Scrambling for small treasures

Hunt: Parents take their children to the Baltimore Conservatory to look for Easter eggs and enjoy the spring weather.

April 09, 2001|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

Baltimoreans took advantage of yesterday's clear skies and near-70s temperature in the usual ways: yard work, pickup basketball games and afternoon jogs.

There also was an activity perfect for the season as about 200 area children spent part of their day scrambling for Easter eggs at the Baltimore Conservatory in Druid Hill Park.

The fourth annual Spring Open House and Easter Egg Hunt - sponsored by the Horticultural Division of the city Department of Recreation and Parks and the Baltimore Conservatory Association - was a big hit for youngsters. But as is common at Little League baseball games and other contests involving children, the adults were more excited.

"Grab them, y'all. Get them. Get them. Get as many as you can," Barbara Brown of East Baltimore shouted as her nephew, Donya Grant, 7, scurried after the colorful plastic eggs.

Fred Whitt devised a strategy for his son, Saxon, 8.

"He said to go out to that really big tree because there were a lot of eggs behind it," Saxon said, pointing to the tree. But the boy scooped up other eggs en route to the tree. When he got there, most of the eggs had been taken.

Nonetheless, Saxon said he and his sister, Kennedy, 6, had fun.

So did Joshua Fitzgerald, 9, and Chelsea Henderson, 8.

"For me it was just plain ol' run, get the candy, try to beat everybody else, run like Ray Lewis and get the Easter eggs," said Joshua. "I got a whole lot of eggs."

It was Joshua's and Chelsea's first time participating in the Easter Egg Hunt at the Conservatory. Joshua's father, Willie Fitzgerald, said he wanted the kids to do something different and get to know each other better. He dates Chelsea's mother, Cynthia Henderson.

The Easter Egg Hunt was the main attraction yesterday, but other activities included a Spring Flower Show, storytelling, juggling, face painting and making paper Easter eggs.

Sarah Schoettler, 12, and her brother, Zach, 11, marveled at goats, rabbits, a miniature donkey, sheep and chicken - animals from Triple L Farms in Glen Rock, Pa.

"They're cool," Zach said. "I think the chicks over there are cute," added his sister.

Early yesterday morning, the weather looked threatening.

"We made the decision this morning to go ahead despite the drizzle," said William Stine, the city's chief horticulturist. "Thank goodness it turned out nice."

Stine and Conservatory Association member Barry Woolf said they're glad the children had fun hunting for eggs, but they invited kids and adults to visit the Conservatory, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, when special events aren't being held.

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