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Flower power: Children’s Seed Festival marks Earth Day at Botanic Garden

The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden is celebrating Earth Day with a Children’s Seed Festival.

Children will learn about the life of a seed at the Children’s Seed Festival on April 20 at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden. (Courtesy of ABQ Biopark)

The festival, in its 15th year, will be held on Saturday, April 20, in the Children’s Fantasy Garden. The event is held in partnership with the Rotary Club of Albuquerque.

“We have all sorts of seed education stations,” said Pamela Dupzyk, education coordinator at the ABQ BioPark Aquarium and Botanic Garden. “We have a station on what is a seed, different types of seed, what makes up a seed. We have one on roots and shoots, plant parts. We’ll have one called ‘Flower Power.’ It’s on how plants make seeds, so we will be talking also there about pollinators. It’s about how a plant makes a seed. We have seeds on the go, which is our seed dispersal. How do seeds get from where the first plant is to another area where they’ll be able to grow with enough light and water? They can’t get up and walk around, so they have to move in some way, so they do things like stick to animals or people. … They float, they fly in the air, animals eat them and they get passed through and dropped somewhere else. So there’s lots of ways.”

Children can visit the mystery seed station, where they can get a seed to take home. There are a variety of seeds that they can choose from. Children will be given a postcard where they can chart their seed as it grows. They will also receive a booklet that contains pictures of what plants look like when they’re young so that they can compare the picture to the seed they have growing and figure out which seed it is that they have planted.

Attendees can play a seed trivia game, in which they will be able to spin a wheel and answer a seed trivia question to win a small vegetable plant to take home. Guests can also do seed art. Children will be able to plant vegetables in the Children’s Fantasy Garden and work on a large group mural of different plants. They can draw any plant on the mural.

“They’ll also be able to make seed balls, which is a way of distributing wildflowers,” Dupzyk said. “You mix up a ball or soil and mud and wildflower seeds, and you let them dry and then you can take them and throw them wherever you want, at your house, an open field, an area by the river, and they will sit there until it rains, and then when it rains the mud and earth will melt down and the seed has all the things it needs to get started. If there’s no water, the seeds will just stay in that little mud ball safe and secure, waiting for it to be the right time to grow. It’s a cool way of getting wildflower seeds out there.”

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