The threat of rain Saturday didn't keep Mary Lewis from showing her appreciation for Columbia County's Earth Day celebration.
"It tells people about stuff that they didn't even know was in their own backyards," said Lewis about the event, "and just gives you an appreciation for all the natural beauty that we have here."
The event was held at the Reed Creek Wetlands Park and Interpretive Center in Martinez.
Lewis, a pediatrician at the Medical College of Georgia, said her husband and 9-month-old baby were out of town, and she was in the process of making her home more "Earth-friendly."
"I want to learn what I can do at home to make things better and protect the environment a little bit more," she said.
Visitors at the park participated in a variety of activities throughout the day.
Indoors, guests could create art, listen to stories and watch a turtle demonstration. Outdoors, the scavenger hunt and butterfly release were two popular attractions.
Those in attendance could pick up free T-shirts and fliers on recycling, gardening and other environmental topics.
Earth Fare also offered handouts. Guests received a free Earth Fare tote bag filled with information and coupons for the organic grocer.
"I love doing stuff like this," said Theresa Provenzano, a demo coordinator at Earth Fare. "I want to save the Earth for generations to come.
Evans residents Dawn Kozlowski and Kim Meckley visited the park with their children.
"We like nature, and it introduces them to new experiences," said Kozlowski. "It's a nice family activity that we can all enjoy."
Meckley, however, said she never knew Reed Creek Park existed.
"It surprised me," Meckley said. "I would have never thought there is this sanctuary in Martinez."
The scavenger hunt was a big hit with children.
Michael enjoyed the "swampy" atmosphere of the park's 300-foot boardwalk over the wetlands area and spotted animals that were unfamiliar to him.
"We never saw a hummingbird before," said 7-year-old Michael Kozlowski to his mother.
Alleigh Gates also liked the scavenger hunt.
"You never know what you're going to find," said the 10-year-old pupil at Martinez Elementary School.
Meckley said she felt the educational aspect of Earth Day was crucial.
"We are really learning stuff out here," she said.
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