With the words, “Ready, set, go hunt,” more than 100 children took off to hunt Easter eggs at the Tippecanoe River State Park’s first Easter egg hunt today in Pulaski County. The hunt was a huge success to the delight of the park staff.
For more than a year now, the park staff has been planning to host this Easter egg hunt. Naturalist Ellen Boardman spearheaded the hunt in the hopes of bringing more awareness to the park and creating a fun event for families.
“We have so many things here at the park to take advantage of,” said Boardman.
“We thought it would be a lot of fun for family and kids to be here,” Amanda Hinkle, Assistant Property Manager, said. “We are a family friendly park. We have a lot of activities here for them and a lot of space for them to run around, play and enjoy the outdoors.”
The event started with kids crafting a D.I.Y. Easter basket made from plastic milk jugs, a creative way to recycle an everyday item. With parental guidance and supervision, the children cut milk jugs and used patterned duct tape to assemble and decorate their baskets.
As the children waited to start the hunt, Smokey the Bear made a special appearance, waving and high-fiving the children. A line quickly formed to take pictures with Smokey; even the adults wanted a snapshot with him!
Alicia Vale brought her three children to participate in the Easter egg hunt at the state park.
“It’s a cool area and the kids wanted to come out to do the Easter hunt,” she said. “It’s great to be able to do fun and family-friendly things like this with your children.”
Families who were camping at the park for the weekend took advantage of the egg hunt to encourage their children to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
“It gives something fun for my daughter to do,” said Steve Steadman, a guest at the egg hunt. “This hunt is a great way to keep her from sitting in the camper watching TV all day.”
Children aged one to twelve were invited to participate in the hunt and were broken into three different age groups, each with their own “slice” of the hunting field. As they eagerly waited for the call to start, one could feel the excitement growing.
Once all of the 500 eggs had been found, the children dug into the candy and toys hidden within. Nine golden eggs had been hidden with special treats for the children who found them. The lucky kids lined up for their prizes, while others milled about and munched on donut holes.
After the hunt, there was a craft time in the Nature Center where children were able to make a paper plate bunny. Some families took the opportunity to enjoy the outside and explore the park, which is just what the park’s staff wanted.
“It’s great to get outdoors. This is a nice, clean, safe environment and you get to experience all the various kinds of nature,” said Hinkle. “Here at the park they’re able to explore more, they’re able to see more of nature, they’re able to hike our trails and see our nature center. It’s a great experience.”
The goal for today was to let the children have some fun and bring a bit of exposure to the park.
“We want people to make wonderful memories here,” said Boardman, and that is just what everyone did.
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