Spring has Sprung!

March 2016 Gad-A-Bout

by  Donna Schroeder

We had a neighbor who always declared that Fayette County is the garden spot of America. I don’t know if we could verify that, but I can testify that some of my most pleasant days have been spent in a garden. Looking ahead to the next few weeks, I would say that there are many others who share my enthusiasm.

I love flowers! I’m especially fond of perennials. They save you the trouble of replanting each spring. In addition, they can supply a nice surprise as a gardener ages. Each fall, I’m drawn to the bulb section at the garden store. I grab a bag or two of tulips or daffodils. When I get home, I try to remember where I’ve planted before and go to another part of the yard. The arrival of spring leaves me in awe, as I’m never quite certain where a clump of blossoms might appear. Every year, I contemplate making a chart, but I never do. I think my subconscious enjoys the surprise. Not only that, I avoid the disappointment of realizing that the squirrels have eaten bulbs that I might have expected to bloom. You don’t miss what you don’t remember you had.

When the tourism board asked local organizations to tell us what they were planning this spring, the response was immediate, and I was really excited to learn of all the garden and nature-related events. Not everything centers on gardening, but several upcoming events will.

The plant sales are always sold out events! They’re my favorites because the growers are there to help customers decide what plants would do best in specific areas of the garden. Proceeds from the sales go back into the community through plantings in public places, scholarships, and local mission work.

I realize it’s a little early to put some of the entries in this month’s issue, but I thought some folks might like to mark their calendars. The April and May events offer the opportunity to visit some terrific places in my neck of the woods.

Many of them are happening at Roberts Park, one of the nicest facilities in the area. Colonel Roberts donated the land, and I think he would be proud of the way it progressed over the years. The Longwood Kennedy covered bridge was brought here from west of town several years ago after becoming too small for many of today’s vehicles. It offers the chance to take a good look at the craftsmanship that went into these structures. The amphitheater and Roberts Building were WPA projects that helped many families weather the Great Depression through the jobs created. The Aquatic Center (a fancy name for the beautiful park pool) is a great place to spend a warm summer day. The park is a local historic district, and the city deserves credit for taking such good care of it.

Bluegrass at the Roberts Building March 25th at 7 p.m. This is an ongoing presentation at the park. If you love this style of music, it would be a great opportunity to follow what this group is doing. The rehabilitated Roberts Building is a nice setting. Admission is $10.00. Refreshments are available at reasonable prices.

Hunters’ Education Class at the lodge in Manlove Park. All day, March 26th, beginning at 8 a.m. All ages. Call (765) 478-4080 for more info. If you’ve never visited Manlove Park, come and get acquainted with one of Fayette County’s best kept secrets.

The Easter Bunny Express is right around the corner, March 26, 2016. The 16th annual running of the Easter Bunny Express will depart from Connersville Grand Central Station and make 4 round trips to the Easter Bunny Patch 2 miles away. Don’t forget your

Basket. Come and meet the Easter Bunny and hunt for his Golden Egg. The egg hunt is open to ages 8 and under. Reservations are recommended. Prices are $10.00/person 2 and up. Train departs at 10am, 12pm, 2:30pm & 4:15pm. Train operates rain or shine. Tickets are available now via their online ticket window or by calling the depot at 765-825-2054.

For the Death of Tom April 1st and 2nd Meet and interrogate famous literary and historical characters as you help solve the mysterious murder of Tom Ripley at the FCPL. Food and Fun will fill the evening. 50 tickets available each night. For details, call the Fayette County Public Library at (765) 827-0883

Fayette County Historical Museum will have its season opening on April 10th. The museum is open 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sundays and Thursdays through early December. Connersville built horse drawn vehicles and automobiles are among the displays. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. The facility is manned by knowledgeable volunteers and supported by Historic Connersville, Incorporated through dues and donations. It’s conveniently located at 103 Vine Street, at the junction of Highways 1 and 44 on the east side of Connersville. Visit Historic Connersville on Facebook (765) 825-0946

2016 Spring Festival at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary! April 31st Hikes, bird banding, and more! carl.wilms@indianaaudubon.org or visit Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary on Facebook. The Sanctuary is owned and operated by the Audubon Society. There are activities all summer, but you are always invited to hike, camp, and enjoy the scenery at any time! This was the home of the Gray family. Finly and Alice Green Gray donated the family farm in memory of their daughter Mary. It’s a great place to enjoy nature. Connersville High School Plant Sale May 6th and 7th Friday, 3:40 til 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. til noon. Plants grown in the high school green house! Location: Connersville High School. The line always forms before the sale opens after school on Friday. The kids are enthusiastic about this project, and the plants are great quality. Fayette Garden Club Annual Plant Sale at Roberts Park. May 7th Park Road shelter. Annuals, perennials, herbs. 8 a.m. til sold out. (765) 825-9775 Central Christian Church Plant Sale May 7th 9th St. and Central Ave.. 8 a.m. til noon. Annuals, perennials, herbs (765) 825-4146

Mother’s Day Valley Flyer – May 8, 2016 Whitewater Valley Railroad. See their website for more details.

Fayette County Master Gardeners Spring Fling at Roberts Park in Connersville. May 14th Be sure to check out the great selection of vendors, plants, garden art, herbs. Hands on gardening demonstrations, activities for kids. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Whitewater Valley Arts Association will present exhibits April thru June at its gallery at 249 W. 28th Street in Connersville. You can visit their website www.wvartsa.com for more information on exhibits and activities.

The Fayette County Farmers Market is scheduled to open May 21st from 8:00am-11:00am at the courthouse parking lot. More details to follow, but what a great way to get fresh local produce! We’re excited to see this begin at this location!

While you’re in town, be sure to visit the Canal House garden. It’s located across from the courthouse. The house is open during special events and for tours upon request, but the garden is accessible at all times. The centerpiece is a part of the original

Clio Fountain and is made of brownstone. When it began to disintegrate, it was replaced with a reproduction that can be seen at the point where Central Avenue and Grand Avenue converge. Historic Connersville preserved a part of the original at the Canal House, 111 East 4th Street. Canal House was built in 1842 as the headquarters for the Whitewater Canal.

The merchants and dining establishments also invite you to visit while you’re in town. Check out the tourism website at tourconnersville.com or visit the Fayette County tourism page on Facebook. You can also reach us at (765) 825-1523. You’re always welcome in Fabulous Fayette County. Hope to see you soon!