By Victoria Starbuck, Staff Writer
Published in print Apr. 22, 2015
On Saturday, Greensboro prematurely celebrated Earth Day. Earth Day, recognized yearly on April 22, provides communities with fun and engaging ways to become involved in the preservation of the environment.
The morning of the Greensboro Saturday celebration began with a four-hour litter clean up across the city.
This local version of the Great American Cleanup had over nine hundred volunteers sign up to help remove debris that cluttered streams, paths and parks.
Organizations that participate in Adopt-A-Stream programs set out to ensure the safety of their endorsed land.
At UNCG, the UNCGreen student group spent the day clearing trash from the stream located behind Spartan Village.
The Kathleen Clay Edwards Library, located in Price Park, hosted an afternoon of crafts, games and education that were related to the environment.
This Earth Day celebration was bustling with hundreds of people who were visiting booths set up by participating organizations, a number that almost totaled 60.
Many of the booths focused on education through crafts or trivia. The T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society— the Guildford County branch of the national Audubon Society— set up games based on birds.
The sexual dimorphism game required the player to correctly identify the male and female images of birds native to the Greensboro area. The Audubon Society also provided a game designed especially for bird “experts,” where the player matched the name of the species to an image of its silhouette.
Organizations such as the NC Herp Society, Wildlife Care and Eco Bus provided visitors with the opportunity to engage with live animals.
Visitors to the Earth Day celebration, who wished to interact with the animals, were taught about their functions, such as their natural habitats and dietary needs.
A competition of decorated trashcans captured the attention of all who passed by them.
These ten garbage bins were completely redecorated to promote the use of recycling processes and clean living.
The trash bins were turned into environmental art, ranging from green versions of monsters from the ‘90s Nickelodeon show “Aaahhh!!! Real Monsters” and the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” Michelangelo, to a container decorated with various translations of the words recycle.
Hayrides provided not only a fun but also a functional element to the Earth Day celebration by transporting visitors from the crest of the hill where the entertainment occurred to the adjacent ridge where many visitors parked.
As an additional bonus, passengers of the hayride were able to cool down from the sweltering heat of the midday sun.
A special booth was set up to provide free face paintings. Children gleefully lined up for the chance to turn into their favorite animal.
These newly hatched butterflies and other critters flitted from station-to-station, eagerly absorbing the copious amounts of information on the world that exists in their own backyards.
At the Env Serv Learning table, visitors had the opportunity to create their own clouds while learning about the cycle of clouds.
At the end of learning about the cloud cycle, the cloud makers had created full-fledged cotton clouds.
The Greensboro version of the international Earth Day celebration provided all with the opportunity to learn about the environment we live in and its importance to us.
The first Earth Day in 1970 was organized by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. This nationwide series of rallies against environmental deterioration came as a result of Nelson’s witnessing the catastrophic 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA.
This initial demonstration successfully united 20 million Americans from various organizations that had previously failed to recognize the common cause that united them.
The next Earth Day occurred two decades later. This time the assembly gained the participation of over 200 million people worldwide.
As a result of its global impact, the 1990 Earth Day set the stage for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit, a convention that resulted in an international objective of eco-efficiency.
Today Earth Day, held annually on April 22, reminds individuals and organizations around the globe of the importance of protecting the environment.
Communities around the globe band together to educate citizens of the community about easy ways to contribute to the health of the environment.