Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Environment Fest Finds Perfect Spot

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Environment Fest Finds Perfect Spot

Article excerpt

Finding the perfect venue for the Second Nature Environmental Festival was accomplished this year when the City of North Port opted to host the fifth annual event at the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

The festival May 12 promoted environmental awareness, sustainability and education about Florida wildlife.

"Look around. This is a great place for this type of event," said Kathy Forsyth, program coordinator for the City of North Port Parks and Recreation. "We knew the crowd wouldn't be as big. It will take time for people to get used to the idea the festival is now being held here, but this is by far the best venue we have ever used for this festival and plan to make it our home."

The family-friendly event featured environmental groups and organizations from in and around Southwest Florida. The city arborist, park naturalist, archaeologist and others were available to answer questions about nature and the area. Children's activities included arts and crafts and a puppet show.

Among the highlights, Brian Pavlina, of Sarasota County Natural Resources, and his Burmese python; a walking rope bridge set up by Boy Scout Troop 157; and an archaeological dig set up for children by the Southwest Fossil Club.

At the Public Works booth, Elizabeth Wong offered candy to the children, who would read the "Green Promise," and hopefully sign their name to the pledge.

"It will take me a while to get used to taking shorter showers, but I will try," said Alexis Dooley, 14, who signed the pledge.

A skeleton illustrating the innards of a manatee that was laid out near the booth staffed by representatives of Manatee Park, Fort Myers, caught the attention of children and adults.

"I never had any idea that their heart is so small," Lori Mann said. "No wonder they are so slow moving, I have been learning a lot today."

After visiting the booths, Nicole Pelletier and her children, Kiyara, 3, Sydney, 7, and Trent, 8, headed out along a trail that led into the woods. …

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