Spring clean­ing on tap this week­end

Plenty of lo­cal hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties to mark Earth Day, Wool­wich Healthy Com­mu­ni­ties

The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

THIS SUN­DAY MARKS THE an­nual Earth Day event, when peo­ple all over the world are en­cour­aged to take a few ex­tra hours from their day to sup­port the en­vi­ron­ment. This area, of course, is no ex­cep­tion, and there are plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties be­ing planned over the week­end for peo­ple to get in­volved, many un­der the um­brella of Wool­wich Healthy Com­mu­ni­ties.

Cleanup ac­tiv­i­ties are be­ing planned for Satur­day, weather per­mit­ting, from 8:30 a.m. to noon all around Wool­wich, in­clud­ing sev­eral in Elmira, such as at the Lions Park, Bolen­der Park and on the Kiss­ing Bridge Trail. More cleanups are planned for Mary­hill, Bloom­ing­dale, St. Ja­cobs, Flo­radale and Hei­del­berg at their lo­cal parks as well.

Elmira res­i­dent Myrna Shantz, who for the past cou­ple of years has been lead­ing the group at Bolen­der Park with her hus­band, points out how much of an im­prove­ment a bit of ef­fort can make.

“I’ve lived in this com­mu­nity for over 50 years. I like to give back, I like my com­mu­nity to look nice and neat and tidy when peo­ple come in,” she says, adding that Bolen­der is al­most like the en­trance into Elmira for peo­ple com­ing from out town, so there’s a strong mo­ti­va­tion for keep­ing it as clean as pos­si­ble.

“It’s a small bit of time, it’s once a year, it usu­ally takes us a morn­ing, so we’re talk­ing about two or three hours maybe at max­i­mum. And for that, we have a com­mu­nity that’s pleas­ing and clean,” she says.

To get a full list of lo­ca­tions and dates, and to help make sure there are enough trash bags and gloves to go around, peo­ple are be­ing en­cour­aged to call the town­ship ahead of the cleanups at 519-669-6027.

Over in St. Ja­cobs, a tree plant­ing that was planned for this Satur­day at the off-leash dog park has been post­poned un­til next week. Flooded fields and slush were the pri­mary cul­prit for the de­lay, ex­plained Wool­wich Coun. Mark Bau­man, who helped pro­mote the event and was a strong sup­porter of cre­at­ing the dog


The spruce trees will be planted along the trail ways of the park, to add more shad­ing as well as to sim­ply en­hance the over­all look of the park.

Though de­layed, Bau­man still en­cour­aged peo­ple to reg­is­ter to take part in the ac­tiv­ity.

“You don’t plant trees for your­self, you plant them for the next gen­er­a­tion,” noted Bau­man.

The tree plant­ing will take place on April 28 in­stead, from 8:30 a.m. un­til noon. Peo­ple in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing are be­ing asked to reach out to Bau­man at 519-465-8368.

Earth Day is not just about help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, but also learn­ing to ap­pre­ci­ate it more. To that end, the Wool­wich Trails Group is mak­ing the most of the day with a se­ries of hikes, in con­junc­tion with some of the lo­cal pub­lic schools.

Four schools are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the hike this year for a to­tal of about 1,354 hik­ers, says Nancy Stayzer, a mem­ber of the trails group and one of main or­ga­niz­ers of the school hike. Stayzer, a re­tired ed­u­ca­tor, started the school hikes pro­ject while still a teacher at St. Ja­cobs PS. Later, when she joined the trails group, they started to pro­mote the idea to more and more schools.

“I men­tioned it at a staff meet­ing that maybe it would be re­ally cool to get all the kids out to pro­mote hik­ing and to en­cour­age their fam­i­lies to do the same. It seems a shame to have great trails in the town­ship and not use them as much as we can. So that’s how it started,” she says.

Fi­nally, the Trees for Wool­wich group will be of­fi­cially open­ing the nurs­ery in Elmira, pre­par­ing it for the some 2,000 young plants into the nurs­ery with the help of some EDSS stu­dents. The snow day on Mon­day may have de­layed plans, but the group is still al­ways seek­ing vol­un­teers to lend a hand. Those in­ter­ested in help­ing out are al­ways en­cour­aged to reach out to the town­ship to par­tic­i­pate.


Water­loo Re­gional Po­lice Chief Bryan Larkin vis­ited St. Teresa of Avila Parish Tues­day evening to dis­cuss ru­ral polic­ing in the town­ships. The talk was hosted by Wool­wich Coun­selling Cen­tre.

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