Earth Day 2019 brings festivals and service opportunities


Local groups are celebrating Earth Day 2019 with both festivals and days of service. This year, Earth Day falls on Monday, April 22, so there is a weekend’s worth of activities.

‘Every Day is Earth Day’ in Bethany

Bethany Beach Nature Center will host the annual “Every Day is Earth Day” celebration on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The free event includes entertainment, free raffles, giveaways, live animals, activities, and access to the entire nature center and grounds.

Special interactive performances begin at 10:30 a.m., featuring Erick Energy, Liz & Her Raptors (birds), plant a tree, and install an insect hotel with Melinda. New this year, Park Ranger Bob will do a bee presentation to fit the 2019 Earth Day theme of “Save our Species.”

Down at the pond, EnviroTech consultants will trawl for water creatures. Plus, there will be a scavenger hunt, nature crafts and other activities.

Several prize drawings include a Build-A-Bear safari-themed bear, as well as two “Save the Bees” T-shirts made of recycled material.

Inside the former Addy cottage will be live critters, as well as various wildlife displays. There will be life-stream video footage of the Chesapeake Bay Osprey Cam, as well as actual osprey nests at the Nature Center.

People can come and go as they please, just like during the week. The event is rain or shine. Parking is available on-site and overflow at Grotto Pizza.

“Every day is Earth Day at the Nature Center because we really believe it’s beyond ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle,’” said director Nancy Lucy. “We’re really trying to look, not only at plastic, but general use of what we use every single day — whether it’s at school, work or home — and really analyze ‘Do we need this, and what kind of packaging are we buying that we can really recycle or not?’”

The Nature Center was also set to host a May 18 Family Fun Day at 10 a.m. with the theme “Love Our Turtles Day” to celebrate the shelled critters. It included an interactive live Skype session with the Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys.

Bethany Beach Nature Center is located on Route 26 at 807 Garfield Parkway. Call (302) 537-7680 for details.

Fenwick Island Clean-Up

The Town of Fenwick Island Environmental Committee is sponsoring the 4th Annual Earth Day Clean-up on Saturday, April 20.

Volunteers will check in at town hall at 9 a.m. for coffee and McCabe’s refreshments, followed by a town clean-up. Local environmental groups will also share information about their work. After that, people can pick their street assignments for clean-up and head out to make Fenwick more beautiful.

The cleanup zone will stretch along Coastal Highway (Route 1), including streets from the Maryland/Delaware state line through the incorporated town. All are welcome, volunteers near or far. Organizers will provide water and clean-up supplies. Participants may want to wear bright colors and bring a trash-grabber stick.

“It provides a sense of community to the town. It also beautifies the town and encourages anti-littering,” said Colleen Wilson of the Fenwick Island Environmental Committee. Litter “really is something that needs to be addressed, in this town and also along the highways in Sussex County.”

Geographically, Fenwick is tightly flanked on both sides by water.

“We don’t have a lot of land. We’ve got to take care of what we have!” Wilson said. “We are hoping for a good turnout and seeing our neighbors.”

All volunteers will get a thank-you gift, as well as raffle tickets.

“We have some really cute [reusable] giveaways for anyone that comes and participates. Fenwick Island businesses have also been really gracious” in donating door prizes, said Wilson.

“I anticipate there will be a lot of cigarette butts,” especially after windy days earlier this week. Nonetheless, “most people are done in under an hour.”

Fenwick Island Town Hall is located at 800 Coastal Highway.

Regional Community Cleanup

The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce is organizing a Community Cleanup throughout April 19 to 22.

Bags, gloves and additional equipment will be provided to groups that want to participate (located at the Chamber in Fenwick, Selbyville Town Hall, Millville Town Hall or Dagsboro Town Hall).

People can choose any neighborhood or street, or be assigned to an area in need. Free disposal is being offered to those who want to participate.

“We do it because we have 3,000 people coming for the [Bike to Bay] Tour in April,” so the back roads definitely need some love, said Chamber Director Lauren Weaver. But “last year on Route 1, there were 55 volunteers and a full dumpster of trash was picked up, just on Route 1.”

Volunteers are being asked to sign up beforehand. Any individual, homeowner association, business or other group should “let us know where it is, where you’re participating, and you should be able to participate free of cost,” Weaver said.

The Chamber is partnering with Waste Management and Keep Delaware Beautiful.

Free disposal is being offered to participants. For details, call Susie at (302) 539-2100, ext. 110, or visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0b4ca9ab22a1fc1-community.

Peace, Love & Earth Fest in Dagsboro

Jayne’s Reliable furniture and home decor store will host the second annual Peace, Love & Earth Festival on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Earth-friendly vendors will represent Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB), the Delaware Botanic Gardens, Coastal Plant Care, Inland Bays Garden Center, Good Earth Market, One Coastal restaurant, Blue Scoop ice cream, artist Teresa Guercio, Tapestry Glass, Turtle Moon Designs and Birdwatch Pottery.

People can enjoy a D.J., live music by Slinging Daisies and Parsons Farm’s baby goats.

“We just tried to get like-minded people together … people that care about the planet and care about upcycling,” said owner Karen Jayne. “Whether you’re a shopper, or you want something for the kids to do, or you want to learn how to be green and do good things for the planet, all those things are available to do that day.”

Children and adults can help paint a giant “coloring book” of a mural, designed for the 2019 Earth Day pollinators theme, with bees, birds and flowers.

The 2018 inaugural event had a big turnout.

“It’s a great family event because there’s just a lot of information. … It’s a no-pressure kind of thing. People get to walk around, just talk to these organization.” Jayne said.

Parking will be available in a field across the street from the shop. Dagsboro has several antique and upcycling shops, including Jayne’s.

“We’ll have examples of stuff you can do with some of the raw items we feature here. … We do a lot of salvaging. … We believe in saving and reusing wherever you can,” she said.

Jayne’s Reliable is located at 33034 Main Street, Dagsboro. For details, call (302) 927-0049.

Other Earth Day events include:

• April 20 — Electric vehicles will be demonstrated to interested members of the public at Rehoboth Beach between 10 a.m. and noon. People can gather at the intersection of Fifth Street and Rehoboth Avenue to ask questions, take a ride and even try driving the EV. The event is sponsored by the Delaware chapter of the National Electric Auto Association in celebration of Drive Electric Earth Day. For more info, contact Garlow@deeva.club or (301) 312-7703.

• April 22 — Green Drinks offers people the chance to connect with friends and neighbors, enjoy food and drinks of their choice, meet new people and learn about voluntary efforts to curb plastic pollution. The April 22 meetup will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rehoboth Ale House with guest speaker Dee Durham, co-founder of Plastic-Free Delaware. For more information, call (301) 312-7703.

• April 25 — All About U salon and the Good Earth Market will host a dine-and-donate all day on April 25. A portion of all sales will go to “Charity: Water,” a non-profit organization that provides clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

By Laura Walter
Staff Reporter