Douglas Hart to host Earth Day Festival

Cassie Buchman, City Editor

Volunteers will help to plant more than 100 trees and shrubs in the forest at Douglas Hart Nature Center’s annual Earth Day festival from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The planting of trees and shrubs will take place at 9 a.m., 10 a.m and 11 a.m.

Dakota Radford, an environmental educator and volunteer coordinator at the Douglas-Hart Nature Center, said volunteers could plant a variety of trees.

“There’s Ohio Buckeye, White Oak,” she said. “All nature species that are chosen because they are plants that provide wildlife with food, shelter, a place to hide.”

If volunteers have time, they may have the chance to help remove an invasive species from the forest as well.

This invasive species is the Bush Honeysuckle, which pushes out trees and shrubs when it takes up space in the forest.

Radford said 100 volunteers are expected to come out, with some as young as 2 or as old as 90.

“There is no age too young or too old to volunteer,” she said.

Volunteers need to wear closed-toed shoes and gloves, and shovels and a brief training will be provided.

The training will show volunteers how to plant the trees in the best way.

Eastern students are coming to be volunteer leaders to help find spots to plant the trees and help the kids who will be volunteering.

One of the organizations volunteering is National Residence Hall Honorary, who will be holding a table to sell merchandise.

Students also signed up to help to lead planting and games for the Panther Day of Service on Saturday.

Local crafters will also be selling their wares at the festival as well, some of which are made from recycled materials.

Radford said the festival will include games and crafts, and people will have the option of potting a plant and roasting marshmallows.

A rummage sale will also be at the festival where clothes, toys and plants people can take home for their gardens will be sold, as well as a mural participants can add to.

These plants include Butterfly Milkweed that encourages wildlife such as the Monarch Butterfly to inhabit the garden.

On the same day as the festival will be a recycling event put together by a local Girl Scout as an environmental project.

“She’s only 10 years old, and she’s doing this by herself as a Girl Scout,” Radford said.

People can bring aluminum, paper and clothes hangers to be taken to taken to local recycling centers.

There is no cost to volunteer or participate in the festival, but those who want to volunteer are encouraged to RSVP.

In case of rain, the tree and shrub planting will be rescheduled for 10 a.m to noon May 9. The festival and other activities will take place indoors.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]