Earth Day opportunities abound in Northeastern Pennsylvania

By Mary Therese Biebel - [email protected]
Julie Fallon, the Education Director at Dundee Gardens in Hanover Township prepares Earth Day activities for children. Young visitors who are pre-registered will be able to build terrariums and bird feeders on Sunday, and anyone can visit with the tortoises, bunnies and worms, which will be special guests that day. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Nescopeck State Park and Frances Slocum State Park are among the sites that will welcome volunteers to help them clean up later this month. In this file photo, Wyoming Valley West High School students Scott Nilson, left, and Kylee Laudenslager, rake leaves at the Forty Fort Cemetery during a previous clean-up in honor of Earth Day. - Times Leader file photo
Earth Day is an ideal time to get out and explore the environment on a nature hike. In this file photo, Daniel Jones looks under a rock to see if he will find any amphibians. - Times Leader file photo

WILKES-BARRE — Which of these animals do you find most appealing — tortoises, bunnies or worms?

No matter which creature you consider the cutest, you’ll be able to meet all three varieties from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Dundee Gardens in Hanover Township, when the special guests will each serve as a nature lesson for children and adults who stop by. Hint: Earth worms figure into a lesson on composting.

Visiting the animals is just one of many environmentally-conscious activities, from planting trees to picking up litter to shredding documents for recycling, that you’ll find around the region before the end of the month.

Some of the events, including two craft sessions at Dundee Gardens, are set to coincide with Earth Day itself, on Sunday.

The first session, set for 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. at the gardening center on the Sans Souci Parkway, gives children a chance to create a bird feeder using a recycled, brightly pre-painted tin can, which they can decorate and fill with seeds. (Materials fee $10. Register at dundeegardens.com.)

The second session, set for 2 to 3 p.m., involves using small stones, sand and moss, to create a terrarium in a Mason jar. The terrarium is a closed eco-system, just like the planet Earth, education director Julie Fallon said, hinting that young participants will be learning about the environment along with having fun. (Materials fee $10. Register at dundeegardens.com.)

Also in honor of Earth Day, several parks have asked for volunteers to help with clean up.

Frances Slocum State Park, 565 Mt. Olivet Road, Kingston Township, asks for volunteers to pitch in from 10 a.m. to noon April 28, and specifies that organized groups should call 570-696-9105 to say they’re participating. Nescopeck State Park, Honey Hole Road, Drums, has set its clean-up for 9 a.m. to noon April 28, lists landscaping and trail work as well as litter clean up as ways to help, and asks parents and Scout leaders to call first with the ages and number of children who will attend so staff can plan appropriate projects. Info: 570-403-2006.

One of the best ways to help clean the environment is to plant a tree, which will continue to absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen as long as it lives. Tree-plantings are planned in Salt Springs State Park, Salt Springs Road, Franklin Forks, at 1 p.m. Sunday (call 570-967-7275) and along Ash Creek in Clifton Township, at noon on Saturday (register at 570-472-3274).

The Earth Day Extravaganza at Ricketts Glen State Park, originally scheduled for Lake Jean Beach, has been moved indoors to the Environmental Education Office, where the topics of the day will center around conservation. The extravaganza is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Info: 570-477-7780.

In Plains Township, the Geisinger Sustainability Program will observe Earth Day with two “community shred days.” Individuals are invited to bring confidential documents such as bank statements and bills to be securely shredded on site and recycled. The events are scheduled for 7 to 11 a.m. today and noon to 4 p.m. Monday outside the Geisinger Orthopaedics Institute, 1175 East Mountain Blvd. There is a limit of three boxes of documents per person. Info: 570-271-6030.

Kids ages 3 to 12 are invited to “celebrate Earth Week with science” from 4 to 6 p.m. April 28 in Misericordia University’s Insalaco Hall. The family-oriented program will give future scientists such hands-on experiences as making a homemade water filter, designing a solar cell, identifying beneficial insects and more. The event is free. Info: 570-674-6769.

Your school-age children may already be attending today’s Earth Day activities in Wilkes-Barre’s Riverfront Parks with their schools —learning about the Susquehanna’s riparian forest, amphibians, mammals and more. If you want to add to that nature-based education, you might sign up for a Family Earth Day Hike, set for 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday along the trails of the Lackawanna County Environmental Education Center, 93 MacKenzie Road, Covington Township. $5 per person. Pre-registration is required: 570-842-1506.

If you’d like to concentrate on birds, conservation volunteer Dave Kruel will lead a morning stroll to listen for their calls at 8 a.m. April 29 at Nescopeck State Park. Participants should register at 570-403-2006.

Julie Fallon, the Education Director at Dundee Gardens in Hanover Township prepares Earth Day activities for children. Young visitors who are pre-registered will be able to build terrariums and bird feeders on Sunday, and anyone can visit with the tortoises, bunnies and worms, which will be special guests that day.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_earthdayterrarium.jpgJulie Fallon, the Education Director at Dundee Gardens in Hanover Township prepares Earth Day activities for children. Young visitors who are pre-registered will be able to build terrariums and bird feeders on Sunday, and anyone can visit with the tortoises, bunnies and worms, which will be special guests that day. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Nescopeck State Park and Frances Slocum State Park are among the sites that will welcome volunteers to help them clean up later this month. In this file photo, Wyoming Valley West High School students Scott Nilson, left, and Kylee Laudenslager, rake leaves at the Forty Fort Cemetery during a previous clean-up in honor of Earth Day.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_earthday.cleanup.jpgNescopeck State Park and Frances Slocum State Park are among the sites that will welcome volunteers to help them clean up later this month. In this file photo, Wyoming Valley West High School students Scott Nilson, left, and Kylee Laudenslager, rake leaves at the Forty Fort Cemetery during a previous clean-up in honor of Earth Day. Times Leader file photo

Earth Day is an ideal time to get out and explore the environment on a nature hike. In this file photo, Daniel Jones looks under a rock to see if he will find any amphibians.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_earthday.naturewalk.jpgEarth Day is an ideal time to get out and explore the environment on a nature hike. In this file photo, Daniel Jones looks under a rock to see if he will find any amphibians. Times Leader file photo

By Mary Therese Biebel

[email protected]

Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.

Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.