Eight members of the Mock family were at the starting line for the Arbor Day 5K Root Run/Walk at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 7. Four hours later one member – 7-year-old Cassie – was still going strong, doing the Macarena while twirling a hula hoop, her race number 872 still pinned to her shirt, and wearing a big smile.
Sitting on bleachers in Town Center were her grandparents Danette and Ken Mock, watching their granddaughter's ponytail whip in tandem with her hips, as she kept the plastic hula hoop up – the energy of youth.
“She came in third in the race today,” Danette Mock said. “Eight of us ran this morning, grandparents, our son, and all of the grandchildren.”
The Mocks weren't the only ones enjoying the made-to-order day. The annual Palm Coast Arbor Day attracted all ages.
Even the butterflies cooperated during the mass release at 11 a.m., with most flitting on fingers and then soaring skyward.
The free family event included vendors, nonprofit groups, a train ride around the pond, demonstrations by the Flagler County Sheriff's Canines, hands-on craft projects, and colorful kites.
Keeping with the theme, “Feed a mouth, get a tree, grow a community,” 3-gallon native trees were given away in exchange for a canned food or pet item.
“The UF Master Gardeners are helping us,” Tom Polcek, from the city public works department, said. “We had 400 trees to give away this year.”