Volunteers with the Will and Daisy Community Garden in Donaldson presented the Fall Pumpkin Fest on Thursday. The garden is located right beside Ouachita School District on Hwy. 67, and students from Ouachita Elementary School were invited to join the festivities.

Students and teachers alike were excited to get out of the classroom and enjoy the outside activities, especially since Covid put a damper on previous events. Besides the festive fall decorations, numerous play stations, and plenty of Halloween candy on hand, some education was subtly blended into the mix.  

Community garden member Mark Williams talked to the students about the importance of having a garden and about corn and peanuts, in particular. Williams educated the students about the health and commercial benefits of the plants, offered helpful growing tips, and showed the students some of the countless products that are made with these versatile crops.

Students made their way around the raised beds and flourishing vegetation and raced into the Hay Maze, a small labyrinth created with dozens of large hay bales. The teachers did an excellent job of maintaining order in amongst all the excitement, expertly leading small groups from one activity to the next.

The kids also got the opportunity to interact with animals brought to the event by the Hot SpringCounty 4-H. Chickens, rabbits, puppies, a beautiful black duck, and one very friendly goat rounded out the roster of animal guests. Williams said the garden members hope to make this festival an annual event.

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