GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Greenburgh Nature Center’s 33 acres of trails, exhibits and play areas were decked out Sunday in fall decorations with pumpkins, scarecrows and other spooky characters as visitors celebrated at the Fall Festival. The festival has been held for more than 25 years and visitors said this year’s festival was one for the books.
“We’ve had a record-breaking outpouring with 1,000 or more visitors,” said Margaret Tjimos Goldberg, executive director of the Greenburgh Nature Center. “It’s such a wonderful and festive occasion.”
Visitors came from Greenburgh and surrounding areas to enjoy the festival’s many offerings including scarecrow building, pumpkin carving, cider making, scavenger hunts, tractor rides, a zip line and live music.
Dozens of elaborate scarecrows joined the visitors in the audience to watch live music and celebrate all things fall. Along with celebrating the season, guests got to interact and reconnect with nature through the center’s many trails and animal exhibits, featuring sheep, eagles, owls and more.
“There’s something very intuitive about people interacting with nature,” Tjimos Goldberg said.
Connecting with nature is especially important today because most people have become separated from their ties to the natural world, said Travis Brady, director of education and living collections at the center.
“As we’ve become more modernized and urban, we’ve lost that connection,” Brady said. “Whether people know it or not, they crave that calmness of nature.”
Brady said younger children are especially perceptive to small details in nature because they tend to notice small things that are overlooking by older children or teens.
Nicholas Santobello, a 4-year-old dressed as a yellow Power Ranger, said his favorite part of the festival was the animals and the tractor ride.
“It was really bumpy,” said Vincent Coffaro, a 4-year-old also dressed as a Power Ranger.
The center will hold a Scarecrows and Pumpkins Parade Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Children are welcome to come in costume and enjoy the center’s many nature trails decorated with pumpkins and scarecrows. For more information visit the Greenburgh Nature Center’s website.