Want to go?
• WHAT: Earth Day Extravaganza
• WHEN: 12-5 p.m. April 16
• WHERE: Osborn Park, 3910 Perkins Ave., Huron
• COST: Free
• INFO: 419-433 7303 (ask for Lisa) or eriemetroparks.com/index.html
Held for the past four years inside of Sandusky Mall, the Erie County Solid Waste Management District-sponsored event has landed in the Erie County MetroParks, with this year’s free green fun taking place from noon to 5 p.m. on April 16 at Osborn Park in Huron.
“Basically, we outgrew the space at the mall, and also we were unable to sell items there,” Erie County Solid Waste Management District District Coordinator Lisa Beursken said. “So now we’ll be able to sell items from organic farmers and stuff made out of recyclables. We’re excited about just being able to go outside for Earth Day.”
Also excited about the move is the Erie MetroParks, which has set up an education booth at the event in the past. “We are partnering with the Erie County Solid Waste Management District,” Erie MetroParks Special Events Coordinator Sue Daniel said. “We decided to bring it out into the park to enjoy the earth, be outside and have fun.”
This year’s Earth Day Extravaganza includes recycled crafts, children’s activities, face painting, an environmental poster contest display and various vendors. In addition, radio station WKFM-FM 96.1 will be broadcasting live, while naturalists take interested volunteers into the park to help pull the invasive garlic mustard plant. That’s right, it’s quite apropos getting your hands dirty at an Earth Day celebration.
Don’t forget about the ReFashion contest, which finds mostly junior and high school students creatively recycling items into accessories (purses, shoes and belts) and jewelry (necklaces, bracelets and earrings). “People win prizes such as $25 gift cards to Pat Catan’s and then we have some recycled content prizes in packets,” Beursken said. “We have 10 people participating."
In the past, the Earth Day Extravaganza, which now takes place inside the Frost Center and outside under tent shelters, has attracted anywhere from 400 to 1,200 people. Beursken is hopeful attendance will be increased due to the fact the popular kids soccer program will let out just as the fun gets started at Osborn Park.
Beursken said she feels Earth Day’s importance is to help people learn lessons from the past while creating a better future. “We don’t want history to repeat itself,” Beursken said. “The first Earth Day came about in the ‘70s at the same time the EPA and Clean Water Act and all of these pollution problems we were having. We didn’t know where to put our garbage. So it’s just being more responsible with our stuff and helping people be more aware. There’s more recycling options now. There are more green items to buy. We have solar power and wind power companies right here in Erie County. We’ve got friends groups who do clean ups and try to keep our area cleaned up and beautified.”
Added Daniel, “It’s really to think about our earth and how to help save it for future generations. And also to promote the whole Leave No Child Inside program aimed at getting kids outside and interested in saving the planet.”