In partnership with the West Virginia University Office of Service Learnings W.K. Kellogg”Expanding Community Partnerships”program, the Mon Valley Green Space Coalition will hold its fifth annual Spring Summit: The River of Words Spring Fair.

The event will be Sunday, May 5, from 12:30-5 p.m. at the South Middle School auditorium and learning trails off Greenbag Road beside White Park.

Educational programs will be offered throughout the day, and art and poetry by local public school students will be on display. All events are free and open to the public.

The River of Words Spring Fair will begin at 12:30 p.m. with an ice cream social and live jazz music. Sheri Amsel, author of nature books for children and adults, will present a slide show,”Wild Places Around the World.”

Green Space Coalition President Chad Pierskalla said he is honored to have Amsel at the Spring Fair.

“Working with other scientists, Sheri Amsel has put together an amazing collection of strange and wonderful animal slides,”Pierskalla said.”She will share the amazing sites from our worlds wild places and right here in our West Virginia mountains.”

At 1:30 p.m., Amsel will host a drawing hour, teaching participants how to draw wild animals. From 2:30-3:30 p.m., she will read and autograph her book,”A Wetland Walk.”Amsel has been writing and illustrating books about nature and science for 15 years. She has degrees in botany and zoology and held an internship for scientific illustration at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

At 3:30 p.m., the Green Space Coalition will hold The River of Words award ceremony honoring local public school students for their artwork and poetry. River of Words is an environmental art and poetry program created to promote watershed awareness, literacy and the arts.

Ella Belling, director of the coalition, described the”Spring Fair as a time for local organizations, citizens and community planners to celebrate community green space, parks and trails and propose new directions and projects for the coming year.”Many regional green space organizations will have displays at the fair, including green space plans for the community and information on the many opportunities to get involved with the coalition.

The Spring Summit will conclude with a greenway walk on the South Middle School Learning Trail from 4-5 p.m. Coalition member Mike Breiding will lead the 4-mile trek through neighborhoods, parks and the newly built learning trail.

To support the Spring Fair, the Green Space Coalition applied for and received an Expanding Community Partnerships grant from the WVU Office of Service Learning Programs W.K. Kellogg”Expanding Community Partnerships”program. The”Expanding Community Partnerships”program was started in 1998 to foster service learning on the WVU campus.

According to Jill Kriesky, director of Service Learning,”An increasing number of communities and faculty have been working together to engage WVU students, applying the skills and theories they learn in classes to real-world projects around the state.”

For more information about the Spring Fair or the Mon Valley Green Space Coalition, contact Pierskalla at 293-2941, ext. 2410. The coalitions web site is http://home.earthlink.net/~parksandtrailscenter/index.html .