by Brian Hughes/ Crestview News Bulletin
April 28, 2010
It was one of those perfect spring days. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm and there was a nice breeze blowing. Flowers were blooming and the Crestview McMahon Environmental Center was in all its springtime verdant glory.
“This is the greenest day of the year,” said John McMahon. “April is a good month for Earth Day.”
The retired forester was at the center named in his honor, greeting 19 pre-school kids and their moms who had arrived for a Story Time field trip hosted by the Crestview Public Library. The “story” they heard on Thursday, however, was not out of a book but straight from Mother Earth.
“The public has learned to appreciate the earth more than they did 50 years ago,” McMahon observed.
Crestview City Council President Bob Allen, who was on hand to welcome the kids on behalf of the city, politely demurred.
“I think a lot of people appreciated Mother Earth for many, many years,” he said, “but it takes a little band of do-gooders to start waving a flag and get it on the calendar.”
Allen praised McMahon and the educational opportunities afforded children of the city by the environmental center and its adjacent museum.
“You have an advantage we didn’t have,” Allen told the kids. “This kind of educational opportunity didn’t exist years ago. We’d go out and play in the woods, but we didn’t know what we were playing with.”
McMahon’s brief introduction included a list of the elements of “nature,” including air, plants, soil, animals, water, and the thing that ties them all together and makes them tick: sunlight.
“Our energy begins with the sun,” McMahon said.
The kids were interested to know that it takes eight minutes for a ray of sunlight to reach the earth.