Celebrating our Earth

‘Earth Matters Month’ promotes good stewardship

April has been proclaimed “Earth Matters Month” in Blount County. A smorgasbord of activities have been planned all over Blount to celebrate the earth, education the community and have some Earth Day fun.

Centerpiece of Earth Matters Month is Earth Round-Up, a community event on Saturday, April 24, starting with morning clean-up and ending with an evening celebration of fellowship, music, food and learning opportunities at Maryville College.

•Through April 15: Blount County Library Displays -- Visit the library rotunda to see displays from Keep Blount Beautiful, Little River Watershed Association and Blount-Friendly Landscaping Program and Blount County Soil Conservation District.

•April 1-22: Juried Outdoor ECO-Sculpture by Maryville Arts Coalition Exhibition and Competition -- Best of Show award is $2,000 for this art competition. For information and registration, visit www.Maryvilleartwalk.com. Deadline is April 22.

•April 12-16: Environmental Education Week “Lunch and Learn” -- Blount County Library Shakespeare Garden at noon each day. Bring your lunch or drop in for speakers and discussions on environmental matters.

•April 15: Recycling Bin Giveaway by Alcoa Inc. -- Keep Blount Beautiful will give away one recycling bin per family from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, in the parking lot of the Maryville Daily Times, 307 E. Harper Ave. Call Keep Blount Beautiful at 865-681-4809.

•April 16-30: Blount County Library Displays -- Visit the Blount Library rotunda and displays about Earth Roundup, Foothills Land Conservancy, and the Blount County Storm Water Program.

•April 20: Presentation on Green Infrastructure -- Learn more about the county planning process and how you can help move forward with green infrastructure. The presentation is by John Lamb, Blount County Director of Planning in Blount County at the Blount County Public Library at 7 p.m.

•April 22 (Earth Day): LEED Certification Plan at Maryville College / Mountain Challenge -- At 11:30 a.m. on Earth Day, there is a ceremony to recognize the start of energy efficient and environmentally friendly improvements to Maryville College’s 134-year-old Crawford House, home to Mountain Challenge, to make it eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

•April 22 (Earth Day): “No Impact Man” -- A showing of the Sundance award-winning film based on Colin Beavan’s experience that resulted in the book, “No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process.” The free film, popcorn and discussion will be at 5:15 p.m. in the Maryville College Lawson Auditorium. Sponsored by Keep Blount Beautiful and Center for Strong Communities. Call 865-273-8894 for information. View the trailer at www.noimpactdoc.com.

•April 24: Earth Roundup Morning Cleanup -- Volunteers are needed for Cleanup, with groups or individuals welcome. Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday morning at the Bicentennial Park Pavilion behind the Blount County Courthouse. Clean-up activities officially end at 2 p.m. Groups of 10 or more may pre-register by calling 865-681-4809.

•April 24: Earth Roundup - Community Festival -- The centerpiece of the celebrations gets started at 5 p.m. at Maryville College. Join in for the premier Earth Day celebration in Blount County, with music, environmental learning displays, children’s activities, demonstrations, food vendors, door prizes and featuring music from Pistol Creek Catch of the Day. Those who volunteer for the Morning Clean-up may come to the VIP tent for special treats. Activities end at 8 p.m.

•April 30: Pistol Creek Wetland Center -- The City of Maryville will dedicate the new Wetland Center, and it will be open to the public beginning Saturday, May 1. Come enjoy the 12.3 acre wetland at the intersection of Sandy Spring and Montvale Station roads, which features an outdoor classroom and 1200-ft. boardwalk. Schools and other educational endeavors may reserve the space by calling 865-273-3406. It is a small walking space, so groups of 10 or more should call to schedule a visit.

•April 30 - May 1: Townsend Spring Festival and Old Timers’ Day -- Wildflower walks and garden tours, storytelling, Appalachian skills, Bluegrass music, good food and more. For information, call 865-448-6134 or link to: www.smokymountains.org.

•May 1: Blount-Friendly Landscaping Workshop -- The Blount County Soil Conservation District and UT Extension are partnering to offer a series of Homeowner Education Workshops. These workshops will focus on reducing use of pesticides and fertilizers, using native plants, conserving water, and attracting wildlife to gardens and landscapes. The May 1 workshop is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register, call Lisa Phipps at 865-681-5060.

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