Auburn Earth Day planting

Adults and children attend an Earth Day planting event at Seymour library in Auburn Friday.

AUBURN — Ava Savage, with a slight smile, a straightened back and wide eyes, presented her grandmother Lori Vivenzio-Tillman with some seeds at the Earth Day planting event at Seymour Library in Auburn Friday morning.

Vivenzio-Tillman jumped slightly, with a smile appearing on her face.

"My favorite, lemon basil, oh my gosh," Vivenzio-Tillman said.

In honor of the holiday the next day, the library teamed up with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County in Auburn for the event, where participants could place flower seeds and beans, tomatoes and carrots in soil and expose that combination to water and some sunlight.

Vivenzio-Tillman, Savage, 4, and Savage's great-grandmother Mary Ann Roe all came to the event. Roe said since weather conditions haven't been great for gardening lately, this seemed like a good opportunity to put their green thumbs to use. Savage had a very simple reason for wanting to come by.

"To make plants," Savage said.

Becky Crawford, the extension's nutrition community educator, walked participants through the proper steps. Adults often assisted the children through the process.

The event ran for two hours, and 27 children and 16 adults planted vegetation during the first half hour.

Jill Hand, the library's youth services coordinator, was initially unsure how many people would show up for the event but was pleasantly surprised by the turnout.

"I thought this would be a good opportunity for (children) to know that planting trees and plants and all that kind of thing help(s) the environment and celebrate Earth Day a little bit at the library," Hand said.

Crawford said that as a nutrition educator, one of her biggest goals to encourage kids to eat their greens.

"Gardening has always been proven to be a great way to get kids veggies, because they're curious, they want to know," Crawford said."

Crawford said planting something as easy to handle as a pea can potentially open children up to viewing vegetables as an enjoyable food group and being more curious about the dirt-covered world surrounding them.

She said it should take about a week for the plants to grow.

"We weed, we water and we wait," Crawford said.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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Education Reporter