Families brave the cold to welcome the MetroParks farm’s newest additions


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By Justin Wier

jwier@vindy.com

CANFIELD

A baby shower typically involves people showering expectant mothers with gifts, but at Mill Creek MetroParks Farm’s annual Farm Animal Baby Shower area residents shower the farm’s latest additions with attention.

Hundreds braved the unseasonably cold weather Sunday and lined up in the farm’s barns to get their eyes and hands on newborn calves, goats, chicks, ducklings and goslings, some as young as 10 days old.

Volunteers held several of the animals and allowed children to pet them.

Eight-year-old Kennedy Clarke, who was there with her mother, Kendra, was particularly enamored by the chicks.

“They’re soft, and they look cool,” she said.

Afterward, in accordance with the baby shower theme, families gathered in McMahon Hall to partake in punch and cake.

Brenda Markley, the farm’s agricultural education manager, said the annual event kicks off the Spring season.

“Of course, springtime means baby animals, so that’s what people are coming for,” Markley said.

She said the farm will continue to receive new additions throughout the Spring as several of its animals are expecting.

The annual event began in 1992, and Markley said it’s not uncommon to see grandparents come with their children and grandchildren.

“It’s become kind of a family tradition,” she said.

That was the case for Erica Peebles. She was there with her sons, Jack and Connor, who are 9 and 4 years old, respectively.

“We’ve been coming here every year since [Jack] was 2,” Peebles said. “[Jack] comes for the cake and [Connor] comes for the baby animals.”

Connor said his favorite animals were the cows, roosters and pigs.

“They’re cute,” he said. “Mr. Cow is cute.”

Families who didn’t make it out to Sunday’s event will have plenty of opportunity to visit the farm’s animals throughout the year.

The farm operates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday from April through October.

While some of the animals were brought in especially for the baby shower, Markley said all the typical farm animals, including pigs, cows, goats and alpacas, will be at the farm throughout the year.

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