Hundreds celebrate Earth Day in Marietta

The 15th annual Marietta Earth Day celebration drew hundreds of people Saturday to Armory Square in downtown Marietta.

The annual event, which celebrates Earth Day seeks to increase awareness of the environment, included contests, crafts and exhibits from a variety of local groups and organizations.

Some of the exhibitors included Harrison Construction, which displayed its “Simply Green” display house – a model home with many environmentally conscious features – along with Southeastern Ohio Joint Solid Waste Management, North Country Trail Association, Muskingum River Parkway, Rural Action, the Friends of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center, the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley and others.

Dawn Wittberg, a volunteer organizer with Saturday’s event, said the sunny weather Saturday was perfect for the annual event and resulted in many people coming by the Armory on Front Street to view the exhibits and activities, which included tours of the Armory itself.

“We have all sorts of activities and all sorts of groups are here,” Wittberg said Saturday afternoon. “They are sharing their knowledge about how to be a good steward for the Earth.”

Kittie Clark, a member of the Friends of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, was volunteering with the organization’s exhibit and said the day had been a good one due to the positive weather and number of people coming through the event.

“The kids and their parents and their grandparents are really enjoying themselves,” she said.

Clark was glad to see the Marietta celebration has been going on for 15 years and remains of interest to the community.

“Any time you can learn something about the environment and have fun doing it, it’s a positive thing,” she said.

While Earth Day is officially celebrated on Tuesday, a couple of other local events will mark the holiday in Parkersburg.

At West Virginia University at Parkersburg, the Earth Week Film Festival will be Monday beginning at 11 a.m. in the Student Lounge. Movie showings will include “Coal Country” at 11 a.m., “A Forest Returns” at 12:30 p.m., “Kilowatt Ours – A Plan to Re-energize America” at 2 p.m., and “Coal Country” at 7 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the WVU-P Environmental Action Group.

WVU-P will also host the Earth Day Expo from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday in the college activities center, which will be free and open to the public. There will be children’s crafts, exhibits and presentations by a variety of groups and organizations. The West Virginia Division of Forestry will also be giving away free tree seedlings during the expo.

The Parkersburg Art Center will also be holding an Earth Day celebration from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 26 at the art center at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg.

The event will feature exhibits and demonstrations by local artists and organizations, along with activities like creating recycled art, music, stories and other attractions. There will also be a Recycled Art Competition for first- through eighth-graders, with sign-up on the day of the event.

For adults, there will be several speakers, including JJ Barrett (Wood County Master Gardeners), Shane Weekley (Jackson County Chapter of the Beekeepers Association), Montana Lorraine (Lala Land & Open Hands Gallery), Coach Mark McCullough (Open Hands Gallery) and Luci Blake (Organic Gardening Expert).