April 19, 2018

Towns and organizations across the Danbury area will hold numerous events this weekend in celebration of Earth Day, which was established in 1970 to promote sustainability and protest the destruction of the environment.BETHELVENDORS, ARTISTS FEATURED IN ANNUAL CELEBRATIONVendors, artists and nature lovers will take to the Municipal Center lawn Saturday for the annual Bethel Community Earth Day celebration.The event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., aims to bring together the community in support the environment and to recognize and promote businesses, nonprofit groups and individuals who support green initiatives. Attendees will be able to enjoy vendors, educators, nonprofit organizations, musicians, animals and more.The town, the Parks and Recreation Department and the First Congregational Church of Bethel are sponsoring the event. Residents can donate and earn special perks online.BETHELRELIGIOUS LEADERS TO DISCUSS PROTECTING EARTHThe Friends of the Bethel Public Library is hosting an interfaith panel discussion on the relationships among God, humanity and the natural world at 2 p.m. Sunday.This unique program, “Ecotheology: Caring for and Connecting with Our Earth,” features speakers sharing how their religions encourage them to protect the planet.The panelists include Geshe Lobsang Dhargey, resident teacher at Do Ngak Kunphen Ling Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace in Redding; Jane Ellingwood, of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, in Bethel; and Eman Beshtawii, founder and director of the Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown.The speakers will discuss the interconnectedness of living beings and all aspects of nature, as well as the integrity or worth of the non-human world. Questions from attendees will be encouraged.Registration for the program is required by visiting www.bethellibrary.org or by calling 203-794-8756 x4.BROOKFIELDRECYCLE OLD ELECTRONICSCommunity members are encouraged to recycle old electronics from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Center School.Televisions, monitors, computers, laptops, server equipment, printers, copiers, scanners, power cords, rechargeable batteries, radios, telephones, remote controls, microwaves and more will be accepted.Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield and Sherman residents are invited to the event, which is sponsored by the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority.ANNUAL EVENT TO BE HELD AT GURSKIThe public can plant trees and enjoy nature at the annual Earth Day and Arbor Day event at the Gurski Homestead from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday.Attendees can learn about pollinators, plant in the pollinator and flower garden, and take trees and pollinator seeds home. A member of Shakespeare’s Garden will also discuss gardening techniques.Families will also be able to hike Gurski and Williams Park.The Brookfield Conservation Commission is hosting the event.DANBURYWCSU HOSTS HIKES, EXHIBITSWestern Connecticut State University will host an Earth Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday featuring nature hikes, exhibits and interactive activities at the Westside Nature Preserve on the university’s Westside campus.The event, sponsored by Praxair, Inc., and organized by the WCSU Science Education Outreach Office as part of the Finding Our Way program, will allow participants to take guided tours of the Westside Nature Preserve. Hikers will observe vernal pools, tree species and emerging plant life.Interactive exhibits will allow visitors to explore the natural wonders of insects, fungi and bacteria, including tables where they will view insect life, identify tick species under a microscope and create art with maggots.Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided. Visitors should proceed on University Boulevard from the Westside campus entrance, continuing beyond the O’Neill Center and just beyond a university maintenance garage. Signage will direct visitors to parking along the roadside and access by foot to the Westside Nature Preserve entrance kiosk.The event is designed especially to provide outdoor learning experiences for families with children of middle school age.KENTEARTH DAY HIKE SCHEDULEDThe Litchfield Hills Audubon Society is hosting an Earth Day hike at 10 a.m. on Sunday at Macedonia Brook State Park.Participants are asked to meet on the parking area. For more information or directions, call Diane Edwards at 860-309-5139.WASHINGTONSERIES OF EVENTS SCHEDULEDThe Washington Environmental Council will hold its annual Earth Day Roadside Cleanup, as well as its Earth Day 5K, on Saturday.Residents, businesses and community groups are also invited to “Adopt a Road” and clean up one or more roads during Earth Week. Interested individuals should email their name and road selection to wec-ct@charter.net. A list of remaining roads is available at http://www.wec-ct.org/newsevents/earthday.Complementary trash bags will be available in the foyer at Bryan Memorial Town Hall all week. Trash collected as part of the event may be put in the dumpster in front of Town Hall.A free shredder truck will be available to residents from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.The environmental council and Steep Rock Association will co-sponsor their second annual Earth Day 5K race at 9 a.m. at Steep Rock Nature Preserve. It costs $25.Pre-registration is available at www.FastTrackTiming.com. Same-day registration and race bib pick-up is available from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.Participants and spectators are also encouraged to join the annual roadside cleanup after the race.The event will also offer a sneaker drive. Individuals are encouraged to bring gently used sneakers tied together by the laces, which will be donated to the Woodbridge Running Company in Brookfield for the Rerun program.KENTMUSICAL FOCUSES ON THE SEAKent Memorial Library will present “The Ghost Net: An Environmental Musical of the Sea” by the Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children’s Theater at 2 p.m. Saturday at Town Hall.The event is co-sponsored by the library’s parents’ committee and the Kent Park and Recreation Department.The show was developed in cooperation with marine biologists and environmentalists dedicated to protecting marine wildlife. It follows the story of a girl who befriends sea creatures, encounters manmade hazards and helps the sea animals battle pollution.A professional cast of four will portray 30 different characters. The cast and director will lead a music and dance workshop from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. to train children for group parts in the show.For more information and RSVP to the workshop, call 860-927-3761.NEW MILFORDHARRYBROOKE PARK HOSTS ACTIVITIESHarrybrooke Park will host a series of activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.The free event will feature more than 40 vendors, as well as animals and animal education.This event is organized with the help of Jayna Larkin, a volunteer for both Harrybrooke Park and Wildlife Line, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates orphaned or injured wildlife to return them to their natural habitat.There will also be educational demonstrations from the Wildlife Line, Western Connecticut State University Tick Bourne Disease Prevention, Mike’s Bees, Institute for American Indian Studies, Meadowbrook Garden, General Plant Identification, Invasive and Poisonous Species by New Milford’s tree experts Carlos Caridad and Quadco Joe.For more information, visit www.Harrybrookepark.org or call 860-799-6520.RIDGEFIELDVOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR PLANTINGVolunteers are encouraged to plant pollinator gardens along Main Street on Earth Day.Participants should meet at the Community Center at Lounsbury House and then will plant at Keeler’s Tavern, Jessie Lee Nursery School, the Aldrich Museum and Casagmo. Attendees should bring gloves, shovels and spades if possible.Grants from the Ridgefield Rotary Club and REI Norwalk will pay for refreshments and plants.The event will kick off the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway. The pathway, which began last year in Wilton, connects pesticide-free private and public properties with planted areas dedicated to pollinator-friendly native plants.The Ridgefield Garden Club, Conservation Commission, Library, RACE, Caudatowa Garden Club, Woodcock Nature Center and the Norwalk River Watershed Association organized the event.Register at Pollinator-Pathway.org.NEW FAIRFIELD/SHERMANTEST YOUR SOIL’S HEALTHResidents can test their soil’s health on Saturday to learn whether they need to use fertilizer.Several Candlewood Lake groups are sponsoring the event.Lake area residents can pick up a soil kit from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Stop & Shop in New Fairfield or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Sherman IGA. Samples must be returned by 3 p.m.The soil will be analyzed in a lab to determine its nutrient content and whether fertilization is necessary. Using fertilizers can contribute to the growth of algae, milfoil and other invasive species.First-time participants are free. Returning participants must pay $5. Participants can visit www.candlewoodlakeauthority.org/soiltesting to learn how to draw samples in advance.Similar events have been held over the past 10 years with nearly 1,000 property owners participating.ROXBURYWALK, BUTTERFLY EVENT APPROACHESThe Roxbury Land Trust will sponsor two free programs in the coming days.Ann Astarita, executive director of the trust, will lead the Orzech Earth Day Walk at Orzech Preserve at 2 p.m. Sunday. Participants will meet at the Botsford Road trail entrance and walk to Volunteers Bridge and back, with a loop around the Orzech Pond.Victor DeMasi, a butterfly expert, will present a slide show presentation, “Butterflies in My Backyard,” at 4 p.m. April 29 at Town Hall. DeMasi is a wetland conservation officer in Redding and a curatorial affiliate at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New HavenREDDINGMT. TRASHMORE RETURNS TO GREENVolunteers are asked to help build the annual Mt. Trashmore on the town green from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The pile will be built from litter collected along Redding roads.Gloves, garbage bags and a vest can be picked up on the green from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will also receive a road assignment then.There will also be a bulb exchange for residents to get LED bulbs.