Focus on nature

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Earth Day objective is to encourage recycling, environmental awareness

By Lisa King

A large number of people have been busy as bees – literally – to make sure that Earth Day, to be celebrated on Saturday in Shelby County, is a huge success.

The event, scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Red Orchard Park, will feature a wide range of earthy activities, mostly related to recycling.

Fun activities for the kids will be sprinkled in, such as pony rides and nature exhibits, hissing cockroaches and tarantulas, as well as a live “bee tree,” but the main focus will be on recycling, just as in the preceding five years that Shelby County has been holding its own Earth Day celebrations, said Clear Creek Trailblazer volunteer Amy Scrogham, who is heading up the event.

“Yes, the kids will love the flying squirrels, but the main thing is that we will have all sorts of services set up for people to bring in items to be recycled,” she said.

Those include four main kinds of recycling; electronics, plastic and glass containers, prescription drugs and paper shredding. The latter has really caught on the past couple of years, said Rusty Newton, deputy county judge-executive and chair of the 109 Board, the entity that handles solid waste in the county.

“People really take advantage of the opportunity to shred old their documents,” he said.

Newton added some items that won’t be accepted for recycle are tires and hazardous materials, such as paint and batteries.

Scrogham said even the exhibits, though fun, demonstrate the way that the earth itself recycles its resources.

“We will have a program about bee pollination and how that works, and Sara Johns with the Division of Forestry will be handing out seedlings,” she said.

The Clear Creek Conservation Trust will also hold its annual spring creek clean up on Saturday, when volunteers will be picking up trash along the side of Clear Creek below the dam and around Lake Shelby. They can even join in the clean up from canoes, said Bob Walters, a member of the Trust.

“We are hoping to float down to Red Orchard,” he said.

People who are interested in joining the cleanup should gather at the campground area at Lake Shelby at 8:30 a.m. and wear clothing they don’t mind getting wet or muddy. Canoes, trash bags, and latex gloves will be provided.

Walters said that he is glad the event is going to be held on the same day as the Earth Day celebration at Red Orchard.

“It all kind of fits in,” he said.

Walters said that over the past 15 years that the Trust has been cleaning up the creek, he has noticed less and less trash each year.

“I think people are becoming more conscious of what they throw down,” he said. “And also, Kathy Ranard [clean community coordinator] and her crew do a great job, too.”

Jerry Scrogham, Amy’s husband, who is also a Trailblazer volunteer, said one very important thing that people don’t realize about recycling is the need to do less of it.

“As wonderful as it is to recycle, it’s more important to be able to reuse more often, so that you have less to recycle,” he said.


Earth Day celebration

WHAT:Recycling, reuse, nature activities

WHEN:10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday

WHERE:Red Orchard Park