Bruce Griffin
Ohio.com correspondent


?With springtime around the corner, the Fairlawn-Bath branch of the Akron Public Library has a lineup of events preparing for its return.





Two events in particular stand out among the others: creating a garden for bees and building hummingbird feeders. Each program takes place at 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday in the library’s community room.





The hummingbird feeder class will be held on May 2. Its main target audience is teenagers, primarily students in grades 6-12. Youth librarian Theresa Munka said the goal of the event is to highlight the natural world.





“We’re trying to think of ways to promote enjoying the outdoors,” Munka said. She also hopes it will help kids become “aware of the other creatures that share this space with us.”





She chose the hummingbird mostly because she was inspired by how brave and beautiful they are. Munka said hummingbirds can become extremely comfortable with humans at a certain point. She said it all depends on how well you treat them.





“Once they get comfortable they fly right up to you,” Munka said. “They go to the same places all the time, so if you have the right plants in your yard, or if you’re someone who regularly puts out a feeder, those are the places that they come.”





Following in the outdoor-oriented footsteps of the hummingbird event, is the May 16 debut of the library’s “Bee Friendly Garden.” This event, which is also run by Munka, is geared to educate young children about the importance of bees in everyday life. She is hoping that it will soften the fears that both kids and adults have of bees.





“I know a lot of times kids have fear of bees,” Munka said. “But of course we really need bees.” ?She went on to explain the significance of bees in the natural order. A few examples she referenced were bee’s importance in the pollination of plants, which is critical to plant reproduction. This directly impact humans as we rely on plants for a variety of reasons such as food, oxygen and decorations. This particular program, unlike the hummingbird feeder program, is aimed at a younger crowd mostly kids in grades 3-5.





“We start with the young ones,” Munka said. “If adults don’t like bees there is probably nothing you can do about it.” ?Munka said she is excited to get kids involved with the outdoors; however, she admits the library system also has its own interest in showing kids a greener path. She said the library system as whole is interested in “making kids aware of what’s going on outdoors instead of being inside on the computer.”