Many Earth Day successes

Marietta Earth Day Celebration 2016 was a successful day! A special thanks to major sponsors: Clare Kremer, Peoples Bank, OSU Extension and the Marietta Area Recycling Center.

The Ohio River National Wildlife Refuge brought some examples of river turtles (although they had to keep getting warmed up due to cold weather) and had a fish identification game. The WV Raptor Rehabilitation Center participated again and brought two hawks and a Barred Owl and talked about the raptors and their rehabilitation program. Simply Green, the “green” house was provided by Dan Harrison to demonstrate responsible building options. Ryan Smith provided information on the many trails in and around Marietta both for walking and riding bikes. The interactive Lock & Dam Model was provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to demonstrate how the system works on our rivers to keep them navigable and the model boat was ably captained by Brad Bond.

Lots of hands-on activities included decorating tote bags and placemats (placemats were used at Tonya’s Country Kitchen in Marietta); making shrinky-dinks provided by Pioneer Ladies Civitan, fun fish out of plastic bottles by the Washington County Soil & Water District, bat masks by the Wayne National Forest and seed bombs and nature craft from wood by Peddler of Dreams Art Space for Children to name a few.

Rural Action provided several activities through their different programs including Zero Waste, Forestry, AG, and Watershed. Participants were able to plant some bee balm to take home to encourage native plant species and support pollinators.

Games including the second year of the Recycling Relay Race were provided by Kathryn Hartline, OSU Extension, and Oak Grove Explorers 4-H Club members. Woodsy the Owl (Give a Hoot Don’t Pollute!) was a participant in the event courtesy of the costume loan from the Wayne National Forest and volunteer Jennifer Ortt who entertained the children.

OEFFA brought information on solar panels. Those who came were also able to see up close a Nissan Leaf that was brought by Marty Zinn.

Special thanks to Marietta Civitan for the donation of tables and chairs for the event as well as help in putting them up and taking them down.

Everyone attending the event had the opportunity to vote for entries in the following contests. First prize in youth category of the Sweetgum Ball Contest (what can be made with the seed-bearing balls of sweetgum trees?) as well as Best of Show for both art competitions was won by Bijou Burgardt who made a sweetgum ball bug hat. In the Adult Category, Hannah Moore and Jarred Stewart won first with their Sweet Gum Ball Heart proving you can show love with a sweetgum ball. The Trash-to-Art Contest (what can be made from items/material found in the waste- or recycling-stream?) Samantha Mayot won first in the Youth 7 & Under Category for her Duwk-Duck Vehicle made out of toilet paper rolls and a box. In the Youth 11-14 Category, Bijou Burgardt won first with a bird feeder made out of a plastic bottle and decorated with a sweetgum ball fairy. Students from Frontier High School swept the Adult Division, First place went to the team of Dalton Beaver, Hunter Knowlton and Tristen Neely who built a beautiful wooden table out of upcycled old wooden hurdles. Additional entries from the school included an old window pane with flowers painted on it, two tables made out of garden bases one with tiled top and the other with shells in sand under glass top and a well built and comfortable porch swing from old pallets.

Contest prizes for the Sweetgum Ball and Trash to Art Contest and the Recycling Relay Races were donated by Greenleaf Landscaping, Domino’s Pizza, Dough Boyz Pizza, East of Chicago, Napoli’s, Original Pizza, Over the Moon Pizza, Papa Johns, Pastime Pizza, Peddler of Dreams Art Space for Children, Pizza Hut, Putnam Chocolates, Smitty’s Pizza, Wendy’s, Whit’s Frozen Custard and Whirl Frozen Yogurt.

Earth Day Celebration requires planning and effort by volunteers and even more volunteers show up on the day of the event. Everyone’s efforts are greatly appreciated.

We’re looking forward to Marietta Earth Day Celebration 2017!

Connie Grimes (Peoples Bank), Betsy Cook, Dawn Wittberg, Kathy Ortt (Marietta Area Recycling Center), Community Earth Day Celebration Committee.