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Kids get down and dirty at Green Tree Public Library

Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:12 p.m.

Children at Green Tree Public Library's “Wormy Wednesday” program had no fear when it came to getting elbow deep in dirt full of worms.

Equipped with small shovels, magnifying glasses and flashlights, the children dug through compost bins for creepy crawlies to analyze.

“It's good for kids to experience worms in a positive educational kid of way,” library director Adaena Tray said. “Here, they can see them at the library in a fun way.”

The worms are kept in compost bins full of soil, and library employees dropped off lunch scraps for the worms to eat and turn into nutrient-rich soil.

The bins are part of Phipps Conservatory's Borrowing Bin program. Educators can borrow various themed bins that allow students get up close and personal with the different concepts — butterflies, composting, planting and worms.

Tray said that for this library program, families could come and go as they pleased.

“It's a very passive program,” she said. “There's not a lot of structure, and families can just drop in. It's very low-key.”

Kids used small plastic bags — or the brave, their hands — to dig for the little red worms in the soil. They put them on plastic plates and used the magnifying glasses and flashlights to observe the color, texture, feel and movement of the worms.

“We're doing a lot of scientific observation,” Tray said.

Tray said the worms can teach kids about preserving the environment, as well.

“There's a big movement toward being green,” she said. “This is a good way to showcase that. They see what's biodegradable and get to see the idea of the cycle of life.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or

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