By Susan S. Linscott, Director of Outdoor and Environmental Programs
Wednesday, April 22, 2020, is the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. With all that is going on in the world, this certainly may not be the first thing on people’s minds. However, for those of us stuck at home in Northeastern Maine, it can provide an opportunity to enjoy the fresh spring air, get some exercise, and help the community at the same time.
The Lee Academy Community Service Club, Envirothon team, and National Honor Society are sponsoring an Earth Day bottle drive. All proceeds from the bottle drive will benefit the MSAD#30 food cupboard, which provides assistance to families in communities served by MSAD#30 and Lee Academy. Due to the need to maintain social distancing, we can not come to your home to pick-up bottles. You can bring your bottles and cans directly to the Lincoln Redemption Center, which is still open, and mention our drive. Bottles can also be dropped off at a trailer that has been set up on the Harris’s lawn in Lee. This is a great way to recycle and help community members.
Most of us have trash that has melted out of the snow banks and blown up on our lawns. Many schools and organizations traditionally hold Earth Day spring clean-up events. While these events have been cancelled, it is still safe to pick-up trash and collect bottles and cans if you are careful. Remember, safety comes first: be cautious near roads, wear gloves while you are picking up, never pick up sharp objects, wash your hands when you are finished, and maintain appropriate physical distances. Children should be supervised by an adult.
In keeping with the spirit of this blog to encourage families to get outside, the Community Service Club and Envirothon team will be hosting a competition for area children in the following age groups: grades preK-2, 3-5, and 6-8. Each week, for the remainder of the school year, we will post an activity that can easily be completed at home. Depending on the activity, you can share a photo, drawing, or story with us. In June, we will choose two individual winners from each age group for the greatest participation and most creative entries. Winners will receive a prize that will keep them playing outside. This week, we would like you to send photos of your trash collecting and recycling efforts. You can send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or the Lee Academy Facebook page (#LeeAcademyNatureChallenge). Photos should be shared by a parent or guardian. This competition is open to children throughout the area, including the towns that send students to MSAD#30 schools, Lee Academy, and surrounding communities.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Lee Academy “Get Outside” blog. This week’s photos were shared by reader Lorna Smart in response to last week’s article. We like the snowman, but we are glad he has melted!