Green to go play this Earth Day

Published 10:31 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

Families will enjoy scenic tours and other activities this weekend in celebration of Suffolk’s lush greenery.

The Suffolk Earth and Arts Festival will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, 3488 Godwin Blvd. Live music, food trucks, lawn games, artisans, a plant sale, workshops and more are on the agenda.

The free workshops will include butterflies, beekeeping, plant propagation, night sky photography, cooking with herbs and the Suffolk Downtown Arts Initiative.

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On Sunday, “Earth Day on the Nansemond” will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at Sleepy Hole Park, 4616 Sleepy Hole Road. The event is sponsored by Suffolk Parks and Recreation, Keep Suffolk Beautiful and the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance.

Earth Day has been celebrated annually on April 22 since 1970 and has become a day of action for more than one billion people across the world to promote environmental stewardship, according to earthday.org.

Keep Suffolk Beautiful will share some remarks at 2 p.m., followed by a dedication ceremony at 2:15 p.m. for an arboretum between the road and pier. This natural buffer against erosion thrives with 500 plants, tree and shrubs spanning 100 native species, according to NRPA President Elizabeth Taraski.

“The point behind this is so people can see the native trees and shrubs that they can plant on their own properties,” Taraski said in a phone interview.

Children will leap in the bounce house and enjoy arts and crafts with the Suffolk Art Gallery, using recycled bottle caps for works of art. There will be a scavenger hunt for both adults and children, and the first 25 to finish the hunt will win prizes.

Parks and Recreation will distribute 100 native trees on a first-come, first-served basis for attendees to take home, according to Marketing Specialist Jaimi Russell.

Canoe tours will be held at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Each tour will launch from the pier after 15 minutes of training for 30-minute rides with striking views from the water.

“It’s going to be a great day to come together and celebrate Earth Day,” Russell said in a phone interview.

Space on the canoes is limited, and registration is required. Call 514-7258 or 478-8846 to register or visit facebook.com/SuffolkParksandRec for other information.