Sunday, April 25, 1999

Even the weather cooperates for Earth Day observation

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It was a great day to celebrate Earth Day.

        The Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition held its annual Earth Day event at Sawyer Point on Saturday amid a brisk wind, powder blue skies and sunshine. This year's theme was “One Earth ... One Chance.”

        “This is the time since we've held this event” that the weather was so nice, said Deborah Vorst, director of the coalition.

        “I think people are more environmentally aware now than ever before,” said Pat Cummings of the Cincinnati Park Board. “So, I think many people are observing (Earth Day), whether it be here or at their homes planting flowers or pulling up weeds.”

        More than 50 exhibitors from environmental groups, government agencies and businesses had booths set up. The event also featured food, craft and art vendors.

        Activists handed out brochures, pamphlets and fliers, while children colored Earth Day messages on recyclable grocery bags.

        And while getting the message out to adults was important, educating children about taking care of the environment was a major focus of the event.

        “Somewhere between adolescence and adulthood we lose our focus on preserving our environment,” said Sue Walpole, of Fluor Daniel Fernald. “We've got to work harder at bridging that gap.”

        The day's events kicked off with a one-hour nature walk conducted by the Cincinnati Park Board naturalist, followed later on by a tree planting ceremony and big-cat show sponsored by the Cincinnati Zoo.

        There was also a fashion show featuring models wearing clothes made of recycled materials.

        Children's activities included a scavenger hunt, face painting and visits with Earth Day mascots.

        “Our hope is that we can keep expanding this event every year,” said Ms. Walpole. “We are trying to encourage more businesses and citizens to come out, so that maybe by next year when Earth Day celebrates its 30th anniversary we can draw a crowd of about 20,000 people.”


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