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Earth Day celebration slated Thursday in Elkins City Park

ELKINS — Several local groups will be coming together for an Earth Day celebration Thursday at the Elkins City Park.

“We have about 14 groups that are helping out with the Earth Day celebration,” Jane Birdsong, one of the organizers for the event, told the Randolph County Commission at last week’s regular meeting. “The Arts Center is setting up a sound system for us and the Elkins Parks and Recreation has donated the City Park for two hours. The Emma Scott Garden Club and the Elkins Tree Board will both have tables there with giveaways.”

The festivities, which will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., are in conjunction with the annual Earth Day celebration that was first observed in 1970 and is held each year to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Greenworks from Davis & Elkins College and YouthBuild North Central will both be on hand to measure trees and take pictures of the 10 biggest trees at the park. They will be available to show anyone who is interested the proper way to measure trees.

There is also a “Po-e-Tree Contest” ongoing that 12 Elkins High School students entered. The poems were written about trees and the winners will be announced at the event. The Solid Waste Authority donated money to give to the contests’ winners.

Make it Shine will also be on hand and will have a table at the event where it will hand out supplies to help people to pick up litter around the area. The West Virginia Division of Forestry and the Division on Natural Resources will also be at the event with some games for kids to play.

Some of the highlighted attractions planned for the celebration include presenting prizes to winners of the Earth Day Poster Contest and Po-e-Tree Contest, reading poems about trees, planting sunflower seeds to take home, recycling crafts, demonstration of how to measure trees, and a close examination of a recently cut oak, over 300 years old. Several groups will have tables with give-aways and interactive games planned.

“We are trying to encourage this community to get with the program on avoiding plastic as much as possible,” said Birdsong. “Because it has become a real problem.”

Among many kids activities at the celebration, Woodsy the Owl will make an appearance and there will be many free giveaways. Poster contest winners will also be chosen at the event.

The Randolph Democratic Women’s Club will continue to do their part for Earth Day on Friday when members of the organization will plant an Oak Tree at Beverly School, and a Dogwood Tree at Midland Elementary School. The Emma Scott Garden Club will also be planting a tree at the Davis Street Park.

Other groups that are collaborating and assisting with this year’s celebration includes Americorps volunteers, The Arts Center, Elkins Main Street and Tree Board, Elkins Parks & Recreation, Emma Scott Garden Club, Kump Education Center, Randolph County Solid Waste Authority, Youth Build and 4-H leaders. Several local businesses also contributed supplies.

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