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Community to celebrate Earth Day
Earth Day pic1
Modestos annual Earth Day in the Park will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Graceada Park, on the corner of Needham and Sycamore streets. - photo by Journal file photo

Planting trees, recycling, riding bikes to work instead of driving, and raising awareness about “going green” are some of the many ways that communities around the world will show environmental stewardship this coming week, as Earth Day takes place on Tuesday.

Each year, community members come together to celebrate the international holiday, often having week long celebrations and activities focusing on environmental issues. Over the past seven years, the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department has held its annual “Go Green Week” alongside the Turlock Unified School District, as part of an environmental education initiative.

In addition to reaching out to students at local elementary schools, the City of Turlock’s Go Green initiative also includes multiple residential outreach efforts and programs, including Green Teen of the Month, the Green Business Spotlight, No Drugs down the Drain, and various water conservation and home energy efficiency programs.

By teaching Turlock residents about conservation, pollution prevention methods, and earth-friendly behaviors, the City hopes to encourage the community to take up a  “green” lifestyle that includes daily actions such as composting, recycling, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving energy and conserving water. Additionally, the City also encourages Turlock residents to partake in their annual Arbor Day celebration, where City staff, Council members, students and community members come together for a tree planting ceremony.

On Thursday, the City of Turlock’s National Arbor Day Celebration will be held at Walnut Elementary as they celebrate the school’s recent first-place winning video in the nationwide Scotties’ Trees Rock Contest. Challenged to create a video highlighting the importance of trees, students from Walnut Elementary School took first place after being narrowed down to the Top 10 finalists from hundreds of submissions from students across the U.S. During the Arbor Day Celebration, students will join city staff and community members to plant trees within the storm basin near the school at Walnut Road and Christoffersen Parkway.

Additionally, as part of their “Go Green” public outreach efforts the City of Turlock offered a week of free rides for passengers of Turlock’s bus service BLAST in early March, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

Others throughout Stanislaus County have also taken up local “Go Green” challenges to celebrate Earth Day, including the countywide “Bike to Work Week” that encouraged community members to give up driving to work, and instead commute via bicycle, for one week.

In the City of Modesto, the 2014 Earth Day in the Park will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Gracaeda Park, featuring the “B Green” recycling event, food vendors, an art contest, live entertainment, and many other earth-friendly activities. The community is encouraged to drop off old batteries and cell phones to the free electronic waste and CRV recycling booth, in addition to collecting old papers for shredding. To learn more about the event, visit