Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Earth Day Propels Daily Dose of Green

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Earth Day Propels Daily Dose of Green

Article excerpt

Byline: Jessie-Lynne Kerr, Times-Union staff writer

There was lots to love about our planet Earth at The Jacksonville Landing yesterday during the annual Earth Day community celebration.

Under a burning bright sun with the cooling waters of the St. Johns River flowing by, hundreds of people sauntered by the many booths set up by government agencies and a host of private groups that encouraged adopting Earth-friendly ways.

The hottest at the celebration could have been the two dozen young girls from the Let's Dance group in Ponte Vedra Beach who performed an energetic dance routine in the center courtyard.

Or maybe it was the flight suit-clad young men from a helicopter squadron at Jacksonville Naval Air Station who were ready to tell anyone who asked how all units at Jacksonville NAS are committed to protect not only our country but the environment, too.

Smart spectators sought out the tree-shaded seats before a small stage where Jean Schubert, curator of natural sciences at the Museum of Science and History, told them about Gooder, a 13-year-old gopher tortoise she held in her hands.

Gooder, she said, performs important home-building services for part of the animal kingdom, thanks to its strong front legs, which come in handy when digging holes in the ground for critters' homes.

Melanie Pratt and Tabatha Wooten were among a group of AT&T employees who had a booth filled with animal stickers for people young and old to use to decorate binders.

"This is a blast," Pratt said. "It's the first time we've done this."

Wooten said that not only did youngsters stop by to decorate binders with stickers, but so did mothers who are keeping scrapbooks of their children's lives.

At the Duval County Extension Service booth, Julia Canipelli, a volunteer master gardener who usually gives people advice on their lawns and gardens, had several activities for children. One used a paper plate, pasta shapes and glue to represent the different stages of a butterfly. …

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