeners, as well as a guided seminar about edible plants and those with medicinal potential.
Behind the exhibit hall, Boy Scout campers parked beneath a canopy, offering cooking demonstrations for those venturing into the great outdoors.
Jacob Maccarone, 13, and a member of Troop 95, said sausage and “Monkey Bread” were on the menu that morning, the latter being a camping concoction with cinnamon and sugar.
“We haven’t had breakfast yet,” he said, adding he particularly enjoys camping.
Hammers slammed into nails inside the Industrial Barn, where every child participating was allowed to build their own bird house.
Bob Casad, a retired railroader, said the activity was so popular last year they exhausted the supply of 55 houses in less than two hours. This year, he brought 90 hand-made kits, with wooden blocks he’d sawed himself.
“All of these guys are volunteers for Izaak Walton League,” he said of those gathered to help the kids.
A 3-year-old stood on a bench nearby, wearing yellow rain boots and denim shorts, trying to hammer a nail into place with both hands on the tool.
“I enjoy this,” Casad said. “I enjoy the kids.”
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.