Earth Day event returning to Matthews this weekend

Matthews – Mint Hill Weekly

MATTHEWS – HAWK Habitat and Wildlife Keepers will partner with Matthews this weekend to bring environmentally-friendly and educational activities to town through the ninth annual Earth Day Celebration.
The event will take place Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stumptown Park, located at 120 S. Trade St.
HAWK is a Matthews-based chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. HAWK Leadership team member and Earth Day event coordinator Debbie Foster said the purpose of the event is to educate the public about sustainable living, as well as provide resources and vendors that will present tools and hands-on strategies for leading a more earth-friendly lifestyle.
“We want to educate people and make it easier for them to do the right thing,” Foster said.

The town of Matthews and HAWK Habitat and Wildlife Keepers will host Matthews’ ninth annual Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stumptown Park.  Photo courtesy of Matthews Earth Day

This year’s event will include more than 60 exhibits. There will be some regulars, including a live animal exhibit from Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and HAWK’s recycling booth, HAWKcycle, an initiative that sends products to organizations that can reuse and repurpose the items. Products include egg cartons, which can be used by local farmers at the Matthews Farmers Market, and eyeglasses for the local Lions club’s glasses drive.
HAWKcycling will collect the following items: compact fluorescent lightbulbs, aluminum pull tabs, corks, egg cartons, printer cartridges, cellphones, tablets and eyeglasses.
There also will be free document shredding from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an all-medicine drop-off facilitated by the Matthews Police Department. Goodwill will collect clothing, furniture and electronics.
New exhibits will include Bain Elementary School’s Terracycle recycling project and Matthews Bee City USA. Girl Scout Brownie Troop 317 will build and sell brown-headed nuthatch boxes, and Sunny Day Windows will display and sell up-cycled art.
Matthews resident Martha Krauss will represent Matthews Bee City USA at the event. Matthews became designated as a certified Bee City through Bee City USA in December last year, Krauss said. Bee City USA is a nationwide grassroots effort that certifies cities as productive pollinators in hopes of establishing and maintaining bee populations.
Krauss orchestrated the efforts to certify Matthews with the support of the town. She said Matthews Commissioner John Higdon and town manager Hazen Blodgett are both beekeepers and supported the initiative.
Krauss said her booth will display an observational hive and beekeeping equipment, as well was provide informative brochures, activities for children and field questions from the public on beekeeping.
“(The Earth Day Celebration) gives us an opportunity to tell the importance of pollinators,” Krauss said.
Shirley Bryant, a Matthews resident and creator of Sunny Day Windows, has created “green” art for three years using antique window sashes, picture frames and glass from bottles, vases and stained-glass scraps. Bryant said her art concept is “shining heaven’s light into brokenness.”

Bryant said this glass picture, “Springtime in Hope Valley,” was inspired by a small town in Rhode Island. Photo courtesy of Sunny Day Windows

Bryant said she looks forward to having a booth at the Earth Day Celebration and hopes to spread the message of ways to repurpose products through her craft.
“My art is a practical demonstration of one of the goals of Earth Day and saving our planet by finding ways to use things that would end up in our landfills,” Bryant said.
Folger Subaru is sponsoring the event and will display cars in the parking lot. Hungry Howie’s and potentially an ice cream truck also will be on site. Musical entertainment will be provided by local country/bluegrass band GB and ME.
The event will feature a variety of vendors selling earth-friendly products, such as honey from Dancing Bees Farm, Pink Daisy soaps and lotions and worms for composting.
Giveaways will include young trees provided by HAWK, such as dogwoods and white oak; native pollinator plants provided by Bee City USA, such as phlox, coreopisos and aster; and free Harris Teeter reusable shopping bags. Free trees and plants will available while supplies last.
Kids can participate in activities and crafts, as well as peruse children’s books about the earth at an exhibit by Matthews Library.
Foster said there also will be several door prizes including an old-fashioned push lawn mower, gardening books donated by The Charlotte Observer and a rain barrel provided by North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation.
“Our goal is to make it as much fun as we can, too,” she said.
Find more information at www.face

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