Earth Day celebration a success downtown

WAYNE TOWNER Special to the Times Sarah Wheeler, right, with the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center, shows off a broadwing hawk at the Marietta Earth Day celebration on Saturday.

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday morning on the lawn of the Armory in downtown Marietta to celebrate Marietta Earth Day.

The event was started 20 years ago with the help of the late Marilyn Orrt of Marietta. Each year it features exhibits, displays and activities for all ages, especially children, on front lawn of the Armory on Front Street in downtown Marietta.

On Saturday, visitors had the chance for up-close looks birds from the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center, a frequent participant in the annual celebration, do crafts and learn about various programs and businesses involved in conservation, renewable energy and many related topics.

Jeremy Albrecht, of Columbus, was attending the celebration Saturday with his daughter, Stella.

“It’s pretty neat,” he said of the event, while Stella said her favorite part was the coloring crafts.

Whitney Kirkbride and her daughter Alyssa, of Whipple, were visiting the Earth Day celebration. It was Whitney’s first visit while her daughter has volunteered in previous years to help the Pioneer Civitan Ladies set up for the event.

“It’s fun and I like the stuff you can make,” Alyssa said.

“I think the Earth Day program is a very important program,” Whitney said. “We all need to get out and see what kind of resources we have available in our community to make our community and our planet a better place.”

Connie Grimes, one of the committee members involved in organizing the event each year, said about 25 organizations and businesses were set up at the Armory for the celebration.

“There were stations where people can go and learn different things about Earth Day, preserving water, preserving all kinds of different things,” she said.

Another Earth Day Celebration is planned for today at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the College Activities Center. It will be hosted by WVU-P’s student environmental group, the Ecohawks.

The event is free and open to the public.

There will be reading and coloring stations, tree and vegetable seedling giveaways, educational games, a Smokey Bear meet-and-greet and more activities. Guests will also have the chance to view screenings of “The Toxic Tour” presented by Lyons and “The Sequel” presented by the Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action Group.

Other individuals, groups and organizations providing environmental resources and materials will include: Friends of the Lower Muskingum, Keep Wayne Wild, C8 specialist and author Callie Lyons, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, pollinator garden specialist Rebecca Phillips, Raccoon Creek Conservation group (AmeriCorps) and the West Virginia Division of Forestry.

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