Woodbury Earth Day is presented by the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition (PRWC), a local environmental non-profit organization, with support from a dedicated team of volunteers. After careful consideration for the outdoor capacity following the Phase 2.1 Re-Open Connecticut COVID-safetly guidelines (effective March 19), the Woodbury Earth Day team is planning a different approach to this year’s celebrations to provide a safer experience for participants, presenters, volunteers, and the community. For 2021, the Woodbury Earth Day festivities will feature a mix of virtual and in-person opportunities throughout April for Earth Month to celebrate the spirit of Earth Day while aiming to keep COVID-exposure risks low.
Virtual and self-guided offerings will include engaging educational programs and environmental stewardship opportunities like storm drain marking, trash clean-up and planting projects. Among the featured activities in April, PRWC will be presenting a watershed-wide “Treasure Hunt”, an Earth Day themed poster contest, and weekly water-themed webinars. The Treasure Hunt will challenge participants to get outside and explore various "treasures" of the Pomperaug Watershed. Much like a scavenger hunt, participants will receive clues and earn points for the number of clues they complete which will make them eligible to win exciting prizes. People of all ages will be invited to submit a mixed-media post to enter the “What Does Earth Day Mean to Me?” poster contest. Posters will be displayed in the windows of the Woodbury Public Library during the last two weeks of April. PRWC’s online series of “Water Wednesdays” will cover topics including drinking water, river health, and fish with programs for both adults and children each week. Additional in-person and virtual programs offered by local conservation partners will also be shared throughout April.
A schedule of in-person educational programs will also be held on May 1, 2021 at Hollow Park in Woodbury. The event will not feature vendors, exhibitors, food trucks, and live music as it has in past years. All in-person programs have a strictly limited capacity and require pre-registration. People may pre-register for multiple programs. PRWC asks that registered participants respect all safety rules, wear masks, social-distance, arrive shortly before their program and leave the park once their program is complete.
“Although we’ll miss the many exhibitors, makers and performers that have made past celebrations so special, we are proud to host a month long celebration that prioritizes sharing accessible learning and service opportunities for all ages. Our goal is to provide opportunities that help protect and improve our environment and encourage people to adopt earth-friendly practices while also supporting our community” said Carol Haskins, PRWC Executive Director and Woodbury Earth Day Chair.
The first annual Woodbury Earth Day was hosted 27 years ago by New Morning Market and the celebration grew each year to become the largest Earth Day celebration in Connecticut. Last year, the event was cancelled in accordance with CDC and state issued COVID guidelines. John Pittari, owner of New Morning Market and PRWC Board Member, said, “Through the celebration of Earth Day, we’ve always strived to promote sustainable living, holistic wellness, environmental conservation, local farmers and growers, artisans, and, perhaps most importantly, community. We continue that this year, but in absence of a festival-style event we’d like to remind folks that many of their favorite artisans and makers, farmers and growers, non-profit organizations, and musicians from past Earth Day celebrations may be found right here in the Pomperaug Watershed.”
To find and support some of your Earth Day favorites, search #woodburyearthday on social media and visit www.woodburyearthday.org/ for a schedule of Earth Month activities in the area along with opportunities to sign up for the Treasure Hunt, Poster Contest, and programs.