By Kristin DeJohn
The first Earth Day was held April 22, 1970 and 20 million Americans protested across hundreds of cities to demand improvements in environmental policies.
Typically, Earth Day is associated with large outdoor gatherings. Due to Covid-19, many organizations, like Bolton Local, have embraced smaller scale activities, along with a rise in online events and awareness campaigns. Some of those activities even offer prizes to encourage youth to learn more about the ways to have a positive impact on the environment.
Bolton Local Goes Virtual
Energy consumption, reducing landfill waste and conserving water are among the varied topics Bolton Local is tackling with “Countdown to Earth Day” Facebook posts and the posting of free online presentations.
One virtual event underway is a digital sharing event with prizes for kids aged 0-18. The theme: “How Would You Improve the Planet?” Entries can be artwork or videos and should be emailed by April 30 to: [email protected]
Drawings for nearly a dozen gift cards from Bolton Bean, New City Microcreamery and Rail Trail Flatbread Co. will take place May 1. For more information check the Bolton Local Facebook page: @Bolton01740 or the Bolton Local website: www.boltonlocal.org.
Nashoba’s Green Team Motivates Students
The Nashoba Green Team, a student-led club at Nashoba Regional High School dedicated to boosting awareness about environmental issues, has been busy despite Covid-19 restrictions.
The group is holding a poster contest for Nashoba School District K-8 students. The winning entry will be turned into a banner that will be displayed at the school. The theme: “Restore Our Earth.” Students are encouraged to submit their drawings on 8×11 paper to their school’s front office by April 30. A winner will be picked May 3. Organizers suggest making entries colorful and creative. Students should write their name, teacher, and school on the back in pencil.
While the Green Team has not been able to hold its traditional Earth Day pep rallies, virtual and socially distanced meetings have allowed for smaller scale activities and planning. “It has been a little bit difficult to put together events but our group is very optimistic and we’re all happy to get the poster project going,” noted Green Team co-captain Sonia Nicholson.
The group is also currently taking part in the Healthy Lake Boon Initiative in Stow. “This is a project held on Lake Boon where us, volunteers, and members of the Lake Boon Commission head out onto the lake in kayaks, canoes, and boats and take measurements of the water and other features, to ultimately figure out how the lake is changing, what is affecting it, and predict how climate change will affect the lake in 50-plus years,” said Green Team co-captain Jack Boyle.
In addition to measuring lake chemistry that can signal problems such as algae blooms, group members are also planning to clean up litter on Forbush Mill Road next to the high school.
Neighbors Join for Town Clean Up
Forbush Mill Road is the most littered roadway in Bolton according to Bolton Town Clean Up coordinator Mary Boyd. For 45 years, the Bolton resident has worked to clean up the town, originally joining an existing volunteer clean up group after arriving from Stow. “I had just moved to town,” Boyd recalled. “It was a way to meet people. I joined all these groups.”
Managing litter has been an uphill battle. “It’s just overwhelming the amount of trash that’s thrown,” lamented Boyd. “It would probably be worse if we didn’t have good residents. There is one man who said he and his little boy go out every weekend and clean up. That’s the way to keep it going.”
As part of this week’s town-wide clean up effort, residents are asked to pick up litter in front of their homes, along roadways and town trails. Trash bags can be taken to the transfer station through April 25 during regular hours. Let the attendant know that you are helping to clean up Bolton.
If required, call Mary Boyd at 978-779-2740 to arrange for the DPW to pick up bagged trash and/or large items at the end of the week (April 26). Trash bags can be left at trail heads; please notify Mary about bag locations to ensure pick up.
Bolton Access TV Adds Earth Day Line-up
“Bolton Local hosts a variety of engaging presentations on environmental topics and the Conservation Department has been great about putting together educational opportunities for residents,” said Bolton Access TV Executive Director Nicki McGachey, who has created a special prime -time lineup of shows that will run through April 24.
McGachey says the many environmental-themed shows that are running this week are a direct reflection of the interests and activities in the town. “We also have a video tour of the Houghton Farm trail in the works,” she added.
For the Bolton Access TV Earth Day week schedule, see pg. 12. Shows run live on Comcast Channel 8, or online at bolton-ma.vod.castus.tv/vod.