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PHOTOS: Stories in the park teach kids about nature

The children demonstrated how to "pat, pat, pat" the dirt to help their garden grow.1 / 6
Barb Simmons, of Dakota County Libraries, reads Good-night Owl at Storytime in the Park in Hastings.2 / 6
Paige Marschall Bigler walked around with a stuffed owl for the children to pet while Good-night Owl was being read aloud.3 / 6
Kids worked on their eye and ear helpers made from toilet paper rolls and yarn.4 / 6
Charlotte Wiertzema, left, and Lilykate Wiertzema colored their eye and ear helpers with markers. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 6
The children performed actions to go along with one of the books that was read aloud. It was about vegetables that grow in the garden.6 / 6

A little bit of dreary weather couldn't put a damper on Storytime in the Park Aug. 9 at the Rotary Pavilion at Levee Park. Even with some drizzling rain in the forecast children huddled under the pavilion, sat at the picnic tables.

It was a nature themed storytime. Two big book stories were read by Barb Simmons, the children's librarian, including "Good Night Owl" and "Up, Down and Around." A scavenger hunt and earth art activity followed the stories. Activities were led by the library and Paige Marschall Bigler, the city's recreation programming specialist.

Children had an opportunity to create eye and ear helpers made from toilet paper rolls and yarn. The finished product could be worn around their neck. It could be held up to an ear to listen more carefully or to look through the tube to spot an object.

Storytime in the Park was part of the programming schedule planned by the City of Hastings Parks and Recreation Department. Hastings parks and recreation partnered with Pleasant Hill Library to coordinate the event and it is sponsored locally by Power Within Chiropractic.

Four storytimes were planned throughout the summer. The last and final storytime of the season is set for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Levee Park. The event will go on rain or shine and it will be an animal themed storytime.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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