Famous for its fall foliage, Kenyon takes pride in celebrating the turn of the seasons every year in a variety of ways, including Brown Family Environmental Center’s (BFEC) Harvest Festival. This year’s event, featuring apple cider, pumpkin carving and wagon rides around the 480-acre nature preserve — will take place on Oct. 18 — the Saturday of Family Weekend — from 2 to 5 p.m.
Director of Programming Heather Doherty said BFEC’s mission is “to connect people with nature” and called the Harvest Festival a “natural” way to do so. “It’s a beautiful season and a beautiful place, so it’s just a good opportunity to get outside,” Doherty said.
Doherty said the festival is BFEC’s second largest event after the Earth Day Festival and that for the last 15 years it has reliably drawn crowds of up to 400 people, including students, faculty and local residents. “It’s a great mix,” Doherty said. “The Environmental Center is a great way for the community to get to know part of the College. I know students enjoy that part of it.”
BFEC partners with several organizations to host the festival, including Philander Chase Corporation, the Kenyon Review, The Ohio State University Master Gardener extension — which will be assisting with the pumpkin carving — and the Theta Delta Phi sorority. “It does take a lot of volunteers to pull it off,” Doherty said.
The winners of the 17th annual Knox County nature photography contest will also be announced at the festival, with prizes of up to $50 awarded for nature photographs in children, adult and student divisions. “It’s a wonderful celebration about what we find unique or beautiful about where we live,” Doherty said. “It’s fun to see how different people interpret that.” The contest usually receives about 40 entries per division, she said.
All activities are free, though BFEC accepts donations. A shuttle will run from Palme House to BFEC that afternoon.
by Madeleine Thompson '15