Earth Day officially was celebrated across the nation on Thursday. However, events celebrating awareness and conservation have been held all month.
Columbia County will hold two events in conjunction with Earth Day.
The first will be an Arbor Day celebration at Reed Creek Interpretive Park on Friday. The 11 a.m. event is being sponsored by Keep Columbia County Beautiful and Natural Awakenings.
Keep Columbia County Beautiful Green Programs Manager Jenny Hinton said the Arbor Day celebration will recognize the Northeast District of Augusta's Environmental Protection Division Office. The event will include a short presentation along with a proclamation to the local EPD office for their continued efforts in preserving the environment in Columbia County, Hinton said. A reception will follow the morning program.
Keep Columbia County Beautiful will also co-sponsor the county's annual Family Earth Fest on Saturday at the Columbia County Amphitheater.
"This event was our Earth Day celebration and I changed the name to Family Earth Fest since we not only have activities for kids, but for the entire family," said Hinton. "This year, I am excited to be having the Lamar Q. Ball Raptor Center present their Raptor Flight Show, generously sponsored by Summit Green Solutions at noon. This will be an exciting display of some birds of prey and a demonstration of their flight habits."
Because of the risk of frightening or injuring the birds, the event will be closed to animals.
"This is at the request of the Raptor Center and if animals are present, they will not be able to hold the flight show," said Hinton.
Among other demonstrations that will be held throughout the Family Earth Fest, which runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., are soap making with Leslie Carson of Luna Bug Soap at 11:15 a.m., and a butterfly release sponsored by Georgia Power at 1:15 p.m.
Whatley Bush of Summit Green Solutions will give a spray foam demonstration following the butterfly release. John Boudreaux of Gerald Hargrove Inspection Service will give an Energy Star home demonstration at 10:30 a.m.
There will be green and organic vendors on site, a vendor scavenger hunt for kids and adults, children's crafts, inflatables, door prizes and more, Hinton said.
Columbia County changed Hinton's title last fall from director of Keep Columbia County Beautiful to green programs manager to reflect its changing approach to environmental awareness.
"My title changed to green programs manager when I transferred to the Construction and Maintenance Services Division in November 2009," said Hinton. "To enhance the County's green initiative, we created a Green Programs Department that houses Keep Columbia County Beautiful and the Recycling Program and Recycling Center, and I am the manager of this department.
"As we continue to grow with our green initiative, the programs and areas under this department will expand and grow."
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