MILTON, Ga. – About 1,400 people attended Milton’s fourth annual Earth Day Festival Saturday, April 20, up about 200 from last year. Hosted by the city of Milton and Milton Grows Green, the event took place in Crabapple at newly christened Friendship Community Park.
“Starting up a new city, we had no traditions,” said Milton Councilmember Bill Lusk. “This has just grown exponentially. It helps raise awareness for things very important to the city.”
Lusk and Councilmember Karen Thurman were on hand to recognize Milton’s new designation as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, which was presented at the Earth Day Festival.
As part of the day’s events, members of the Birmingham Falls Elementary School Green Team helped Milton City Arborist Mark Law plant two dogwood trees at the park.
Fourth-grader Kaine Dudley helped fill in dirt around the new trees. He said he signed himself up to be a Green Team member.
“I like to recycle,” he said.
One of the Green Team’s responsibilities is to empty the recycle bins around the school so everything is disposed of properly. In addition, the group has planted a garden. At the end of the year, they’ll have a celebration and eat what they’ve grown.
People learned more about how they can care for the Earth and be kind to the environment through plant, animal and environmental demonstrations. The event also featured musical entertainment, booths from community organizations and area businesses and children’s games.
Many volunteers from the Young Men’s Service League of Milton High School, Boy Scout Troop 3000, Verizon Wireless and Hopewell Middle School’s Junior Beta Club also helped out.
Cambridge High School sophomore Sarah Ellison has been working with the city of Milton and Milton Grows Green to help complete the requirements for the National Wildlife Federation Habitat Community distinction.
“[They] needed new leadership,” said Ellison.
She worked at the Milton Grows Green booth at Earth Day explaining to the public how to certify backyards, businesses and churches. Ellison’s work is helping her earn her Girl Scout Gold Award.
The Earth Day Festival is one of the biggest events that the Milton Grows Green committee, made up of Milton citizens, puts on each year.
This article was published in the Milton Herald May 1, 2013 edition