Learn what’s in your lunch at Mill Creek Park

« Austintown Neighbors


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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Instructor Bill talked about the various poultry held in one of the barns at MetroParks farms as children listened and examined the animals.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Amy Zhana (front) along with Riley Pieren (back) listen as the insturctor explained different animal and plant facts during a tractor tour of the MetroParks farms on July 9.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Instructor Bill gave information during the tractor tour of the MetroParks farms during the Food Quest camp.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Riley Pieren pet the barn yard cat while touring one of the barns at the MetroParks Food Quest camp.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Children were allowed to walk up and pet the three horses residing at MetroParks farm as part of their animal retirment community.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Children lined up to get on the tractor to go on a tour around the MetroParks farms on July 9.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Ella Pfahler leaned in to pet the mare named Maria at MetroParks Farm for the Food Quest camp on July 9.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

Have you ever wondered “How did that get in my lunch box?”

This is exactly the question guiding the group of 5-6 year-olds participating in Mill Creek’s Park Pals camp, called Food Quest, the week of July 9.

“The goal is for them to figure out where their food comes from, to have all their questions answered,” said Brenda Markley, a Mill Creek Parks employee who is running the camp.

During this 5-day camp children will learn about all the different areas of the Mill Creek Farms.

The camp took place throughout five days, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and each day had a different theme.

“Basically to introduce the idea that that is what farmers do,” Markley said, “Kids love to eat so just kind of getting the idea that that’s where it starts.”

On Monday, the children took a tour around the farm, where they went to personally meet the animals and even held the newest addition, baby goats.

Children rode on a tractor to the different farms, learning about the different plants and animals that grow and live there.

Tuesday the camp will focused on plants, how they grow, and the specific crops grown at Mill Creek Farms.

On Wednesday, the children focused on dairy, and Thursday they focused on fruit.

Then the camp wrapped up on Friday with another lesson, more in-depth, on animals and how we get food from them.

“We want to spark an interest as they get a little bit older to garden or to grow their own food,” Markley said.

Each day began with a story and included an abundance of activities such as making ice cream for the children to eat and creating food related crafts.

Mill Creek parks hosts two camps for the various age groups during the summer, one in June and on in July.

“Hopefully by the end of camp they will be able to open their lunches and recognize, okay those are fruits, and my sand which is made up of all of these parts from around the farm,” Markley said.

“We’ve done camps here for years, but we have restructured camps this year. Throughout the Metro parks we have done a series of camps and broke it down by ages.” Markley said.

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