Mid-Ohio Valley celebrates Earth Day throughout the week

Apr 23, 2021

Evan Bevins

Staff Reporter


BELPRE – In Belpre’s Depot Park, a Green Mountain sugar maple was planted Thursday in memory of Pauline Collett, a longtime member of the Belpre Garden Club and owner of the former Collett’s Greenhouse on Washington Boulevard.

“It just so happened to fall on Earth Day,” said Becky Hennen, vice president of the garden club. “It was a wonderful day to celebrate.”

Collett’s is one of multiple memorial trees planted in the park on Depot Street above Belpre High School, said club President Janet Robinson.

“It’s just something that we can do that will last for many years,” she said.

It was a fitting tribute to Collett, who passed away last fall. She earned more than 250 ribbons in floral competitions through the Washington County Fair, said neighbors Dana and Vickie Fouss.

In addition to recognizing Collett and Earth Day, the planting was a nod to the upcoming Arbor Day, Belpre Tree Commission Chairwoman Maxine Mobbs said.

“We didn’t get to do the Arbor Day (observance) last year because of the COVID,” she said.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg held an Earth Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday on the campus walking trail, which was organized by the student environmental group the Ecohawks and was free to the public.

“It is our duty to protect the world we share, its ecosystems and species,” said Valerie Keinath, Ecohawks advisor. “The Ecohawks hope to inspire and encourage others to give back to the planet and preserve its beauty, and in return, humanity.”

Festivities included terrarium building for children, as well as produce giveaways and tree and plant identification guides provided by the West Virginia Division of Forestry and the Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action group to promote sustainability.

“We were pretty excited to see in the beginning people were rolling in,” said Elizabeth Knick, the administrative associate for the STEM division at WVU-P. “We were very cold, but people seemed to enjoy it.”

At Grand Central Mall on Thursday afternoon, a tree dedication occurred for a cherry tree that was planted in front of Belk in honor of healthcare heroes.

“We really want them to look at it as they go by … so they know they inspire us,” Grand Central Mall Marketing Director Mindy Fluharty said.

The tree was donated by T&S Lawn Landscape, according to their press release.

Fluharty said Grand Central Mall began this annual tree planting celebration last year when its first tree was dedicated to first responders.

The Wood County Democratic Party has an Earth Day Clean Up planned for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, gathering at the horseshoe in front of Parkersburg High School. Trash bags, gloves and a tool to safely pick up trash will be provided. Social-distancing and mask protocols will be followed.

Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action is celebrating the planet throughout the month with events revolving around the documentary “Kiss the Ground,” which focuses on regenerating the world’s soils to stabilize its climate.

A free online period for home viewing is available through Sunday by registering at the website of Interfaith Power and Light at www.interfaithpowerandlight.org.

Weather-permitting, Climate Action and the Green Sanctuary Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta will hold a COVID-safe outdoor screening of the film at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the courtyard of the church on Third Street. The number of attendees will be limited to comply with COVID regulations, and masks and social distancing protocols will be observed.

In Marietta, Earth Day will be celebrated on Saturday with a day full of activities.

Events will include an early morning bird walk at 8:30 a.m., a scavenger hunt in East Muskingum Park at 9:30 a.m., a tree planting at 11 a.m. by the Putnam Street Bridge and a family bike ride starting at 1 p.m. at the Armory.

To register for the bird walk, contact Dawn Hewitt at hewitt@earth-maker.com.

A Trash to Art contest will also be held starting at 10 a.m. at the Armory Square in Marietta.

“This is where we’re just asking you to reuse things … recycled things to make some piece of art,” Betsy Cook said. “There’ll be contests. You bring your art at 10 a.m. to the armory and we’ll have judges there and they will be picking first, second and third prize in two different age groups.”

According to Cook, winners will then be announced at 11:30 a.m. on the Marietta Earth Day Facebook page.

A Zoom panel discussion, “Are Solutions to the Climate Crisis Right Under Our Feet?” will be held at 7 p.m. April 29. People can register in advance at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcuc-msrTgiEtzrSNNJ1GxM1VD88Q8JwY–U.

Staff Reporter Jenna Pierson contributed to this article.

Evan Bevins may be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.