By: Lynne Hart
Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful is proud to be hosting our 10th annual Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO on April 28. It will be held at Friendship Church in Athens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with free admission.
Earth Day is a day worth celebrating. Here is a bit of history.
Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was witness to the devastating effects of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and was inspired to organize a “teach-in” to educate the public about the environment. The first official Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.
According to “History of Earth Day” by the Earth Day Network, “groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.”
Earth Day continues to be an event to celebrate and reflect and raise public awareness about pollution and how we can become part of the solution. KALB staff and members of its boards hope to keep this deep concern alive by bringing attention to the issues right here at home. We want to make sure our citizens are aware of the dangers and negative effects litter has on our ecosystem and our economy, how recycling will benefit future generations, and why adding beauty to our communities can improve our health.
Since 2009, KALB has been honoring Earth Day with a celebration for all to enjoy. We have worked hard to keep the event free of charge so everyone can come to see, learn, play, and enjoy.
Is this event just for kids? Absolutely NOT! While the children love the event, we have had many adults comment on how much they have learned and how much they look forward to future celebrations.
Come and learn about the importance of pollinators or why rain barrels are helpful and how you can build or purchase one. Get answers to gardening questions from local Master Gardeners, find the perfect piece of jewelry or your favorite essential oils. Receive a free plant from the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board (while they last), and learn what happens to your plastics after being processed at the Recycling Center. There is so much more to this event than you can imagine!
Free gifts will be given to guests at the admission gate, compliments of WOW! Internet+tv+phone, while supplies last! KALB is proud to have WOW! as our Presenting Earth Warrior Sponsor this year! Thanks to WOW!, an Earth Day t-shirt design contest was offered to students in 5th through 12th grade. The winning design will be featured on this year’s t-shirt for sale at the event. KALB has also added inflatables and will have both birds of prey and reptile programs, thanks to their generous sponsorship.
There will be plenty of live animals, including raptors from Wings to Soar, reptiles from Camp McDowell, and a variety of animals to pet and feed from the Tennessee Valley Zoo. The kids will stay busy with the addition of inflatables, vehicles to explore from the Limestone County Sheriff and Athens Police Departments, as well as crafts, games, and hands-on activities.
There will be complimentary hot dogs and Pepsi, treats, and door prizes thanks to our generous sponsors, which also include Custom Polymers, PET, Friendship Church, Bank Independent, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Clem Tire, Pepsi, News Courier, Athens Now, and TVA.
Each guest will receive a free door prize ticket upon admission. Exhibitors will have their door prize at their tables, so guests can enter to win the item they choose. If you’d like to win more than one, additional door prize tickets will be available for purchase.
Although admission is free, there will be donation jugs at the gates. The jugs will be designated for Alabama (Roll Tide!), Auburn (War Eagle!), and Any Other Team fans. At 2:30 p.m. we will announce which team’s fans have been most generous to KALB’s mission to empower the citizens of Athens and Limestone County to take greater responsibility for enhancing their community environment.
Come ready to have some fun!
By: Lynne Hart – Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful