Picnics, kites, and even fairies filled Sunset Hill Park Saturday for Porter County Parks and Recreation’s annual Beginnings of Spring festival. Children took part in a scavenger hunt, flew kites, had their faces painted, bounced in an inflatable fun house, snacked on festival favorites like elephant ears, and flocked to the lovely Flanagin Fairies.
The children didn’t have all the fun, however. Adults also participated in a dog show, took tractor rides, and enjoyed the trails and scenery that Sunset Hill County Park has to offer.
Jenna Martin, who promotes health and wellness for Porter County Parks and Recreation, believes that events like the Beginnings of Spring festival help to promote the parks by reminding community members that they exist.
“So many people don’t know that [the park] is here,” said Martin. “They drive down Meridian or 6 and they see this little bit here, and they don’t realize that we have 230 football fields of space.”
Porter County Parks and Recreation exists to promote enjoyed of the outdoors and engage the community in active and healthy living.
“Beginnings of Spring is really all about getting families out to the park and getting them active in the outdoors and making them realize that this facility is really here for them to use in the community,” said Dana Yake, Communications Director for Porter County Parks and Rec and event organizer. “We want to offer them programs and a space that allows them to come out and enjoy Porter County.”
The Porter County Parks and Recreation emphasizes that the parks are really here for public use, and that the community shouldn’t hesitate to come out and enjoy them. Often, enjoyment of the outdoors and healthy living go hand in hand. By showing children how they can take advantage of the parks to have fun and play outside, the Porter County Parks and Recreation helps them form habits of health and physical activity.
“We have a lot of things that promote health among the kids,” said Martin. “We try to get them moving.”
Not only do the parks encourage health and wellness, but they also support family bonding.
“It’s an opportunity for families to come on out and have a good time with the different host of activities that go on,” said Walter Lenckos, Superintendent of Porter County Parks and Recreation. “It’s a way for people to spend good quality time with their families.”
Judging by the smiles and laugher, the Beginning of Spring festival was a huge success among children and parents alike.
“It’s really fun,” said Martin. “I love it.”