Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is trying its best to save Earth Day too.

As the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaches, Save Maumee plans two days of removing trash along the Maumee River bank at its 56.4-acre Riparian Buffer Initiative at 501 Rose Ave. in New Haven. The property was recently donated to them by Martin Construction Company.

The public is invited to join in Saturday, April 18, and Sunday, April 19, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Volunteers will be cleaning up a 1,100-linear-foot swath of river bank measuring 65 feet wide. The organization will have a dumpster on hand and expects to remove several tons of trash from the property.

Save Maumee officials ask participants to bring gloves and trash bags. If they’re not available, the organization can provide them.

In addition to removing trash, the 100% volunteer organization had planned to plant 250 trees and more than a million seeds. Save Maumee president and founder Abigail King said that because of the closeness of work involved in digging holes and planting trees and the ongoing Coronavirus threat, the tree planting has been postponed until Oct. 17 and 18 when a similar event is scheduled.

The tree planting was to be part of a wider Earth Day celebration in the Fort Wayne area. However, Little River Wetlands Project has postponed the event at Eagle Marsh. The organization made the decision “with the best interest of the community in mind,” and decided to combine Earth Day with the Monarch Festival at the Eagle Marsh barn on Sept. 13.

“Picking up trash is more an individual activity and people won’t be working in close proximity to each other,” said King, of Save Maumee. “Children are welcome to come along and help and there’s plenty of room for them to run around and let off steam.”

This is the 15th year that Save Maumee has celebrated Earth Day by hosting either a tree planting or cleanup event along the Maumee River and its tributaries The Riparian Buffer Initiative Projects are made possible through the Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the U.S. Forest Service.

The first Earth Day back in 1970 brought approximately 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reforms. It took place in two thousand universities and colleges and some 10,000 primary and secondary schools and hundreds of communities around the country. It was coordinated by the non-profit Earth Day Network and chaired by organizer Denis Hayes.

To promote the event, well-known cartoonist Walt Kelly created a poster featuring his famous comic strip character Pogo with the quotation: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Earth Day, which is officially Wednesday, April 22, is now the largest secular holiday in the world. It is celebrated by more than a billion people every year.

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