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Connect With the Earth, and Not Just in April

Connect With the Earth, and Not Just in April
The month of April saw local, state, and national efforts to encourage stewardship of our earth, through service and connections to nature.

At the national level, Earth Day was celebrated for the 42nd year. The Children and Nature Network (www.childrenandnature. org) promoted its second Let's G.O. (Get Outside) initiative and registered more than 600 nature-related events for families, covering all 50 states. The White House hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Environmental Education. Outdoor Afro (www.outdoorafro.com), "where black people and nature meet," helped to get the word out about outdoor events in urban areas nationwide. The Lorax was in theaters everywhere, "speak(ing) for the trees," and Disneynature released "Chimpanzee," with profits benefitting the Jane Goodall Institute.

At the state level, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley declared April Environmental Education month and organizations promoted activities statewide. More than 200 Maryland schools submitted applications to the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (www.maeoe.org) in hopes of qualifying for Maryland Green School certification.

Locally, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, the Town of Ocean City and Grow Berlin Green hosted cleanup events, planting projects and community beautification activities. Nearly 30 organizations, including parks, wildlife refuges, municipal water and recycling centers, conservation organizations, and more offered family-friendly educational activities at the Salisbury Zoo's annual Earth Day event. The full complement of opportunities offered across Delmarva to connect with nature and engage in earth-friendly events are too numerous to mention.

Talk of Earth Day and connecting to nature even invaded the…
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