JACKSON TWP. The lingering winter chill finally let up Sunday for an appropriately warm and sunny Earth Day celebration at Kent State at Stark. Any and all were welcomed to Kent State’s Stark campus in Jackson Township during the 10th annual Earth Day Celebration.
"It’s wonderful," said Mike Bolas, project coordinator and geologist with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. "Everyone’s out here to celebrate what we do. It’s refreshing. It’s spring, and we need to re-acclimate ourselves to taking care of our good Earth."
Held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m at the Pond and Wetlands Research area in the center of campus, the event offered educational activities, entertainment, demonstrations, and discussions for all ages.
"It’s a really cool event that they put on for the community," said Dan Russell, a father of member of the Girl Scouts, who had a booth at the event. "There are a lot of people from not just the North Canton-Canton area, there are actually a lot of people from the Akron area. That’s it has a nice draw."
Biology Professor Robert Hamilton led a nature walk around the wetlands research area. Children could get their faces painted, dig for mock fossils and enter a coloring contest. Singer Foster Brown treated children to his nature-themed tunes, and magician Mike Salvino dazzled with tricks about the importance of recycling. There was even a collection of exotic insects from around the world provided by resident entomologist Jim Smolka.
"It’s neat. Look, you can see all the stuff we have," said Russell, gesturing to the stash of Earth Day prizes under his child’s stroller. "We’ve got trees to plant, vegetables to plant. It’s just a cool message to deliver to kids about how important it is to take care of the environment."
This year Kent State at Stark worked to transform the Earth Day celebration in to a low-waste event. From promotion to cleanup, everyone and every group involved made lessening the waste generated a high priority.
But with all the festivities, learning and good weather the purpose of Earth Day is simple and unchanging.
"It’s Earth Day. It was established to celebrate the Earth," said Bolas. "We just want to make sure everyone knows that this is our one and only Earth, and we need to care of it the very best we can."