By AMY HEGGEN
---- — CHAMPLAIN — The Village of Champlain will kick off a string of new kids events with the Children’s Gardening Project.
The free activity on Saturday, April 5, is the first in a series dubbed Champlain Kids Connected, planned by a committee headed by Village Trustee Janet McFetridge.
The Gardening Project will focus on planting and growing flowers and vegetables.
McFetridge started the Champlain Kids Connected Committee in January after local parents began a discussion on the village’s Facebook page.
“That’s where I originally read that some people were asking about ideas for children’s activities,” she said.
The committee’s goal is to be able to provide activities for children, with a focus on education, music and theater, as well as bike and fire safety.
“It’s all part of a concerted effort for children to be outdoors and interacting with other kids in the village,” McFetridge said.
The village, she said, “is just a really vibrant, healthy community, and we really want to get the word out.”
Champlain Kids Connected joins the village’s new disc-golf course, ice rink/basketball court and a new playground in the works to give plenty of outdoor options for youngsters, she said.
Saturday’s event is open to children who live in the village and its environs, who will learn how to start seeds indoors.
Potting soil, seeds and newspapers will be provided, and word scrambles, matching games, coloring sheets and an informational video are among other activities planned at Time After Time Reception on Elm Street.
High-school students will volunteer at each station as extra help for younger gardeners.
Posters will explain the life cycle of a plant and show how a seed sprouts.
“Our follow-up activity is in six weeks or so,” McFetridge said.
The children will nurture their plants at home until then, when they will plant the seedlings at the Champlain Community Garden on May 31, weather permitting.
Nicci Molinski, mother to a 3-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son, helped to plan the event.
The gardening activities, she said, will help get children involved in the village’s farmers market this summer — and it will educate them about health and fitness, too.
“We will have a pile of books, all about gardening, vegetables and healthy eating,” she said.
Molinski said that learning about gardening and vegetables will help promote a healthy diet and can help save money on groceries.
And the goal of Champlain Kids Connected kind of speaks for itself.
“We pretty much want to get our village and other communities in the area to get together outside of their home,” Molinski said. “It would be nice for everyone to meet each other.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Champlain Kids Connected: The Children's Garden Project.
WHEN: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5.
WHERE: Time After Time Reception, 127 Elm Street, Champlain.