Saturday, April 19, 2014

People invited to join state environmental agency in celebration of Earth Day

RALEIGH – From the mountains to the coast, people are invited to join staff with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources for celebrations of Earth Day and Earth Week.

Earth Day is April 22, but throughout April DENR staff members will be participating in events aimed at celebrating this special day, which is the world’s annual party to show support for environmental protection and sustainability. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. The following is a list of public events in which DENR staff will be participating.

Eastern/coastal North Carolina

April 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Staff in the state Division of Marine Fisheries and the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores will participate in the Crystal Coast Earth Day Celebration at the Fort Macon State Park visitor center. Aquarium staff will have traveling touch tanks that put live animals such as sea stars and horseshoe crabs at your fingertips during the event.

April 19, 9 a.m. – noon: Staff in the Division of Coastal Management will participate in a coastal cleanup at the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort. Boat transportation to the reserve and cleanup supplies will be provided. People are required to register for the cleanup to ensure boat space is available. Interested? Please contact Paula Gillikin at the reserve at 252-220-0776. Also, the town of Beaufort will lead a town-side cleanup from the corner of Front and Turner streets, and a paper-shredding event will be held at the First Citizen’s Bank in town.

April 26, noon – 6 p.m.: Staff in the state divisions of Marine Fisheries and Coastal Management, and the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher will be educating people about the fisheries and the coastal environment at the Earth Day Festival at Hugh McRae Park in Wilmington. The event features more than 60 informational booths, a Kid’s EcoZone hosted by aquarium staff, live local music, food and drinks. For more information, contact Natalie Martz at

April 26, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Staff with the Division of Coastal Management will participate in the Bioblitz at the Outer Banks. The event will be at 300 Audubon Drive in Corolla. Join the Pine Island Audubon Center and staff from the N.C. Coastal Reserve for wildlife identification sessions and discovery events. Contact Scott Crocker, the Northern Sites Coastal Reserve manager, at 252-261-8891 for more information.

April 26, 10 a.m.: Join state parks staff and others to clean, prune and add plantings to the historic home site of Civil War General James Johnston Pettigrew at Pettigrew State Park in Creswell. Meet in the gravel parking lot at the end of Magnolia Road. Bring gloves, insect repellent, close-toed shoes and hand tools. Dress for the weather. For information, call 252-797-4475.

April 26, 1-4 p.m.: Staff with the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island will participate in the Earth Fair OBX III at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute, 850 N.C. Hwy. 345 in Wanchese. Aquarium staff will bring Enviroscape, an interactive model that illustrates how water can become polluted when it travels over land, streets, yards and through storm drains. This model will also point out how peoples’ actions can affect the health of our waterways.

Piedmont/central North Carolina

April: Charlotte Air Awareness is coordinating a Race to the Beach contest in which participants are eligible for prizes

based on their use of carpooling, public transit, cycling, walking and other “clean commutes.” The program will have information about the race at Earth Day events in Charlotte, Matthews, Huntersville, Cleveland and other areas. A complete list of events can be found at the NC Air Awareness website,

April 17: Triangle Air Awareness will have an ozone season kickoff luncheon on April 17 at the Research Triangle Park Foundation in Research Triangle Park and an Earth Day event at IBM in the Research Triangle Park. Air Awareness is a cooperative program between the state Division of Air Quality and local air programs in metropolitan areas. It educates and informs people about the causes of air pollution and ways to prevent it. A complete list of events is at:

April 17 & April 24, 5–9 p.m.: Every Thursday in April, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh will host a different conservation-related topic. Come see exhibitors, listen to guest speakers and participate in activities and learn more about ways you can make the Earth a better place. More information can be found at: The events are held in the museum’s Nature Research Center and are free. The April 24

event will feature exhibitors, discussions and activities related to biodiversity and conservation.

April 19, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.: Join us in Lillington for the Raven Rock Earth Day Celebration at Raven Rock State Park. Visit with exhibitors and learn about air quality, shopping locally, recycling, composting and buying organically-raised food such as eggs and pasture-raised chicken and pork from local farmers.

April 22: Triad Air Awareness will have exhibits at Earth Day fairs at Kernersville, High Point University and Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. Air Awareness is a cooperative program between the state Division of Air Quality and local air programs in metropolitan areas. The program educates and informs people about the causes of air pollution and ways to prevent it. A complete list of events can be found at the NC Air Awareness website,

April 23,3 p.m.: William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh hosts its Junior Ranger Earth Day Celebration.

April 26, 1 p.m.: In celebration of Earth Day, park rangers invite the public to join them at Morrow Mountain State Park in Albemarle to search for butterflies. People should bring binoculars and field guides. Meet at the Bridle Trailhead Parking Lot at 1 p.m. Participation is limited, so please register in advance by calling the park at 704-982-4402.

April 26, 8 a.m. – noon: The N.C. Zoo will participate in the Randolph County Water Quality Task Force’s Electronic Recycling Day at the Randolph Mall in Asheboro. People are urged to bring all electronics such as cell phones. Rigid

plastics, including lawn chairs and coolers, are also welcomed. Members of the Asheboro Police Department and Randolph County Sheriff’s Office will be collecting old, unwanted medicine and prescription pills.

Mountains/western North Carolina

April 26: State parks officials host the following Earth Day events:

· 1 p.m., meet park staff at the Education Center to begin a guided hike along the Balsam Nature Trail in Mount Mitchell State Park in Burnsville. Be sure to wear hiking shoes and be prepared for all types of weather, including wind, rain and snow.

· 11 a.m., planting native trees in New River State Park in Laurel Springs. Bring work gloves and water for drinking. All tools will be provided. Meet at U.S. Hwy. 221 Access Visitor Center.

· 11 a.m., join state parks staff, biologists and other environmental educators at Chimney Rock State Park to learn about the great work being done to protect the landscape in the park. The event is free. Booths will be in the Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Café. Meet at the Riverwalk behind the café.

· 2 p.m., meet at the Cicero Branch parking area in South Mountains State Park in Connelly Springs.There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the Kids in Parks TRACK Trail at South Mountains State Park. The ceremony will be followed by a ranger-led hike and Animal Olympics games. For more information, visit or call 828-433-4772.

DENR staff and many of its environmental companions will be involved in Earth Day events in North Carolina. For a more complete list of what’s happening in your area, check out the calendar of events on the Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs’ website at:

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Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs - Phone: 919-707-8626 -- 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1601

Jamie Kritzer, Public Information Officer, 919-707-8602,

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