Duck Season At KALB

By: Lynne Hart
Yes, it is definitely duck season at KALB and all you have to do is walk in our office door and it will be obvious. We have rubber ducks, Duck and Run 5K ducks, and a cute Little Duckaroo sharing space with us!

Everyone in Limestone County benefits from the work we do, even those who don’t know us or haven’t financially supported us. During our fall fundraising season, everyone has the opportunity to provide financial support while having fun along the way. We know there is something going on that will fluff your feathers!

DUCK AND RUN 5K

Run it, walk it, or waddle it! Just don’t miss it!

The Duck and Run 5K has been taking place annually since 2004. Registration is open for this run taking place on Saturday, September 16th at 8 a.m. Pre-registration fee is currently $20 and must be postmarked by 9/9/17. Late and race day registration is $25. Online registration is available at www.raceroster.com, and a printable form is available at www.duckandrun5K.com.

Late registration and packet pickup will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, September 14 at Fleet Feet Sports in Huntsville, and Friday, September 15 at the KALB Office located at 125 East St. in Athens.

Starting and ending point of this run is Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens. This mildly challenging, certified course (AL10016JD) takes participants through beautiful historic neighborhoods and downtown Athens. T-shirts, race bags, Mid-pack Award, a cash drawing and great snacks are always part of this event.

For information on the Duck and Run 5K, contact Eric or Leigh Patterson at duckandrun5K@yahoo.com.

QUACKY DUCK DECORATING CONTEST

Businesses and organizations are invited to participate in this new and fun event. KALB will provide a “naked” duck to be decorated with imagination! Make it beautiful, make it whimsical, or make it reflect your business. Just make it fun! Participants can paint it, clothe it, cover it with jewels, ceramic, or glass. Ideas are endless. There are only a few guidelines and, of course, decorations must be tasteful.

Ducks must be decorated and on display by 9/1/17 so that votes can be collected for “Best Decorated Duck – People’s Choice” award. There will also be a “Judge’s Choice” award. Organizations without a storefront that would like to participate are encouraged to partner with a business that would be willing to display their duck for more exposure.

For more information on the Quacky Duck Decorating Contest, visit www.KALBCares.com and click the EVENTS tab, email KALBCares@gmail.com or call 256-233-8000.

WACKY QUACKY DUCKY DERBY

KALB’s rubber duck derby has been taking place annually since 2001! Even we can’t believe this is our 17th year to race those cute rubber ducks down the spillway at Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens.

We are currently rounding up our prize list, and we are happy to welcome American Leakless Company as our new Diamond Duck Sponsor! This company has been very supportive of KALB and we are so pleased to share our growing partnership.

Online duck adoptions are now open. Individual ducks can be adopted for a $5.00 donation to KALB. Dunkin’ Donuts Quack Packs are available for a $25 donation and include 6 ducks (1 free) and coupons for Dunkin’ Donuts items! Don’t forget to name your ducks just for the fun of it!

KALB will be at the Grease Festival and at the Old Time Fiddlers Convention and will have duck adoptions available. Our list of prizes is great again this year and includes the $1,000 American Leakless Co. Grand Prize, 4 Park Hopper Passes to Disney World, a $250 Osborne’s Jewelry gift certificate, and many more additional prizes!

Don’t forget, KALB members received a coupon for $5 off 5K registration or one free duck in the Wacky Quacky Ducky Derby. So, come on and have some fun while supporting a great organization!
By: Lynne Hart

By: Lynne Hart – Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful
August 1 was an important day for Leigh and me. It was a day set aside to say “Thank you” to all of the wonderful businesses, government entities, and individuals that support KALB in ways large and small. On Tuesday, August 1, we held our 2017 Appreciation Breakfast. It gave me great pleasure to stand in front of our many guests and tell them just exactly how I feel about them. They are precious.

Mayor Marks, Mark Yarbrough, Danny Crawford, Wayne Harper, Frank Travis, and Chris Seibert represented the City of Athens, Limestone County Commission, and the Alabama House of Representatives. We are so grateful for the financial and moral support that we receive from each of them. THANK YOU!

Several guests were there representing local businesses that have sponsored events, made donations, or provided in-kind materials or services. We were happy to see Lowe’s, Staples, Century 21, Athens Now, Clem Tire, HealthSource Athens, The SK Salon, and the News Courier represented. Several individuals invited were unable to attend for various reason and were truly missed. Our river cleanups, tree seedling giveaways, Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO, Clean and Green Fiddlers, and all of our fundraisers would have been impossible without the support provided by so many wonderful local businesses. THANK YOU!

KALB reaches out to other organizations and churches as well. We appreciate First Presbyterian Church for allowing us to use the Revival Building for our breakfast. We were able to say “Thank you” to Pastor Tony Johnson from Friendship Church for the use of the entire Friendship facility for our Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO. Melanie Newton – Main Street Athens, Betty Ruth – RSVP (and a Beautification Board Member), Deb Kohlhase – Habitat for Humanity, and Denise Taylor – Huntsville Green Team were also present to be loved on by KALB staff and board members. We truly enjoy being in a place where organizations work together to make this community great. The good of the community comes before any personal glory. THANK YOU!

Last, but not least, Leigh and I thank the wonderful men and women who have taken on the role of board member. We agree that our organization is blessed with the best board members. They are dedicated, hard-working, and so much fun!

THANK YOU just doesn’t express what is in our hearts. Every single person who volunteers with KALB, participates in fundraisers, or supports KALB financially is an important member of our family. Every business that sponsors events, provides in-kind products or services, or publicizes our activities has a value to this organization that we fully recognized.

We were happy to love on everyone who joined us for breakfast. To those who could not, we sure wish we could have told you in person just how much you mean to us.

THANK YOU just is not big enough…
By: Lynne Hart

By: Lynne Hart
Imagine it is a beautiful morning and you are off to run errands. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and along the roadside you spot…trash! Why would someone just throw trash out like that with no concern for the environment or the ugliness it creates?

Let’s back up a minute before we judge someone for their litterbug behaviors. There is more than one way for trash to become litter.

According to a study by Keep America Beautiful, motorists and pedestrians contribute a combined 70% of littered items; however, not all of this trash has been carelessly tossed from car windows.

Vehicles with loads that are not properly secured, including trash collection vehicles, or loose trash in truck beds account for a large portion of roadside trash. Often, drivers are completely unaware that they have just broken the law.

Also contributing to roadside litter are trash containers not properly secured with a tight fitting lid. Placing loose trash in a container without first bagging it can easily cause a littering situation when the trash can is dumped. In these cases, most guilty parties are completely unaware that their actions have created a litter situation.

Tobacco products account for nearly 38% of all U.S. roadway litter. It is a fact that many people who would never think of littering anything else, may not think twice about flicking cigarette butts out vehicle windows, tossing them in ditches, or stomping them on the ground. In fact, trillions of cigarette butts are littered every single year! The chemicals and poisons that leach from cigarette litter have a huge impact on the environment.

Pedestrians litter most often at transition points – areas where individuals consuming a food or tobacco product must discard it before entering. This would include stores, theatres, restaurants, schools, etc. We need to take the extra minute to look for receptacles and use them.

Tips To Avoid Being An Accidental Litterbug

  • Securely cover all trash receptacles and don’t set out loose bags.
  • Bag all trash before placing in trash can. This not only helps when cans are dumped, but keeps the trash more secure in the trash trucks.
  • Cover your loads securely and keep loose trash out of truck beds.
  • Discard tobacco products properly.
  • Never leave trash behind. Leave the area better than you found it.

People are the only living creatures that use packaging, eat at fast food restaurants, use vehicles for transportation, or purchase tobacco products. Therefore, people are solely responsible for every bit of litter created.

We realize that sometimes littering is accidental, but that doesn’t mean it is ok. All we ask is that together we take greater care.

KALB staff and board members invite you, your neighbors, club members, and others to take a stand against the litter problem in Limestone County. SPEAK OUT! Voice your opinions about litter – how it reflects a lack of community pride. STAND UP! Support this non-profit organization or others who are working to make our community better with your tax-deductible donation. STEP OUT! Adopt a roadside to keep clean, or organize a neighborhood pride day. KALB will help! You can count on us for trash bags, gloves, safety vests, and litter grabbers. If you need guidance on beautification projects, we have connections! We will provides tips on how to be successful. Just ask!

Together….the only way to get it done.
By: Lynne Hart

When you think of hazardous waste, do you think of caustic and deadly chemicals spewing from a factory or laboratory? Well you might be surprised at how many items considered hazardous waste are sitting on shelves and under cabinets in your homes and garages.

Items used in our homes fall under a different set of rules and are referred to as Household Hazardous Waste. Although these items do not fall under the same strict regulations as hazardous waste, special handling is recommended at time of disposal.

The following are some examples of HHW materials you may find in your homes. This is not a complete list:

Automotive fluids: oil, anti-freeze, fuel, brake fluid, etc.
Household cleaners: bleach, ammonia, disinfectants, oven cleaner, drain cleaners, etc.
Home maintenance: varnish, stains, oils, mouse/rat poisons, etc.
Lawn and garden: fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, etc.
Miscellaneous: pool chemicals, photo chemicals, old chemistry sets, etc.

According to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), the best way to manage HHW is to avoid creating it. Buy only what you need. Check the label for the Precautionary Statement and choose the least toxic product to do the job.

Look for the following words:
Caution indicates a mild hazard
Warning indicates a moderate hazard
Danger or Poison indicate an extreme hazard.

Best Disposal Practice
The very best method of disposal is at an HHW collection where materials will be handled by a company licensed in transportation and disposal.

The first and last collection for Limestone County residents was held in 2008. We believe it is well past time for our residents to have at least one HHW collection annually. KALB is working with the Athens City Council and the Limestone County Commission to make this happen.

If you would like to see an HHW collection for Athens-Limestone County, send us an email letting us know. You may also contact your city council member and/or county commissioner to let them know you would like this service.

Reducing HHW In Your Home

Glass Cleaner: Mix one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in one quart of water. Spray on and use newspaper to dry.
Furniture Polish: Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice in one pint of mineral or vegetable oil and wipe furniture.
Rug Deodorizer: Liberally sprinkle carpets with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
Silver Polish: Boil two to three inches of water in a shallow pan with one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of baking soda and a sheet of aluminum foil. Totally submerge silver and boil for two to three more minutes. Wipe away tarnish. Repeat as necessary.
All-Natural Insect Repellents: When using these products, reapply frequently for best results.
Motor Oil: Accepted at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center.
Transmission Fluid: Check with local repair shops to see if they will accept it for recycling.
CFL’s: Accepted for recycling at Lowe’s.
By: Lynne Hart
Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful

I’ve lived in Athens for 17 years, and it was most difficult for me to adjust to the hot, humid summers. I had to learn a whole new way of gardening after just about everything I planted failed to survive my Southern brown thumb.

Over the years, my position has brought me into contact with people and websites that shed a great deal of light on where I was going wrong. I remained in my Northeast Ohio garden mode in my thinking and that didn’t work here. Summers in Cleveland are not so hot and humidity levels are lower. There is not nearly the amount of clay in the soils of Northeast Ohio as we find here. So I had to do some research to learn what would and would not grow in my new home city.

I have written articles on the importance of choosing native plants for landscaping, much of which I have applied with great success. Recently, I was introduced to another type of landscaping that takes into consideration the amount of water available, or lack of water. It is called xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping is a method of using landscaping and horticultural strategies that minimize water use. This method can help property owners reduce their water use by one-third, which is very helpful in drought-prone areas such as the Tennessee Valley!

According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, plant selection in a xeriscaped garden may vary from area to area, but there are 7 basic principles that can be applied anywhere:

  • Group plants by similar water use, as well as appearance.
  • If sites are dry, choose as many plants with low water requirements as possible, such as some of the ornamental grasses, barberries, Chinese hollies, and junipers.
  • Reduce the amount of turf grass (lawn) area. Turf grass is the largest water user in landscaping. Use it only where necessary or consider some of the newer, drought-resistant types.
  • Use plenty of organic material (peat moss, pine bark, compost) in preparing the soil.
  • Use about 4 inches (no more) of mulch (wood chips, shredded bark). Mulch reduces water use by slowing evaporation and it adds organic matter to the soil and helps prevent erosion.
  • Use efficient watering systems. For example, use a sprinkler that will target the areas that require water and do not overspray onto rocky or paved areas.)
  • Prune, fertilize, and divide plants regularly.

Before you begin, you will want to assess your garden site. By looking at the property, you may find ways of using water-saving landscape techniques. Look for dry or rocky areas as well as areas where water might pool. You also want to note the amount of sun each area receives.

Once you have assessed the area, select plants and shrubs that do well in those conditions and group them together. Plant selection will be one of the most important factors in whether your garden will survive long term. Here are tips:

  • Use only plant varieties that are well adapted to your locality and soil conditions. The wrong variety of plant may require greater amounts of fertilizer and water just to stay alive. Check with your local nursery, garden department, or Extension Service for suggestions. You can also research native plant varieties online.
  • Group plants with similar water needs together. For example, group the vegetables requiring more water together in the garden to make the most of your watering.
  • Choose moisture-loving plants for wet, poorly drained sites and drought-tolerant plants for dry, sunny areas.
  • Select and plant drought-tolerant varieties that require minimal amounts of water.

Trees
Trees are also vulnerable to our weather conditions. When selecting trees, be sure to select species that do well in this area. Some good selections would include oaks, ginkgo, hackberry, Southern magnolia, Chinese pistache, American holly, golden-rain tree, and pines.

Turf Grass
In most of our neighborhoods, the lawn (turf grass) is the most prominent vegetation. A beautifully manicured, green lawn can be the pride and joy of any homeowner. Turf grass will withstand a rough and tumble game of football, absorb heat, and control erosion.

Turf grass will also quickly suffer under drought conditions, and will consume more water than most all other plants. Therefore, the question that should be asked is, “Do I have too much grass?” Look at your property critically. Are there shady areas where grass is not doing well? Do you have grass growing among and around your shrubs? Do you have large patches of grass just because you can’t think of anything else to do with your property?

Consider replacing turf grass in areas difficult to maintain with organic mulch or ground cover. This will reduce the work involved in trying to maintain those areas and will reduce the need for heavy watering.

Be sure to properly care for the turf grass you do have. Check with your local Extension Office for information on proper fertilizer and lime application.

Rain Barrels

Adding rain barrels to your landscaping will also help conserve water. Our friend, Rhonda Britton, from Water Wheels is an expert on this topic. Look for a more in-depth article on this topic in a future issue.
Happy Xeriscaping!
By: Lynne Hart

I have recently been reflecting back over the last year at Athens-Limestone Recycling Center (ALRC) and I am so excited about where we are today.

Did you know that one year ago the future of Athens-Limestone Recycling Center did not look so promising? Cuts had been made to the point that there was nowhere else to cut. Commodity prices had fallen; not for just one or two commodities (as is common) but ALL commodities prices had fallen as the experts had predicted. (Eighteen months before, experts warned to buckle your seatbelts and hold on, it is going to be a bumpy ride.)

I am so grateful to our residents that utilize our many drop-off services – whether it is our drop-off bins at Lucas Ferry or one of our 14 community collection centers throughout the county. I THANK YOU!!

To Mark Yarbrough and the County Commissioners that are always there to offer support, I THANK YOU!

To Mayor Marks, the Athens City Council, the staff of the Streets and Sanitation Department who are also always there to support us, I THANK YOU ALL!

To our more than 300 businesses that utilize our services, I THANK YOU!

I would also like to thank the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). If not for them and their financial support in the form of a Recycling Grant, we would not have been able to purchase a much needed forklift. Our old ones had outlived their useful life. A fully functioning forklift is vital to our operation.

ALRC was also able to purchase a much needed box truck and lift gate from the generous grant funding of ADEM. We had one of our trucks that had over 300,000 miles on it go down, and it was not worth fixing. Without this new addition, servicing our schools and businesses would have been a real challenge.

Another purchase that we were able to make only through the generosity of this grant from ADEM was a new canopy at our Lucas Ferry Road location. This will allow us to keep our baled material under cover while it awaits shipment. It will also offer shelter from the sun and rain to our employees while they are sorting recyclable material.

This ADEM Grant was for just over $70,000.00. To ADEM I THANK YOU!

THANK YOU ALL for realizing what a vital role Athens-Limestone Recycling Center plays in this community – a community I am glad to call home and to serve.
By: Ruby McCartney, Plant Manager Athens-Limestone Recycling Center

Our children are all precious. They start out innocent and have clear minds just ready to absorb everything in the world they see and hear.

We know that is true. How many of us have heard our children repeat something we never dreamed they heard us say!

So who is responsible for what information is absorbed? We are all responsible. Children watch their parents and other adults around them. They will repeat what they hear, take on the attitudes they witness, and care about things that the adults in their lives consider important. If they grow up witnessing kindness, they will learn to be kind. If they witness anger and bitterness, they will learn to be dissatisfied with life.

Children will learn about their environment in the same way. Someone must show them and teach them to appreciate the miracles of life and beauty that surround us. Often, children and adults alike are so busy or glued to electronic gadgets that beautiful sunsets, a sky full of stars, the intricacies of the flowers that bloom, or a pair of hawks soaring above are missed completely.

We forget to stop and listen to the water trickling over the rocks in a stream or the wind blowing through the leaves on the trees. Have you ever stopped to watch hard-working ants or a bird going back and forth gathering materials to build a nest? These things happen in our own back yards, yet we often ignore them because we are so busy.

In the same way, we can also become blind to the damage we may be doing to that same beautiful world. The ugliness and danger of litter on the roadsides, the garbage piled up in a slough on the river, or the household garbage that someone is burning down the road are often overlooked. If children are raised to believe all these things are normal, they may never develop a sense of responsibility for the natural wonders around them.

Children must be shown, and we must take the time to show them. In doing so, we ourselves may be reminded to appreciate the miracles and beauties of the world around us.

When I lived in West Limestone, I would drive along the river daily. If my granddaughters were with me, they knew to be quiet once we reached the river and look for wildlife. They would scan the water, grass, and sky to spot turtles, hawks, and other critters. It took just a few minutes, but it helped them to become conscious of what was living and sharing this planet with them. I now live in the city and I, too, must make a conscious effort to stop and share a beautiful sky or the smell of rain in the air with my other grandchildren who have come along.

Pick a day, turn off the cell phone, disconnect from the electronics, and take a walk in the woods or along a riverbank. Take time to look for turtles, fish, and birds along the way. Lay on your backs and watch the clouds go by, picking out familiar shapes. Use your imagination. Breathe the fresh air.

Appreciate the gift of the natural world. It is amazing and just waiting to be noticed.
By: Lynne Hart

In April 2017, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful celebrated 40 years as a Keep America Beautiful affiliate!

KALB celebrated that milestone with the public at our 9th annual Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO held at Friendship Church on April 29. It was a wonderful day!

If you would like to enjoy the many photos taken, please visit the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Facebook page.

Our History
KALB became an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in April of 1977. Our program was one of the very first to become a KAB affiliate. At that time, the organization was known as Athens-Limestone Clean Community. In 2002, the name changed to reflect our affiliation with Keep America Beautiful.

Education is the key to changing attitudes, and we continue to reach thousands of students and adults with our message of environmental stewardship.

The following is a list of Executive Coordinators who have led this organization:
77-80 Barbara Anderson
81-82 Doris Cox
82-96 Joyce Counter
96-98 Kim Gentry
98-99 Lynn Randolph
99-Present Lynne Hart

The coordinators before me have worked hard to change mindsets about litter and recycling. It is an honor to have my name included. Although I am not an Alabama native, I consider this my home, and I take great pride in Athens and Limestone County. I know that each of us would agree we could accomplish nothing without the thousands of wonderful volunteers who take up our challenge.

In 1977, a science club from Athens High School began a recycling fundraiser to raise money for out-of-town travel. The program was a huge success and became too large for the students to manage. Eventually, the Athens-Limestone Clean Community Commission (now KALB) was asked to take over the effort. The Commission agreed and organized the A-L Recycling Board to oversee the program. Recycling continued to grow making it necessary to move the center to its current location on Lucas Ferry Road in 2004. The center currently processes about 2,000 tons of materials per year.

I tip my hat to Mrs. Joann Christopher who was involved with KALB since its inception. When the Recycling Board was established, Joann took on the responsibility of board chair and kept that position for many years. The recycling program was her baby and she made sure it was a success and received community support. Thank you, Joann Christopher. We have all benefited from your hard work and dedication.

Also in the early 1980’s, the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board was formed to manage beautification programs. Over the years, there have been many improvements to our city cemeteries. One that stands out for me is Roselawn Cemetery. When I moved to Athens in 1999, the trees that line Hwy 31 and the landscaped entrances were not there. The Beautification Board acquired a grant to landscape the cemetery and continued to work on beautifying this and other city cemeteries throughout the years.

This board is also responsible for the triangle at Hwy. 72 and Clinton Street as well as the flowerpots and benches that adorn downtown Athens. At Christmas, this board places wreaths on the graves at the Old City Cemetery on Washington Street. Many early settlers to Athens are buried there.

Everyone involved with Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful should be very proud of the accomplishments seen over the past 40 years. I am referring to anyone who has volunteered, stopped littering, started recycling, became conscious of water and air quality, or has made any improvement in attitude toward the environment. Earth is the only planet we have. It behooves us all to take care of our “home.”
By: Lynne Hart

You may have noticed that something has changed around town. Something is missing and you just can’t put your finger on it.

It might just be that you are missing the Beautification Awards that graced properties of well-kept businesses, churches, and government buildings in Athens and Limestone County. They have vanished! So where have they gone?

Never fear! They have been removed so that those in need of cleaning and repair can get a bit of a facelift. The Athens-Limestone Beautification Board, a part of the KALB organization, also wanted to establish new guidelines for the award process. A committee met and discussed some of the needed changes, and has developed guidelines which should serve the community well.

Beginning now, YOU can be part of the award process! Here is how you can get in on the action to reward a lovely local business, church, or government facility.

New Guidelines for Beautification Awards
In an effort to recognize exemplary efforts to enhance the beauty of Athens and Limestone County, and to promote the increase and importance of green space, the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board will place Award signs on properties using the following process:

• The public, including business owners, will have the opportunity to nominate businesses, industries, churches, and government buildings located within Limestone County to be included in the judging process.
• Nominations will be accepted through May 15th this year. Nominations may be made online at www.KALBCares.com/beautification-awards or a form can be picked up at the KALB office. The Beautification Board will also have forms available at their booth at the Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO on April 29th at Friendship Church. The form is simple to complete; just be sure to have the address of the business available.
• Nominated businesses shall receive notification along with a copy of the judging criteria and time frame for judging.
• Volunteers will be recruited from outside of Limestone County to act as impartial judges.
• The top 20 properties with the highest scores will receive a Beautification Award sign to display on their property for one year.

Guidelines for Retention of Signs
• Signs are awarded for one year; however, if a business does not keep the property up to the standards of the award criteria, the board will notify that business giving them 14 days to correct stated problems. If the problems are not remedied in a timely manner, the board reserves the right to remove the Beautification Award sign prior to the end of one year.

• At the end of one year, this process will begin again and all businesses wishing to be judged must be nominated, including businesses that have previously received award signs.

So what are you waiting for? When you see a beautiful business, industry, church, school, or government building, jot down the information and nominate them. You may nominate as many as you like!

For more information on the Beautification Awards process, contact KALB.
By: Lynne Hart

We’re all familiar with Earth Day, but not all of us know its history.

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was witness to the devastating effects of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and was inspired to organize a “teach-in” to educate the public about the environment. The first official Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.

According to “History of Earth Day” by the Earth Day Network, “groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.”

Earth Day continues to be an event to celebrate and reflect and raise public awareness about pollution and how we can become part of the solution. This annual celebration, which has been ongoing for 47 years, has contributed the support needed to create the Environmental Protection Agency, passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act and several other environmental laws. Many have opinions regarding these agencies and their possible overreach; however, it remains imperative that we have effective laws in place that will prevent unscrupulous people from poisoning the planet for their own gain.

In an article for the EPA Journal reflecting on the 10th anniversary of Earth Day, Senator Nelson wrote, “It was on that day that Americans made it clear that they understood and were deeply concerned over the deterioration of our environment and the mindless dissipation of our resources.”

KALB’S CELEBRATION

Since 2009, KALB has been honoring Earth Day with a celebration for all to enjoy. We have worked hard to keep the event free of charge so everyone can come to see, learn, play, and enjoy.

Is this event just for kids? Absolutely NOT! While the children love the event, we have had many adults comment on how much they have learned and how much they look forward to future celebrations.

Come and learn about the importance of pollinators or why rain barrels are helpful and how you can build one. Get answers to gardening questions from local Master Gardeners, paint with an artist from Athens Arts League, get a free plant from the Athens-Limestone Beautification Board (while they last), and learn about Wheeler Wildlife Nature Preserve or hiking at Bankhead National Forest.

Check out Perfectly Posh naturally-based and cruelty-free bath and body products, Remembrances of Yours recycled jewelry and glassworks, Hinge Gifts & Home Accessories, or Sweet Home Soaps handcrafted soap and skincare items.
There will be plenty of live animals, including raptors from Wings to Soar, as well as crafts, games and hands-on activities.

Admission is free and there will be complimentary hot dogs and Pepsi, treats, and door prizes. Donations will be gladly accepted, of course!

KALB thanks our sponsors for supporting the Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO. Sponsors include Custom Polymers PET, Bank Independent, Clem Tire, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Crews Inc., Top Job Roofing, First National Bank, and the Mayor’s Youth Commission. These sponsors make this event possible.

We hope to see you there!
By: Lynne Hart