Cel­e­brate a day for the planet

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This Satur­day, 192 coun­tries around the world will cel­e­brate Earth Day. Some or­ga­nized groups of en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivists will harken back to the day’s 1970 found­ing and use it as a plat­form to ad­vo­cate for govern­ment pol­icy changes that fos­ter and pro­tect clean air and wa­ter.

Some groups, in­clud­ing stu­dent clubs and class­rooms, will honor the day by head­ing outdoors this week to pick up lit­ter or en­gag­ing in some other type of mean­ing­ful en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly ac­tiv­ity, such as a recycling drive.

South­ern Mary­land will be home to some of those ac­tiv­i­ties this week­end.

Chil­dren ages 6 to 11 are in­vited to the Po­tomac Li­brary, lo­cated at 3225 Ruth B. Swann Drive in In­dian Head, from 2 to 3 p.m. to par­tic­i­pate in its Earth Day pro­gram, Trash to Trea­sure, where par­tic­i­pants will cre­ate works of art out of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als that they will be able to take home once com­pleted.

The Cross­roads of Hugh­esville and La Plata gar­den clubs will host “Gar­den De­sign” with the “Gar­den Guru” Kent Rus­sell from 1 to 3 p.m. at South Po­tomac Church, lo­cated at 4915 Crain High­way in White Plains. Tick­ets are $25 per per­son. For in­for­ma­tion, call Dianne Shisler at 301-932-0251.

Also, the South­ern Mary­land Audubon So­ci­ety will hold “Walk and Learn about the Birds of Mal­lows Bay” field trip from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mal­lows Bay Park, 1440 Wil­son Landing Road in Nan­je­moy. To learn more, con­tact Lynne Wheeler at 301-751-8097 or som­daudubon@ya­hoo.com.

Leonard­town’s Earth Day cel­e­bra­tion will ac­tu­ally be on Sun­day, April 23, the day af­ter the of­fi­cial in­ter­na­tional ob­ser­vance. The town’s Earth Day party will be from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the square and at Leonard­town Wharf Park. You can talk to ex­perts in soil and wa­ter con­ser­va­tion, an­i­mal res­cue and so­lar en­ergy. Re­turn­ing this year are shows by Rep­tile World, pony rides, bi­cy­cle safety lessons and water­man boat tours. The wharf will also have free kayak rides, minia­ture horses and an air con­di­tioner and de­hu­mid­i­fier recycling event. Lo­cal busi­nesses and restau­rants will be open and of­fer­ing spe­cials to en­hance your ex­pe­ri­ence even fur­ther. Call 301-475-9791 or visit www.leonard­town.somd.com.

And if you have a mind to cross the bridge into Calvert the day be­fore, the Amer­i­can Chest­nut Land Trust will host both an Earth Day hike and 5K trail run, two op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lo­cal com­mu­nity to cel­e­brate the ef­forts of the en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship the ACLT has put into pre­serv­ing lo­cal land and water­ways over the years.

The land trust first in­vites run­ners to its Park­ers Creek Pre­serve for a 9 a.m. 5K start time on Satur­day. Sign-in starts at 8 a.m. Af­ter the run­ners take off, hik­ers are en­cour­aged to head out on the 5K path for a less gru­el­ing but mod­er­ate trail walk. Hik­ers should ar­rive at 8:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. start on the trail, which con­tains two mod­er­ately steep hills and is not ideal for strollers, ac­cord­ing to the group’s web­site. Do­na­tions are wel­come, but the hike is free. Both events start at the North Side Trail­head at 676 Dou­ble Oak Road in Prince Fred­er­ick. For more in­for­ma­tion on the ACLT’s Earth Day trail run and hike, go to www.acltweb.org.

There are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to be­come in­volved in or­ga­nized en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties, be it on Earth Day or any other day of the year. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t also do our part day in and day out on a smaller scale by sim­ply pay­ing at­ten­tion to the way we live. Maybe we can grab a trash bag and pick up garbage left along the road­side in our own neigh­bor­hood. Or maybe we can start a com­post pile in the back­yard. Or maybe we can just think twice be­fore throw­ing away a plas­tic bot­tle that can just as eas­ily be re­cy­cled for the bet­ter­ment of our en­vi­ron­ment.

Let’s keep this way of think­ing en­gaged as we move into Earth Day to­mor­row, and into the rest of South­ern Mar yland’s green sea­son and be­yond.

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