Learn about enjoying outdoors on April 2

TAYLOR — The Heritage Park Petting Farm, 12803 North Line Road, has partnered with the Alliance for Childhood to show the PBS documentary “Where Do the Children Play?” starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.


Organizers call it a chance to learn about the joys of things like playing outside until the street lights come on, or building a fort in the woods to retreat to each day to explore all that nature has to offer.


The documentary film was inspired by Dr. Elizabeth Goodenough’s book, “Secret Spaces of Childhood.” In her research she found that children spend most of their time outside school in adult-organized activities and indoor screen time.


Patty Donahue, executive director of the Taylor Conservatory Foundation, has joined with Sharon Vespremi, education coordinator at the Petting Farm, to invite parents to watch the film and share their thoughts on outdoor programs.


They will provide each family with a copy of the Children & Nature Network guide, “Nature Clubs for Families.”


The Children & Nature Network has been encouraging community groups to provide families with information on enjoying the outdoors with their children.


Last fall, Donahue and Vespremi were inspired to hold the viewing after attending a lecture at Michigan State University by Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods.” Louv has written, “Our children are the first generation to be raised without meaningful contact with the natural world.”


Space at the farm is limited; attendees are advised to call (734) 374-1549 to reserve a spot.


‘Sheepish’ event celebrates ‘shear’ joy of spring


TAYLOR — The winter weather is over, and it’s time for the annual shearing of the sheep during Celebrate Spring, set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Heritage Park Petting Farm, 12803 Pardee Road at North Line.


Deb Caryl, a third-generation sheep farmer, will demonstrate her shearing skills as she helps the sheep trim down for spring. Shearing will start around 12:30 p.m. and will shear a sheep every half hour until 2:30 p.m.
Mary Minney will spin wool on her spinning wheel and demonstrate fun projects using yarn. Bob Dubensky will demonstrate how a drop spindle works and will show the pioneer way of preparing clothing from sheep to scarf. He also will share how he dyes the wool.


Members of the Tri-County Two Cylinder Tractor Club will be on hand with their display of antique tractors if weather permits. Stan Kloc of Taylor will show children his pedal tractors and Toby Winterholler and Ron Love will demonstrate their machines.


Lisa Porter from Flutterby Faces will paint children’s faces for an additional fee; her fee schedule can be viewed at the Visitor Center at the farm. Children can make spring crafts, and light refreshments will be available for purchase.


All of the animals will be on display at the farm. Overflow parking is next door at the Sheridan Community Center, where a free shuttle bus will take attendees to the Visitor Center doors. Regular admission rates apply.


For more information call the farm at (734) 374-5946.