It’s coming. It is nearly time to “party for the planet” and, hopefully, learn something too.
The sixth annual Earth Day Celebration in Liberty County is set for 3-7 p.m. Monday, April 23, at the YMCA soccer fields at the corner of Mary Lou Drive and Tupelo Trail. This year’s activities include free family fun, games and a “picnic for the planet.” Whether you are a young environmentalist or a seasoned citizen who wants to go green, there is something for you at this event.
Why do we celebrate Earth Day? Locally, a few years ago, we at Keep Liberty Beautiful thought Earth Day would be a great time to increase public awareness about serious issues like stormwater pollution and litter. These issues negatively impact the quality of our local waterways, and we wanted to educate the community about effective ways to make a difference when it comes to everyday choices.
I take these issues very seriously, but my theory is that children and adults learn more and retain more by interacting — and making it fun doesn’t hurt either. So, the Earth Day Celebration in Liberty County was created to cleverly disguise environmental education as fun.
This year, we will have more fun — and education — than ever. A host of community partners will help us provide the displays, games, crafts and entertainment to convey important messages about litter prevention, water conservation, green energy, stormwater pollution, appreciating nature and the benefits of recycling. Volunteers of all ages make this happen. Here are just a few examples of the more than 60 activities that await Earth Day attendees:
• One of the newest events is picnic for the planet. We invite you to either bring your own picnic or to purchase one from several vendors at the event. Picnic for the planet is part of an international effort to celebrate our Earth by joining together with people all over the world to enjoy a meal. We want our community to be a part of this worldwide event, so join us.
• We will have eco scavenger hunts for younger children and a geocaching experience for older children and adults who might be interested. Attendees also will be able to hike along the Peacock Canal and learn more about how stormwater pollution affects all of us.
• We will have electric and other energy-efficient cars from Mike Reed Chevrolet on display as well as other displays on green energy and sustainable home life ideas.
• Fun activities that attendees have enjoyed during past Earth Day celebrations — like “journey through a storm drain,” creating seed bombs for “guerilla gardening” and the dead fish stencil shirts — will return. The annual sidewalk chalk art contest is from 4-6 p.m.
• Music and entertainment, like our Earth Day rap, animal boogie and flash mob fun, give everyone a chance to join in the fun. A “recycled fashion show” also will put the “reduce, reuse and recycle” mantra to good use.
• We will have games, like the giant Earth ball, recycling relays and much more.
Attendees also can drop off shoes to donate to the Turn UP the Sole Campaign. Donors will get $2 in Earth Day dollars for every pair they bring in. Earth Day dollars can be redeemed at the prize station for prizes. Door prizes also will be given away throughout the afternoon.
So join us for some fun and some education April 23. The Earth will be glad you did!
Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events
• Turn UP the Sole: Share your shoes with the Turn UP the Sole Campaign in April. Here are the drop-off sites for shoe donations:
Hinesville — city hall, fire department, police department
Liberty County buildings — courthouse annex lobby, health department lobby, chamber of commerce, board of education
Flemington — city hall
Midway — city hall
Walthourville — city hall
• Sixth annual Earth Day Celebration, from 3-7 p.m. Monday, April 23: There will be free family fun for everyone, including a “picnic for the planet.” So pack your picnic or buy one for from the concessions stand and join in celebrating the Earth at the YMCA soccer field at the corner of Mary Lou Drive and Tupelo Trail.
• Community cleanups: Hinesville and Walthourville cleanups are Saturday, April 28. Hinesville volunteers should meet at 8 a.m. in Main Street Park. Walthourville volunteers should meet at 8:30 a.m. at Walthourville City Hall.
To volunteer for this year’s Great American Cleanup events, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All cleanup supplies, a picnic lunch for cleanup volunteers and free T-shirts will be provided.