News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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June 28, 2014

‘A generational spectrum of sustainability’

Kids sent back to their roots at ISU Community Garden

TERRE HAUTE — Children and parents enjoyed the first “Day at the Garden” event at Indiana State University’s Community Garden on Saturday at 219 N. 11th St.

Guests learned about sustainability with hands-on activities.    

“We’re trying to reflect what we teach at ISU,” said Caroline Savage, assistant director of the Institute for Community Sustainability, as she watched a child pedal a bike to make a banana and honey smoothie — one of the “more popular activities” at the event provided by the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.

“We aim to bring education to the public and [for this event] children,” she said.

Another activity involved spreading a mixture of water and paper on a sponge and screen to make a bookmark. In another, kids picked up plastic insects to simulate a bat, about which, Savage said, “a lot of people associate [bats] as scary, but they are essential to the environment.” Children also planted seeds into soil for guests to take home.

“It brings people back to their roots,” Savage said, “doing things themselves, growing their own plants.”

Angela Atterson brought her 9-year-old daughter, Allie Benson-Atterson, because she “loves this kind of stuff.”

“I want to get the experience for adulthood,” Allie said as she eyed her favorite activity — the bicycle attached to the blender.

Across the yard, 12-year-old Haylee and 11-year-old Alyssa Dickus had just finished making a bookmark. Haylee said she enjoyed the amount of information and activities provided.

“It’s fun to learn,” she said.

Savage said having children understand elements of environmental sustainability will “only help the future of the planet and human race.”

“I wouldn’t be so involved with these kinds of events if I wasn’t introduced to it as a child,” said Kara Phelps, an intern with the Institute for Community Sustainability. “There [aren’t] a lot of courses about sustainability in schools anymore. It is great to teach children and they seem excited to learn.”

Phelps said she believes sustaining the environment will “foster the planet and human kind.”

“The kids are learning something,” Savage said. “Now they will have something to teach the adults. It’s a generational spectrum of sustainability.”

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