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Celebrate summer solstice during second annual event

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published June 16, 2015

FARMINGTON HILLS — It’s time to get out the sunglasses and sunblock. The longest day of the year — and the official start of summer — will soon take place during the summer solstice celebration from 1-3 p.m. June 21 at Heritage Park.

“This was our first event last year, and it went really well, and we decided to make it an annual event,” Farmington Hills Nature Center Supervisor Ashlie Smith said. More than 80 people attended last year.

Heritage Park will have activities including a hayride through the park, a summer art project, a tour of the Children’s Garden, and other outdoor games and activities.

Smith said that because the hayrides are typically held in the fall, attendees can take a fresh look at the park during the upcoming one.

“You will see different animals and plants,” she said. “It is an exciting opportunity to take a hayride.”

From making bumblebees out of tennis balls to sharing information on the importance of pollinators, there will be a lot to see and do on this day.

“If folks don’t have plans for Father’s Day, it will be a great opportunity to bring the family out, play some games and get to make some crafts to take home,” Smith said.

Smith said attendees will also be able to look at Heritage Park’s wildflower garden plants that are specific for pollinators. The garden relies on hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, wasps and other insects to pollinate native plants, which the event will showcase.

Brittany Feldman, of the Nature Center, worked at last year’s summer solstice celebration at a game station, and said that this year, there will be an abundance of nature-themed games.

One new craft includes making fairy doors out of popsicle sticks and items in nature for gardens at home.

“We are doing different crafts than we did last year,” she said. “It is the longest day (of the year); that is an interesting fact for them to learn about.” 

Activities are designed for all ages. Adults must accompany children on the hayride wagon.

The fee is $5 per person or $15 per family. For a guaranteed spot, pre-registration is available online at  recreg.fhgov.com or at the Costick Center; attendees may also drop in and meet inside the Nature Center.

The Farmington Hills Nature Center in Heritage Park is located at 24915 Farmington Road, between 10 and 11 Mile roads.

Call the Nature Center at (248) 477-1135 for more information.