Delaware organizations are offering a variety of ways to celebrate Earth Day Friday and Saturday.
New Castle County is inviting residents to participate in the installation Friday — which is Earth Day — of a new rain garden, with guests helping to plant 600 native plants there.
The Aquatic Resources Education Center in Smyrna will offer Saturday “Marsh Madness” tours of the tidal salt marsh.
Here are the details.
New rain garden
Show up Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Claymont Library, and you will be able to help DNREC Sec. Shawn Garvin and others install a new rain garden at the Claymont Library at 400 Lenape Way.
The strategically placed rain garden is designed to reduce runoff and flooding as well as filter pollutants carried in storm water runoff.
Rain gardens create excellent habitat for local birds, butterflies, and bees.
The group will install 600 native plants, which are known to survive local weather extremes, in addition to supporting wildlife in various ways. The county will have gloves and tools on hand for those who would like to help.
Also participating will be Vanessa Phillips, chief administrative officer of New Castle County; John Cartier, District 8 council member; Rich Hall, general manager of New Castle County Department of Land Use; Tracy Surles, general manager of New Castle County Department of Public Works; and Mike Harris, stormwater & environmental compliance manager, New Castle County Department of Public Works.
Salt marsh tours
The DNREC Aquatic Resources Education Center in Smyrna will offer free one-hour salt marsh tours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Tony Florio Woodland Beach Wildlife Area near Smyrna.
Educators from the Aquatic Resources Education Center will give participants a close-up view of the salt marsh and aquatic life found there.
The tours are open to all ages, but pre-registration is required. To register, email [email protected].
West Side events
West Side Grows Together, the Urban Bike Project of Wilmington, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and City of Wilmington will feature several events.
For the second year, the Wilmington Community Cleanup Day and West Side Grows’ Love Your Park Day & Open Streets programs will coincide, giving residents a choice of Earth Day celebrations and activities to choose from.
The Fourth & Rodney Tot Lot, Cornell Street Tot Lot, Woodland Park, Father Tucker, Tilton Park and Cool Springs Park all will host Love Your Park day cleanups Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sign up to help here.
Open Streets Wilmington is a collaborative initiative of Urban Bike Project, West Side Grows, and Open Streets Wilmington. The program closes streets to cars, buses and other vehicles to allow pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, skateboarders and more to enjoy them.
On Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Market Street between 4th and 10th Streets will be closed. The event also will feature plant giveaways, crafts for children, a scavenger hunt, outdoor yoga and fitness classes, free bike rentals, children’s activities and more.
“People get so creative with how they use the street space –they set up picnics. They dance. They create sidewalk chalk art,” said Laura Wilburn, executive director of the Urban Bike Project of Wilmington. “Open Streets events promote wellness of the mind and body, and we know how connected that is with the wellness of our community’s air and water.”
Open Streets Wilmington locations rotate throughout the City to highlight a different Wilmington neighborhood each month through October. For future Open Streets dates, locations, and activities visit openstreetswilmington.org.
New Castle litter pick-up
Gov. John Carney and New Castle Mayor Michael Quaranta will meet at 10 a.m. Friday to pick up litter near Dobbinsville Park in New Castle.
The City of New Castle is a member of the Delaware Anti-Litter Alliance. The alliance is a group of Delaware towns, cities and organizations pledged to encourage their residents and members to not litter, to pursue anti-litter policies, and to hold at least one litter cleanup each year – with the goal of reducing litter in Delaware over time.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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