YMCA invites participation in Earth Day Event

Published 1:29 am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Local residents are in the midst of a Keep Washington Parish Beautiful project and the Cassidy Park Museums are further encouraging environmental stewardship via their Mother Earth Circle, the Bogalusa YMCA has announced that its first Earth Day celebration will take place April 19-22.

Project Coordinator Emma Dixon said the plans for the “grassroots, proactive effort to address the community’s environmental issues” are open for suggestion. So far they include a Reading for the Earth contest and an exhibit, book display and showing of the movie version of “The Lorax,” a children’s story on environmental responsibility written by Dr. Seuss, at branches of the Washington Parish Library.

“We think it is important to teach children to be good future stewards of the planet and to develop an appreciation for nature and learn how to protect mother earth,” she said.

Dixon said Bogalusa Director Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture Landon Tims has agreed to forward a National Earth Day proclamation to Mayor Charles Mizell and to include water conservation tips on the April water bills.

Entergy, the LSU AgCenter, the Sierra Club and others are also on board, she said.

Dixon invites others to join her in the project. She has just begun compiling her wish list.

Dixon wants to provide tips on water conservation in order to help low-income and elderly residents reduce their water bills; work with a non-profit organization to acquire and distribute “free” energy-saving light bulbs in order to reduce the cost of utility bills, the consumption of energy and the local energy footprint; implement a plastic bottle and container recycling project and couple it with placement of recycling bins at local churches and schools; start a community garden and partner with the local LSU Ag Center Master Gardener program to obtain donations of trees, flowers, fruits and vegetables for the garden.

Project goals so far also include the planting of trees, shrubs and flowers at the YMCA and Bogalusa Little League Park on Avenue U, and erection of a privacy fence that would include a mural and thereby also serve as a community art project for local youth.

Dixon urges widespread participation in the first Bogalusa YMCA Earth Day festivities, and strongly encourages everyone with additional ideas or who wants to get involved to contact her at 735-8035 or online at emeralddixon@hotmail. com.