Activities celebrate Earth Day

Published 12:11 pm Friday, April 23, 2010

Community Editor

Organizations across Beaufort County joined more than one billion people in 190 countries who took action — or will take action — to honor Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, which occurred Thursday.
Kelly Thompson, superintendent of Goose Creek State Park, said it’s important for individuals to acknowledge Earth Day, and get personally involved in environmental conservation.
“I think our planet needs to be taken care of. We’re doing OK, but not great,” she said. “Earth Day is a good time to recognize that and improve how we walk the Earth.”
That’s why Goose Creek State Park will hold its first-ever Springfest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 1, Thompson said. The event will welcome various environmental agencies and feature kayaking and bird-watching tours. Several boats will be displayed.
“The whole idea is to give folks an awareness of things they can do at home,” Thompson said.
For more information about the event, go to Goose Creek’s Web site at
Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Heather Jacobs-Deck said Earth Day is a chance to take stock in the state of the environment.
“It’s a great way to pause and take a moment to look at how us humans can impact our environment and natural resources just with every day activities,” she said. “It’s a small reminder that the little changes that we do in our lives can have tremendous benefit for our natural resources.”
In conjunction with Earth Day, the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation will host its fourth-annual Race for the River Kayakalon, Jacobs-Deck said The race will be held at Goose Creek State Park on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m.
PTRF is doing race-day registration from 7 a.m. to the start of the race. Registration is $70 per person or $115 for a relay team. Interested individuals must bring their own kayaks to the race. Proceeds from the event go to PTRF, a nonprofit organization that advocates against the pollution of the Pamlico-Tar River.
Jacobs-Deck said more than 130 people have signed up for the kayakalon, which features a 1.5-mile kayak paddle along the Pamlico River, a 15-mile bike ride through the countryside and a 5-K (approximately 3-mile) run through Goose Creek State Park.
“It’s the biggest turnout we’ve had,” she said, adding that she expects between 30 and 40 volunteers for the event, including EMTs from Broad Creek EMS.
The Boys &Girls Club of Beaufort County’s youth members got a taste of Earth Day volunteerism Monday. The children cleaned up the grounds of the club’s county headquarters on Bridge Street in Washington, with a little help from some local U.S. Cellular associates.
The Earth Day activity helped teach the children “how they can make their community a little greener,” said Washington unit director Anthony Moore.
Local U.S. Cellular associates also helped more than 75 children clean the grounds of Washington’s Head Start Center, a division of Martin County Community Action Inc., on Thursday afternoon.
The N.C. Estuarium held an Earth Day birding-and-plant walk Thursday. Estuarium naturalist Linda Boyer led a group along the Estuarium’s trails and adjacent boardwalk. Along the way, she pointed out native species of plants and migratory birds.
Prior to the nature walk, Boyer and the Estuarium hosted a school group from New Bern. Boyer said she asked the young students if they knew why Thursday was a special day.
“I was very happy when they said, ‘It’s Earth Day,’” she said.