Lake Mishnock Preservation Association

Home | Gypsy Moths In Rhode Island | Pasta Dinner Fundraiser 2017 | What's New? | Pasta Dinners | Thanks to our raffle donors 2017 | State Contacts for Lakes and Ponds 2016 | Our Invitation To Join | Recent and Upcoming Events | What is the Rhode Island DEM? What do they do? | Constitution and Bylaws of LMPA | The Beginning | Beautiful yards harm lakes | Directors and Officers | Membership Application Form | Lake History | Scientific Information | Location | Archives | Injured Wildlife

Earthday 2007

04/28/2007

Keeping it green in West Greenwich

By NICOLE WIETRAK

 


WEST GREENWICH - With the warm sun shining deep in the middle of the heavily forested town of West Greenwich, it was clear Sunday was a splendid day to celebrate the Earth.

 

Last weekend the West Greenwich Land Trust and Louttit Library held their third annual Earth Day celebration, featuring everything from farm animals, to a rock wall to the many booths set up for viewing and learning.

For the past two years residents braved rain and cold temperatures during the Earth Day celebrations but this year there was nothing but sunshine and blue skies.

"Well, it's about time," said Land Trust member Diana Rotelli, in regards to Saturday's mild weather, as she guided Ringo, a 10-year-old miniature horse, through a crowd of children. "We really deserve it."

Earth Day, which celebrated its 37th annual campaign this year, involved 12,000 organizations in 174 countries across the globe, all with the common goal of taking responsibility for a clean and healthy environment.

Rotelli, a first grade teacher at Wawaloam Elementary School, said this year West Greenwich residents organized into neighborhood teams and helped clean their respective areas throughout the week and went full-force with their efforts throughout the weekend.

"We covered a lot more territory that way," she said.

Rotelli said she hoped neighborhood clean-ups become a habit for residents and not solely an activity that take place once a year.

"We're all stewards of the Earth," she said. "We're also trying to do a lot more with eco-friendly industry instead of reverting to commercialism."

Adults weren't the only ones participating in the town's beautification Sunday.

"We swept the whole road and then we went in the woods and got all the cans out of it," said 14-year-old Isabella Vergun, as she stood beside her cleaning buddies Jocelyn Hellested, 12, and Elizabeth Spink, 14. "It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it."

One of the day's main attractions featured Herman the hen and her keeper, 4-H Club member Justin Salisbury, 13, who spent most of Sunday with Herman perched on his shoulder.

"Herman is really a girl," explained Salisbury. "When Herman came out of the incubator, my mom said, 'hi Herman,' and so the name just kind of stuck."

Herman, who is almost one year old, was the lone survivor of all his egged brothers and sisters, making her all the more special, Salisbury said.

"Man, does she love worms," he said as Herman attempted to take flight from his shoulder at the mere mention of the creepy crawlers. "He'll eat the worms right out of my hand."

Also at the event was Heidi Wright, a 4-H Club leader and owner of Hidden Meadows Farm on Breakheart Hill Road in West Greenwich. The 200-acre farm has been in her family for over 60 years and is home to many types of wildlife including wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, song birds, birds of prey, foxes and coyotes.

"We're all about the Earth," said Wright, as she manned her booth piled with fresh maple syrup and homemade goat's milk soap.

Llamas Willoughby and Safwa roamed around in the shade and munched on grass as 1-and-a-half-year-old Brendan Pratt mustered up all his courage to reach out and touch the strange looking creatures.

"He's having a great time today," said dad and West Greenwich resident Jim Pratt. "He's just having a ball."

Tim Leyden from Big John Leyden's Tree Farm was on hand to provide residents with a free Colorado Blue Spruce tree sapling to plant in their own yards to help replenish the Earth's forests.

"We encourage everyone to plant a tree on Earth Day," he said.

In the basement of the Louttit Library, Exeter-West Greenwich students were gathered to accept awards for their Earth Day essays, posters and digital photography contest.

Land Trust member Cynthia Walsh and Library Director Elsie Oltedale presented the winners with awards and certificates.

According to Walsh, the Land Trust received 230 posters from third, fourth and fifth graders at the elementary schools, along with 40 photographs. Within all the art projects was the message that cleaning up the world is a long-term goal, not just something to think about once a year.

"The kids did a great job," said Walsh, "I think that it was a great lesson for them."

E-WG High School junior Kimberly Dufresne, who won the award for best photo caption, had this to say about her photograph of Fry Pond: "Often, local wildlife is overlooked. We do not appreciate the daily beauty around us as readily as a dramatic imagery from afar. Fry Pond is a peaceful, natural location where wildlife is allowed to flourish. Its simple beauty is both profound and amazing."


 

ŠThe Coventry Courier 2007