Adams County Community Fest
Outreach in Action

Mary Ann Ryan
Adams County Master Gardener

The Community Fest of Adams County was held on Saturday, June 12, 2005. The goal of this festival and future festivals centers on education. We in extension have a mission to help people to live better lives by making educated decisions on health, family, economics, the environment and agriculture. In order to fulfill this mission, we are committed to making people aware of what we do and what service we offer. Through the Community Fest of Adams County, we opened the doors to invite this awareness to visitors. Considering the amount of development that is taking place in Adams County, more and more folks are in need of unbiased information concerning their property and use of our natural resources.

Master Gardeners play a big role in reaching our goal. Through Master Gardeners, we are able to reach many more people to help them make environmentally friendly decisions. Whether manning the Horticulture Desk at the Extension Office on Mondays and Fridays or offering workshops throughout the year, Master Gardeners help keep the community informed about garden related topics and problems.

At the Community Fest, our Master Gardeners helped people plant container gardens, teaching them which plants will grow in certain conditions. Also, folks made shade tents to shelter their tender plants as they start in the spring. Garden tours of our native plant garden and trial garden were given where participants were given the opportunity to become familiar with a variety of plants and observe how they grow in our area.

Children’s activities included planting a shoe, introducing kids to plants and the value they have to our environment. Other kids’ activities included face painting, hair spraying and sidewalk chalk art. "Penny the Cow" was also on hand to entertain the crowd. Children and adults were able to try their hand at "milking" a cow. Lots of fun was had by all.

Environmental groups, such as Rehabitat, Land Conservancy, Ag Land Preservation, Solid Waste and Recycling, and Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve were at the fest teaching visitors more about how to preserve our tender surroundings and the critters living in them.

Vans took people to the Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville so they could tour the center and learn about the research that scientists are doing there. Through this research, growers can better utilize their land and resources for better crop production.

Entertainment was provided by the Taylor-Made Bluegrass Band. There was food and drink from Adams County 4H, profits from which went to help support the youth exchange trip to Missouri. There was also a 4H benefit auction to raise funds to support the 4H youth programs throughout the county.

There was free seated massage and free blood pressure screening available for those visiting our facility that day. Representatives from Extension’s Family and Consumer Science were available to answer questions on food preservation.

The Community Fest focuses on "Our Life and Our Land." Education is the key to better health and a better environment for us and our families. Thank you to all who participated in this fun and educational event. We thank our sponsors, ReMax of Gettysburg and Becki Smith of State Farm for their financial support because without them, the event would not have taken place. We are hopeful for a bigger and better Community Fest in 2006 and strive to remain true to our goal. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating life and land by participating in next year’s community fest.

Read more articles by Mary Ann Ryan