Lawrence County Earth Day 2017

Ellwood City Community Enrichment (ECCE), a subsidiary of the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce, was proud to host Lawrence County Earth Day in Ewing Park, Ellwood City!

Browse Earth Day photos below the article written by Bill Foley!

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”  

– Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring and Pittsburgh native

Hundreds crowd Ewing Park for Lawrence County Earth Day

ELLWOOD CITY — Her children gathered under her protective canopy of white oaks, silver maples and elms, spread across her blades of grass darkening and her shoots of dandelions announcing her gentle arrival of spring, and aside her neighborly creek, replenished by her overnight rains.

She, Mother Earth, was celebrated here in Ewing Park, her chilly morning air greeted warmly by Levi Smith, of Portersville; Samantha Castor, of Grove City; Laura Huffman, of North Sewickley Township; Sadie Demco, of Shenango Township; Susan Dexter, of New Castle; and hundreds upon hundreds of Ellwood City residents.

“Every year the Lawrence County Earth Day festival gets bigger and bigger,” said Smith, a 14-year-old member of Boy Scout Troop 806, of Ellwood City, “and more people come every year.”

Smith and fellow Scouts spent April 22 – this, the Lawrence County Earth Day in Ewing Park — manning four disposal stations and educating visitors about recycling. Other organizations distributed seeds and seedlings, created peanut-butter pine-cone bird feeders, presented shows on black bears, crocodiles and eels and dispersed environmental educational materials to those who want to help protect and preserve Mother Earth’s gifts.

“This year we are here to teach the difference between compost, recyclables and garbage rather than just, like, wasting all the plastic water bottles and throwing them in the garbage,” Smith said. “We can recycle them and use them again.”

Ellwood City Community Enrichment, a subsidiary of the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce, staged Lawrence County Earth Day, which under volunteer coordinator Jillian D’Amico featured its first Trashion Show – whose ten contestants wore clothing made entirely of garbage.


“We have only one Earth, and we have to take care of it”

More than 1 billion people from up to 190 countries globally were expected to participate in Earth Day.

“We have only one Earth, and we have to take care of it,” D’Amico said before the Trashion Show. “Earth Day is such a great way to educate the public about all the different ways we can take care of our Earth.”

Across the carpeting of autumn’s brown leaves remaining in Ewing Park, Thomas Lane, of Beaver Falls, was teaching Castor, 23, how to use a drawl knife to shave her own walking stick from a 6-foot section of silver maple.

Earth Day lessons, she says, should be repeated every day.

“Lead by example,” she said. “I always reuse bags when I am grocery shopping. I walked to class whenever I was in school. Use reusable water bottles. Simple things like that, things that a lot of people just take for granted. I think we are becoming more aware of how what we do on a daily basis can impact the future.”

Huffman was clutching one of the 200 free bundles of blue spruce, Douglas fir and white dogwood seedlings distributed by Stacy Court, an employee of INMETCO, the largest sponsor of Lawrence County Earth Day.

The planet, Huffman said, has become less healthy during her lifetime.

“I think a lot of that has to do with the things that are floating in our air and in our water,” Huffman said. “I think that the young kids who are here, they need to see that people care. I think the younger generation needs to see that the adults in their lives are role models.”

Inside one of Ewing Park’s crowded pavilions, Dexter was showing Demco, 14, how to weave and hand-spin sheep’s wool dyed with goldenrod flowers and black walnut hulls.

“I spend a lot of time outside,” Demco said. “I go hiking and look for animals in the woods. There are a lot of deer, and I just walk through and they run. It’s really cool to watch them. So I hope the Earth doesn’t become a wreck.”


“I think we are starting to see the tide turn”

Dexter said she also worries about the Earth’s health.

“There is just so much pollution now,” she said. “But I think we are starting to see the tide turn and some of it is going away. But some of it is just shifting to other countries. If our pollution levels here are lower but China’s is higher, it’s still all one Earth. We are all connected. What we do here affects everyone else.”

Megan Squicquero was next in line to receive a seedling from Court, the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce’s first vice president, and said she is planning a planting project with her niece and nephew.

Like many visitors to Lawrence County Earth Day, she said she too could do more to protect the planet.

“Too many pollutants and litter,” said Squicquero, of Ellwood City. “I worry about litter a lot. I don’t think about pollutants as much as I should. I try to make healthier choices. I use essential oils when I can over drug-store options.”


“Birds are going to come and eat the seeds”

Youngster Beth Ann Gladman also found a natural way to create her first peanut-butter-filled pine-cone bird feeder — with the help of Dorothy Buquo, of Ellwood City.

“It felt really nice making it,” she said. “I am going to hang it on a tree in my yard. Birds are going to come and eat the seeds.”

Caroline Golmic, president of the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce, was elated at the hundreds of visitors who meandered among the nearly 30 displays, particularly in light of the 43-degree temperature.

“It’s a great turnout,” said Golmic, holding her own recycled mug. “It is awesome to see the benches filled with kids. Jillian and her committee did an awesome job putting everything together. I think this is great for our community and to be able to host it for Lawrence County here in Ellwood City.”

Raymond Santillo, executive director of the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce, said he sees progress in the environment in the years since he was a child.

“We grew up with smog and soot and oil slicks in the rivers and didn’t have the safety requirements that we have today,” Santillo said. “The kids in school learn a lot more about protecting the environment than we did, but I think the awareness is hitting all age groups.”


D’Amico “really paid attention to all of the details”

That awareness is being publicized by D’Amico, whom Court lauded for organizing her first Lawrence County Earth Day.

D’Amico, who earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science in 2013 from Allegheny College in Meadville, returned to Ellwood City from North Carolina last fall.

“Jillian, being in charge of it this year, really paid attention to all of the details,” Court said. “With her degree and being a wonderful organizer, and all the exhibits she brought in, I can’t say enough about her.”

Article and Photos credited to Bill Foley, ECACC Journalist.