Earth Day grows into 'Family Affair' SOUTHWEST -- Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

NEIGHBORS

April 23, 1993|By KATHY SUTPHIN

What started in Mount Airy four years ago with the planting of a small tree at Watkins Park has blossomed into a two-day, townwide observance of Earth Day this weekend.

Activities new to the Earth Day event reflect the interests of the 10-person committee, said Chairwoman Pam Brewer, a member of the town's Recycling Commission. This year's observance is focused on the theme, "Celebrate Earth Day -- It's a Family Affair."

The committee's enthusiasm has resulted in a more child-oriented fair tomorrow, a family concert at a local church tomorrow evening and a 6.2-mile run on Sunday morning. Traditional activities, such as the Saturday morning cleanup expeditions, tree plantings and guest speakers at the fair, remain important parts of the observance.

Most of the committee members this year are parents of young children, who wanted to have hands-on activities available at tomorrow's Earth Day Fair, said Mrs. Brewer, who is working on the local Earth Day event for the fourth year. The fair will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Watkins Park.

In addition to a hands-on science experiment about the Chesapeake Bay, three crafts will be provided free of charge for children. Those include leaf rubbings, bookmarks to decorate and colorful macaroni necklaces.

Children also will be able to plant flower seeds in a cup to take home, and a professional clown will do face painting and balloon sculptures, said Mrs. Brewer. Tree seedlings will be given out by Woodville Forests, a local herb and Christmas tree farm.

Mrs. Brewer also invited Earth Day Fair visitors to visit the Mount Airy Recycling Commission's booth to learn more about "Wild Acres," user-friendly home landscaping plans for wildlife and people.

Child-oriented sing-along songs about saving Mother Earth will be featured at "For Love of the Earth," a free concert by Christine and Bruce Maccabee, at 7:30 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church at 403 S. Main Street. A free-will offering will be collected at the concert to benefit rain forest preservation. The Maccabees also will perform at tomorrow's fair at noon.

The first "Earth Day 10K" run will begin at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning at the park-and-ride lot on Route 27. It reflects the committee's desire to have planning funds for Earth Day '94 and committee member Ron Shreve's interest in physical fitness, said Mrs. Brewer.

Runners may register in person on Sunday beginning at 6:30 a.m. at Health Unlimited at 1001 Twin Arch Road. Registration is $10 in advance and $12 at the event. For information, call (301) 829-9730.

The new activities and entertainment have been planned to make the annual Earth Day observance more of a celebration. "I'm hoping for our first sunny Earth Day," said Mrs. Brewer. The committee's goal is to create an environmental awareness among community members to "help them change their ways," she said.

*

The television spotlight will be on students from South Carroll High School this evening during "The Great Chesapeake Bay Challenge," a Channel 2 documentary at 8 p.m. that focuses on (( what Maryland students are doing to preserve the bay.

South Carroll's teen-agers will be among six groups of students ranging from elementary to high school ages to be featured in the broadcast, said producer David Grossback. "The program is for kids and about kids."

The local segment of the program was taped at South Carroll High School March 31. Members of the school's Environmental Club and science research class were interviewed about their projects to preserve and maintain nontidal wetlands behind their school that have been accomplished under the enthusiastic supervision of science teacher Robert Foor-Hogue.

*

Don't believe it if you hear there was an Elvis sighting in Mount Airy last Friday evening.

Actually, there were three pint-sized appearances of Elvis on April 16 at Mount Airy Elementary School's annual Sock Hop, sponsored by the school's Parent Teacher Association.

The fun family event, which was attended by 388 people, featured an "Elvis" look-alike contest and music kids love to dance to played by disc jockey-art teacher Pat Aaron.

A more "mature" Elvis, who bore a strong resemblance to retiring principal Althea Miller, came to the hop to help Mr. Aaron judge the contest.

The winner was kindergartner Buddy Hogan. Second place went to fifth-grader Danny Haight. The name of the third-place contestant remains an unsolved mystery.

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