We knew Earth Day was going to be awesome. Any day when you are surrounded by people who care about the environment is going to have an incredible vibe. But when there are 2,800 of those people in Crews Lake Park, whoa!
Our Earth Day event is always the fourth Saturday in April at Crews Lake Park, and this year it fell on the actual Earth Day. There were so many things going on that day with the various science marches, the Seafood Festival in New Port Richey and the Blueberry Festival in Brooksville. Not going to lie, we were a little nervous and thought our numbers might be down. That was not the case. You all came out and showed lots of love for this 22 year old event, and there was a 37% increase in attendance.
There were 35 vendors including the Water Ventures Learning Lab, Florida Native Plants, and Pasco Master Gardeners. Each year we try to add some new things to switch it up a bit. We jumped on the rock decorating bandwagon and it was a huge hit, along with the upcycled tic-tac-toe boards with painted ladybugs and bumblebees. Everyone loved the addition of Rick’s Raptor Rescue. This year Spike the 10 foot alligator rescued by Croc Encounters couldn’t make it, but he sent his girlfriend Bertha as a representative.
There was once again a household hazardous waste collection. There were 141 people that participated, which was an increase of 8% from 2016. Lots of items were collected including:
3740 lbs. of latex paint
300 lbs. of batteries
7,155 lbs. of electronics
5,000 lbs. of paper shredding
380 lbs. of poison
This event has been a success for so many years thanks to the love and effort from Lottie Kelley, the Event Chair. She puts in countless hours to ensure that this is not only a fun family event, but also an environmental one that educates the public on how they too can make a difference.
Of course we have to give a quick shout out to our sponsors: Covanta Pasco, Tobacco Free Florida, and JMG Engineering. Thanks for being awesome and believing in our cause. This is an annual event, and is a partnership among Covanta Pasco Inc.; Keep Pasco Beautiful; Pasco County Utilities; Pasco County Recycling and Education; Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources; Pasco County UF|IFAS Extension and the Pasco County School Board.
Earth Day in 2018 will be April 21. Looking forward to seeing old tree hugging friends and making new ones.