GroveFest offers free, hands-on nature activities, presentations, more

President Rutherford and First Lady Lucy Hayes loved nature and the outdoors. At their beloved estate of Spiegel Grove, they raised cows and chickens, planted trees and lovingly tended to the wooded property.

Lucy Hayes’ favorite pastime was fishing, and she loved nature so much that her official White House china bore images of the flora and fauna of the United States, from deer and raccoons to fish and lobsters.

The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums continues to share the Hayeses’ love of the outdoors through its annual GroveFest. This free event that showcases Spiegel Grove, which is a state park, and includes nature organizations offering hands-on activities throughout the day.

This year, GroveFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 22.

Back to the Wild Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Castalia will give two live animal presentations with some of its education animals. Two petting farms will have live animals, and nature organizations will have games, crafts and hands-on activities.

Food will be available on the grounds for a donation or purchase.

Schedule of events: 

  • 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Nature booths with hands-on activities and crafts are open, horse-drawn wagon rides offered for a fee, food available for a donation
  • 11 a.m. - Live animal presentation by Back to the Wild
  • 1 p.m. - Live animal presentation by Back to the Wild

South Creek Clydesdales will offer horse-drawn wagon rides through Spiegel Grove with guides sharing points of interest on the property. Rides are $3 for ages 13 and older, $1 for ages 6 to 12 and free for 5 and younger.

Visitor parking is off-site only with the exception of those who have handicapped tags for their car. Parking will be available on the street and in ProMedica Memorial Hospital’s parking lots at Buildings A and B, located at 605. Third Ave. Spiegel Grove is a short walk to the east of the hospital parking lots. 

Title sponsor: Key Bank N.A. Trustee for the Walter E. Terhune Memorial Fund. Activity sponsors: The Fremont Co.; Christy Lease; Mosser Construction; Pomona Properties, LLC; ProMedica Memorial and Paramount  Advantage; Unique Fabrications; U.S. Bank Foundation. Supporters: Century Die; Wright Leather Works. 

The Hayes Presidential is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner of the federal presidential library system. It is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues.

For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit Like HPLM on Facebook at and follow on Twitter at @rbhayespres and Instagram at rbhayespres.