Celebrate a day for the planet
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.