Peter Mullens, 2, peers into a cardboard container to see the butterflies during the Earth Day celebration at Reed Creek Park.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Three-year-old Victoria White giggled in her grandmother's arms after she released a butterfly into the air at Columbia County's grand opening of Reed Creek Park and Interpretive Center.
On Tuesday, more than 30 visitors, including Columbia County officials, residents and guests, met at the park, on Park Lane off Furys Ferry Road, releasing butterflies to celebrate the park's wetland reserve and Earth Day.
"It was really good," Victoria's grandmother, Joanne Randall, of McDonough, Ga., said about the commemoration.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the park to open the facility and give visitors the opportunity to tour the 15.4-acre site, which devotes 13 acres of wetland, upland and other habitats to the phase one area. Additional amenities of the park include a 300-foot boardwalk over wetlands, interpretive signs, and new wetland trees and vegetation.
Phase two of the project will include an environmentally friendly interpretive center that will offer visitors an indoor and outdoor area, additional space for displays, visitor information and a duck pond.
Columbia County Commissioner Steve Brown read a proclamation that declared Tuesday as Earth Day. The holiday was celebrated nationally on Friday.
Barry Fleming, the director of community and leisure services for Columbia County, helps Joseph and Jacob Danner release a butterfly during the Earth Day celebration on Tuesday that officially opened Reed Creek Park and Interpretive Center on Park Lane off Furys Ferry Road in Martinez.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"This is a time to promote valuable resources and enjoy the quality of life," he said. "Each individual must protect the quality of life. We must protect our resources, be environmentally aware and protect our parks."
Stephanie Thomas-Rees, the county's greenspace coordinator, said she was pleased with the event's turnout.
"This is our first annual celebration of Earth Day at the wetland park," she said, adding that the area once had basketball and tennis courts.
"They would become flooded every time it rained," she said. "So, this time we decided to work with nature."
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