By Pat Winkelman
To celebrate June as Leave No Child Inside month, the 2nd annual Barrington Area KidFest – a fun-filled event combining the 12th annual Community Kite Fly and 3rd annual Family Nature Fest – was held on Saturday, May 4 at Barrington’s Citizens Park. This free, family-oriented event was hosted by the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, the Barrington Park District, and Leave No Child Inside of the Greater Barrington and Lake Zurich area, three community-oriented and non-profit organizations.
One can safely say that everyone enjoyed a wonderful day of learning, nature, and kite flying. A soft breeze to lift the kites and sunshine broke through the clouds to provide the 1,300 plus event participants a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors! Families took part in more than twenty-five nature-based and/or educational activities in addition to the popular kite fly. Thanks to the Barrington Breakfast Rotary for providing over 700 free kites for the event!
Members and supporters of the Leave No Child Inside initiative provided activities including tree climbing with the Care of Trees, archery with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, learning about mammals and an archeological dig with Citizens for Conservation, team course and street striders with the Barrington Park District, larger than life weaving with the Barrington Cultural Arts Center, bug-a-palooza with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County/Crabtree Nature Center, slack-lining with Erehwon, butterfly habitats with Barrington Hills Montessori School, Cub Scout fun with the Boy Scouts of America, speed and agility training with Davis Speed Centers, living with wildlife with Fox Valley Rehabilitation Center, “Leave No Trace” with L.L. Bean, mighty oak note cards with the South Barrington Conservancy, pond critter collecting with the Lake County Forest Preserve, foreign language games with Language Stars, making butterflies with DaVinci Waldorf School, gorilla gardening with Green Mansions Foundation, birdhouse magnet coloring with Huntington Learning Center of Barrington, and mural painting with the Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association.
Eagle Scout candidate Tommy Mitoraj of Troop 29 provided sixty blue bird houses for children to build and take home to provide new habitats for our local blue bird population. Local pediatrician, Everett Weiss provided presentations of regarding how nature and outdoor activities leads to healthier chidlren, and the Village of Barrington Hills offered free tree seedlings! The Barrington Breakfast Rotary was cooking up delicious hot dogs and brats for purchase with proceeds assisting the Barrington Breakfast Rotary’s global clean drinking water efforts. Raffle baskets were awarded to four lucky participants at the end of the event.
A special thank you from the Barrington Breakfast Rotary, Barrington Park District, and Leave No Child Inside to all of the organizations, businesses, and volunteers who made this day a success. The greater Barrington and Lake Zurich areas are fortunate to have these generous contributors.
We hope to see you at KidFest 2014, scheduled for May 3 with the rain date of May 4. If you are interested in participating in KidFest 2013 contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about local or global Rotary efforts or to become a member, visit www.barringotnbreakfastrotary.org. For information about spending family time in nature or taking part in fitness activities, to become a member, or volunteer your time, visit www.funoutside.org and www.barringtonparkdistrict.org.
All photos courtesy of Tom Benjamin.