PTRF and Progressive Democrats organize first-ever Earth Day event
Event championed environmental awareness
By GREG KATSKI
Washington area residents got a chance to celebrate Earth Day for a change on Saturday afternoon.
The Pamlico-Tar River Foundation and the Progressive Democrats of Beaufort County organized and sponsored an Earth Day event at Haven’s Gardens “to raise awareness for Earth Day and environmental issues, particularly in our watershed,” according to PTRF volunteer Grace Lekxon.
In addition to the PTRF and Progressive Democrats of Beaufort County, numerous local volunteer and non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental awareness participated in the event, including the Sierra Club, the Unnatural Resources Institute, Toxic Free N.C., the Chocowinity Chicken Sanctuary and Education Center, the Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and the Red Wolf Coalition. These organizations were joined by local, state and national park services, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and River Park North.
Each organization and service had booths set up around Haven’s Gardens, with pamphlets and volunteers on hand to promote its environmental agenda.
The idea for the event came about at a Progressive Democrats of Beaufort County meeting, according to Pat Seibert, chair of the Progressive Democrats and volunteer with the Riverforce Waterkeeper Alliance and PTRF.
With sponsor in tow, the committee made a list of ideal environmental organizations and services to participate in the event.
Seibert was encouraged by the turn out of organizations for the event, and even more delighted by the influx of attendees throughout the afternoon.
Although Earth Day was on April 22, event planners decided to schedule the festivities for Saturday in hopes for increased exposure, according to PTRF Executive Director David Emmerling.
Seibert thinks that there is an immediate need for increased environmental awareness in Beaufort County.
Emmerling reinforced the importance of such an event.
Seibert, who claims that the festival will become an annual event, cautions complacency in regards to environmental issues.