Earth Day was celebrated at Piney Run Park on Saturday, April 20.
As you may recall, this was a very chilly, drizzly day which the forecasters recommended would be best spent sitting by a warm fire reading a book.
While the weather was true to its forecast, and the majority of potential Earth Day celebrators chose to stay home in their warm houses, there was an incredible force of dedicated volunteers who braved the weather to share with others.
While Carroll County is known forits active volunteerism, it warmed my heart to see nearly all of the200-plus volunteers at the park in warm sweaters and rain slickers! The dedicated musicians performed from the large pavilion where a fire in the grill warmed their fingers between sets.
Dozens of face painters and children's environmental craft leaders came to add enjoyment to the day. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts led Earth Ball games and sing-alongs, wrapped 1,000 seedlings and gave them to visitors, and assisted recyclers at the recycling bins.
Volunteers also served at the Nature Center (as a series of wonderful lectures were given), theinformation booth, the composting exhibits and the food concessions (where many people did, in fact, bring their own mugs and spoons!)
The lecturers generously gave professional presentations even thoughthe audience sizes were quite small. Many thanks to Marilyn Mause (of the state Department of Natural Resources), Mary Leister (local author), Lenny Kohm (The Alaska Coalition), Steve Bunker (Chesapeake BayFoundation), Mission Earth Group of the School of Philosophy and Healing in Action and Bill Kulp (Carroll County Bird Club).
Commissioners Julia Gouge and Elmer Lippy addressed the volunteers and visitors with words of encouragement and appreciation.
The following individuals shared an incredible amount of energy and skill to make the event a reality: Bonnie Smith, Elaine Sweitzer, Noreen Cullen, BarbaraParry, Chris Cerwonka, Lauren Brumbach, Debbie Portney, John Sies, Cyndi Newman, all of the wonderful musicians and the many other volunteers too numerous to name.
In addition, the following local organizations cheerfully displayed their information and exhibits under a pavilion or tent, in the Nature Center or van: Carroll Earth Care, NETWORK/NEWCAP, Sierra Club-Catoctin Group, St. Joseph's Environmental Committee, the Whole Earth Society of Carroll Community College, Carroll County Bird Club, Heifer Project, TREE-Mendous Maryland, FountainValley Analytical Laboratory, Adopt-a-Park, Carroll County
Beekeepers, Carroll County Humane Society's traveling van, "Bucky Beaver" from 4-H, Morgan Run Natural Environmental Area and the Department ofNatural Resources, Maryland Recreation and Parks Association, Carroll County's Project Foresters, Carroll County Office of Water Resources, the New Windsor Service Center, American Red Cross and WTTR Radio.
The amazing thing is that despite the weather, these volunteers were committed enough to come and give 100 percent effort, knowing full well that the 3,000 to 4,000 visitors of last year would not be there.
In fact, just over 300 visitors attended the event. To the volunteers and visitors, I commend you. Your presence reveals your commitment, your interest, and your caring.
One year ago, the volunteers who made Earth Day 1990 a reality decided to form an organization that would meet monthly throughout the year. They did not want all that Earth Day stood for to be a "one-day event."
So Carroll Earth Care is a fledgling organization which is 1 year old now. Carroll EarthCare provided tremendous support in the planning and development of Earth Day 1991.
For those of you who want to keep working toward goals related to recycling, community composting, deduction of hazardous household materials, clean water and preservation of natural areas-- these are a few of the focuses of Carroll Earth Care. Their next meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Room 07 of the Carroll County Office Building.
Again, a heart-felt "thanks" to all the volunteers,visitors, and Piney Run Park and Nature Center staff for all the hard work that went into this special day.Melinda Byrd is the Carroll County Nature Center administrator.