Hundreds head to the ‘great outdoors’

More than a thousand Clermont County residents participated in the Great Outdoors Weekend Sept. 23 and 24.

According to organizer Rhonda Barnes-Kloth, the great outdoor weekend was designed as a way for families and residents to get out and take advantage of the numerous outdoor activities available.

“The weekend was designed by environmental, education, and outdoor recreation organizations to provide tri-state residents a diverse sampling of the amazing and interesting nature activities in the area,” she said. “It is specifically designed to reconnect people with nature.”

In Clermont County, residents enjoyed free activities at the Cincinnati Nature Center and East Fork State Park (among others).

At the nature center, there were numerous activities.

“We offered a tree climb, a dog walk, live birds of prey, an outdoor garage sale, and, of course, all of the walking and hiking paths,” said Cincinnati Nature Center volunteer and special events manager Heather Hahn. “We participate every year because the weekend is a great way to let the public know that there are naturally beautiful places to visit that are close to home and across the region.”

Other activities across the tri-state included butterfly walks, garden tours, birding by ear, fossil hunting, water sampling, finding river critters, catching fish, and Little Miami River activities and hayride tours of the Milford Valley View park.

“We were very pleased and excited about the attendance this year,” said Hahn. “This is the third year that we have participated in the event. We build each year by adding activities because we feel that it is important that people get outside. One of the favorite activities is the tree climb. This allows climbers of all ages to experience trees from a new perspective, that is, the top.”

Nine-year-old climber and Loveland resident Jared Pullman made it to the top of a 150-foot oak tree in under five minutes.

“No problem,” he said. “When you are harnessed in with all of the equipment and determined to succeed, nothing but fear can stop you.”

Nothing, including the rain on Saturday, stopped the thousands of people from enjoying the great outdoors weekend.