Earth Day Celebration Canceled

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THURSDAY, APRIL 20 - The Earth Day celebration has been canceled due to the rain that's in the forecast for Saturday. Organizations say the event may be rescheduled for mid-June.

 

The Lorax will be there. Local musicians will strum banjoes, fiddles, guitars and ukuleles. Children will get to talk to a forester who fought the Goshen forest fire last week.

What is it? It’s Lexington’s first - in a long while - Earth Day celebration planned for this Saturday, April 22, in Hopkins Green. There will be exhibits and music from 4 to 8 p.m., followed by a free showing of the movie, “The Lorax,” from the Dr. Seuss book around 8:15 p.m., when it gets dark. Families are invited to bring blankets to settle in and watch.

Children’s activities will include making placards with slogans and pictures that support the Earth, using mud and seeds to create “seed bombs,” and a parade around the park with their artwork. Hats, costumes, green clothing or even a simple green ribbon are encouraged.

Lexington and Rockbridge County residents will also get the chance to learn about the importance of bees and how to attract them to a garden; the evolving technology for residential solar power; and strategies for cutting a family’s carbon footprint. Organizers are also inviting local musicians to stop by and play for 20-30 minutes, or as long as they like.

The celebration kicks off with an informal Walk for Life Resilience, consisting of people walking, biking or taking some other form of alternative transportation to the park. Eli Fishpaw is organizing the walk as way to bring attention to the complexities of climate change. He encourages participants to carry signs, wear green — even if only a green ribbon — and talk to people along the way about the importance of environmental issues.

“Having a healthy, thriving planet is imperative to our well-being,” said Levy Schroeder, executive director of Boxerwood Nature Center. “We depend on clean water, clean air and bio-diversity. Why wouldn’t we want to protect and defend that?”

Earth Day was first celebrated nationally in 1970, the year after the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire, Lake Erie was declared “dead" due to industrial pollution, and big-city residents started their days with a smog alert. Earth Day is now marked on April 22 in 192 countries, as well as hundreds of American communities.

Schroeder remembers that 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. She was in the fifth or sixth grades and had just been handed her copy of the Weekly Reader. The front page featured the fire.

“Right then, I became an environmentalist,” she said. “I was horrified - how could a river catch fire?”

Members of 50-Ways Rockbridge organized this week's event in Lexington. Lee Merrill, co-president of the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, dubbed this year's event “Birth of the Earth Day Celebration, Countdown to Earth Day-50,” a reference to the 50th anniversary in 2020.

Besides Boxerwood, the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council and other nonprofit organizations will have booths, as well as a Rockbridge County organic farmer, and other individuals. One exhibit will include how to get 10 trees for a $10 donation to the Arbor Day Foundation.

There is still some room for additional environmental/informational displays. Organizers are also inviting area musicians attuned to the Earth's beat to stop by and play for 20 or 30 minutes. For more information, contact Susan Caba at cabasue@gmail.com or (314) 406-9385. For more information about organizing a group walk to Earth Day, contact Eli Fishpaw, belilfishpaw@rockbridge.net.

 

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