Outdoor Living

Seventeen ways to find nature at the
Elkhart County 4-H Fair

by Dr. Carla Gull

Our local community loves the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. While we enjoy the steak tips, elephant ears, and rides, have you ever thought of finding nature at the fair? A few options include:

  1. Attend a cooking class for kids as part of the Farm to Table series.
  2. Be a farmer for the day as children drive a pedal tractor through the “farm” to plant seeds, gather eggs, harvest plants, and more.
  3. Explore turtles at the Elkhart County Parks Department’s turtle tank.
  4. Visit the 4-H exhibits, looking for entomology displays, rock collections, forestry exhibits, vegetables, nature photography, and more!
  5. Check out the rain gardens using native plants to help with water runoff.
  6. View the landscape and clouds from the top of the Ferris wheel.
  7. Watch calves being born in the Miracle of Life Calving Center.
  8. Attend a specialty show or display, such as the Silly Safari Animal Show in 2017. Each year these change, keeping offerings fresh and interesting.
  9. Visit Young McDonald’s Barn to see baby animals up close and personal.
  10. Walk through the 4-H livestock halls to see a variety of pigs, cows, goats, poultry and more! I am always amazed at the diversity of chickens.
  11. Visit the Home and Family Arts Building to see local fresh preserves, wooden carvings, nature photography, and other nature inspired entries.
  12. Explore the Green Earth Education Day on the last Friday of the fair, with local natural resource and environmental providers.
  13. Attend one of the many gardening classes throughout the week.
  14. Enter the upcycling contest to repurpose items that might otherwise end up in the landfill.
  15. Sit on recycled benches made from plastic caps collected by children.
  16. Eat local food at one of the many vendors, such as a lamb burger or a rabbit bratwurst.
  17. View the garden displays throughout the fairgrounds with unique upcycled components.

How will you find nature at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair?
Check out the schedule and events at 4hfair.org.

Dr. Carla Gull blogs at www.insideoutsidemichiana.com.
She is often seen with her four tag-along explorers in the greater Michiana area.