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Earth Day makes it easy to 'go green'

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POSTED: April 21, 2010 4:25 p.m.
Thursday’s Earth Day celebration at the former Brewton-Parker campus is focused on helping children learn how to protect the environment, but the lessons are simple and can be applied by every member of the community, said organizer Sara Swida.
Swida, executive director of Keep Liberty Beautiful, said of the many points of focus at the afternoon event, protecting water resources takes center stage. “Things like water conservation and stormwater [are pressing issues] because this is a coastal county,” she said. “Litter prevention is also very critical.”
Swida said preventing litter from ending up in storm drains and eventually the bodies of water found throughout the county is not just a means of protecting the environment but also public health. 
The simplest solutions to these dilemmas, and the ones that cost little and are accessible to all Liberty County residents, include “reducing the waste stream by recycling,” Swida said. “This affects all of us, globally. For litter prevention, the first thing we can do is not litter. Carry trash bags in your car, and secure your load in open vehicles and truck beds.”
Liberty County schools have been helping Swida and Keep Liberty County Beautiful spread the Earth Day message by allowing the group to distribute educational bookmarks and place mats. The place mats have also been passed out at local restaurants, she said.
Several organizations will attend Earth Day to share tips on being eco-friendly and protecting the environment. LeConte-Woodmanston’s exhibit includes face painting for kids with a theme of creatures that can be spotted on the property, said site manager and volunteer coordinator Stacey Ferrier.
Visitors can also color vegetable garden tags and covers for the group’s next coloring book. Both activities come with the possibility of prizes. “The winners [of the tag coloring] will be placed in the garden, but kids will have to come out to see them,” Ferrier said. “Participants will also be placed in a drawing to win a vegetable plant.”
Ferrier said a children’s garden club for LeConte is being publicized at Earth Day, too, and she hopes enough kids will sign up to come out every other Saturday to participate.
Swida said parents can serve as examples to children by practicing the tips that will be shared at Earth Day, though “often it’s the kids who are teaching the parents,” she said. “Anything we do, whether it’s leaving debris out, using lots of pesticides on our lawns, these are things that make the greatest impact. We can all look at ways to reduce waste, and use chemicals
that are less harmful.”
For more information, call Swida at 880-4888.
 

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