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Earth Day Weekend Events Planned for Tioga, Broome and Bradford Counties

What started as a simple idea by a Wisconsin senator in 1970 to raise awareness about the need to protect the environment has lead through the decades to a change in how we view planet Earth and our role in protecting it.

In the spring of 1970, environmentalist and Senator Gaylord Nelson created the movement that lead to a wave of environmental activism with demonstrations throughout the United States, and by that December, Congress authorized a new agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to tackle environmental issues.

Today, many communities celebrate Earth Day either on April 22, or on the weekend closest to it, with events that continue bringing awareness to the need to be a good steward of the Earth for the sake of the health of all that inhabit it. In the Southern Tier of New York and the Valley in Pennsylvania, there are several Earth Day events planned for this weekend.

IN TIOGA COUNTY:

*Plant a tree, get a tree! Join the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition (USC) to plant trees and shrubs at Hickories Park in Owego, N.Y.  Free tree/shrub and T-shirt provided to participants while supplies last. The community planting event, sponsored by One Tree Planted and the Arbor Day Foundation, will take place at 10:00 a.m., Saturday April 23, at Hickories Park Pavilion #4. Learn how to plant a tree and how to recycle. Take part in children’s crafts and more. RSVP via the Google form, available at www.facebook.com/TiogaSWCD then show up on April 23rd!

*Earth Day at Carantouan Greenway Wildwood Nature Reserve takes place from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., on Saturday, April 23. There will be a nature-led field trip looking for spring flowers, trees by their bark, and returning bird songs. Questions may be addressed at 607-565-2636. Wildwood Nature Reserve is located east of Waverly, N.Y. on Shepard Road in the Town of Barton.

IN BROOME COUNTY:

*Celebrate Earth Day and kick off this spring with Vestal Public Library’s 2nd annual Seedy Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 23. The library will have a seed, seedling, and perennial swap in addition to a Reading Garden weed and wake up with help from the Vestal High School Interact Club. There will be outdoor story time for kids and families and seed sowing instruction so that you can start your own garden at home. All ages are invited. The library is located at 320 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal.

IN BRADFORD COUNTY:

*Join the Bradford County Conservation District (BCCD) in celebrating Earth Day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturday, April 23, at the BCCD property, 200 Lake Road, Towanda, Pa.  It will be a fun day of live music, yummy food, kids’ activities, live animals and more! This event is rain or shine and is FREE to the public. There will be activities for children including making seed bombs, planting flowers, digging for fossils, and making tree cookie necklaces. Free seedlings will be given away. See a list of participating vendors at www.myhometowntoday.com/events/bring-the-family-and-celebrate-earth-day-with-bradford-county-free-event.

*In Sayre, volunteer for the annual Diahoga Trail Cleanup to be held beginning at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, April 24, at Sayre’s Riverfront Park pavilion near the boat launch. Celebrate Earth Week by joining Futurescapes and the Sayre and Athens community for their litter cleanup and tree planting event to help give back to the Susquehanna Greenway and improve the health of the Susquehanna River. Volunteers are asked to please wear closed-toed shoes and dress for the weather. Gloves and bags will be provided.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. In the event of rain, the cleanup will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 30. Last year’s cleanups altogether netted 10,500 lbs. of trash, with 418 community volunteers in six river towns and included planting of 26 trees.

WHAT IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND AN EVENT?

If you are unable to make any local events, there are still ways you can participate just by making simple changes right in your own home. Consider turning off the water in the sink while brushing your teeth. Use washable plates, cups, and cloth napkins as opposed to paper. Turn off unnecessary lights in the house. Wash and dry only full loads of laundry. Learn to compost grass clippings and leaves. Plant a tree or shrub in your yard. These and many other tips can be found on the New York State Department of Conservation website at dec.ny.gov/public/.