YMCA to host ‘Earth Day’

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2016

Next Friday, the Bogalusa YMCA will host an Earth Day celebration with a tree planting, games, speakers and giveaways.

The event kicks off at 2 p.m. and is open to everyone in the community.

YMCA director Toni St. Philip said area kids and volunteers will help plant 10 fruit trees near the sidewalk. The trees will produce fruit for people and animals, she said.

“How good would it look, when you’re walking by the YMCA and see a ripe piece of fruit, to just take it,” asked Bobbye Crawford, a volunteer gardener with the Y. “And this way, they don’t have to feel guilty taking it.”

The fruit varieties will include plum, apple and peach trees. After the trees are planted, St. Philip said the Y plans to install some benches nearby.

The Y had an Earth Day program last year where they launched a small garden. This program will expand that idea to the front of the building. In addition to the trees, flowers will be planted and animal feeders and birdbaths will also be installed.

St. Philip said the birdbaths are a way to reduce animal deaths in the pool.

“There is no water supply out here,” she said. “There’s no container of water anywhere. The fountain that used to be out there has been dry for years, and we’re finding in the summertime (a lot of animals are in) our pool trying to get water, and they’re not finding a way out.”

Crawford said the Y is hoping members of the community can donate some feeders and birdbaths.

“We’re looking for anybody who has any extra bird feeders or butterfly feeders or squirrel feeders or bird seed or anything they want to donate to the critters in our area,” she said. “We also need some birdbaths.”

Crawford said she’s looked for birdbaths in area stores but hasn’t found any.

“Someone might have a stray birdbath or two in their yard they might be willing to donate,” she said. “I thought maybe people might sometimes change the décor in their yard or they might want to buy us a birdbath. The critters need food and they desperately need water.”

In addition, St. Philip said master gardeners Reggie Davis and his wife, Dana, will present gardening tips and International Paper will set up a display on cardboard recycling.

“And also, we will be receiving a check from them for Earth Day,” she said. “They are sponsoring Earth Day for us.”

Finally, the YMCA will host a trash pick-up game.

“It’s the trash treasure hunt,” Crawford said. “What we’re going to do is put stars or something on the trash laying in the field out there.”

Kids who find stars on their trash will win prizes, which will be flowers they can take home and plant in their own yards.