Did you know that although Earth Day is on April 22, 2018, the entire month is celebrated as Earth Month? That allows plenty of time to get involved in your community and take part in supporting conservation and earth-friendly events in your area. From cleaning up existing habitats to creating new ones, check out the many Earth events in Montgomery County this April.
Stream and Park Cleanups
Communities throughout the county are sponsoring events to clean trash from area streams, parks and public spaces. Most events are taking place on Saturdays in April. The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website hosts a calendar of clean up events throughout the state. Click on the link, www.keeppabeautiful.org and select Montgomery County to see all the scheduled cleanups, locations and signup instructions.
Hazardous Waste Removal
Prevent harm to the environment by properly handling leftover paints, chemicals and corrosive products. To help with safe disposal of these products, the county begins its annual free collection of household hazardous materials. The first event of the season will be held at Boyertown Jr. High East School, 2020 Big Rd., Gilbertsville, PA on Sat., April 21 from 9 am to 3 pm. Bring materials such as paints, cleaning products, antifreeze, pesticides, batteries and oil in labeled containers. Volunteer workers will empty your car when you arrive at the collection site. For a complete list of materials accepted at the site click here. Events will be held at other locations in the county throughout the summer.
Park Project Days
County Parks are getting in on the action as well by sponsoring work days for residents to help with annual cleanup projects. Green Lane Park is asking for help in removing invasive plants, particularly the Japanese Barberry, from the along the trails in the park. Bring pruning shears and hard rakes to help with the work. The work day is on Sat., April 21 at 1 pm. Call the park at (215) 234-4528 to register.
Similarly, Norristown Farm Park is asking for help on Sun., April 22 at 1 pm to work on animal habitat restoration. Workers will be removing invasive plants and adding some native species instead. Learn about plants types while you work! Bring loppers, trowels and rakes if you have them. Call the office at (610) 270-0215 to register. The following day, Mon., April 23rd at 1 pm kids will have a chance to help out too. The Farm Park naturalist will teach kids ways they can help the earth. The program includes a hands on project and a craft. The kids’ program is free and for children over age 3, but pre-registration is required.
Compost and Rain Barrel Sale
In an initiative to encourage home composting and the collection and use of rainwater, Montgomery County is holding a sale on composting bins and rain barrels. The Earth Machine Compost Bin is on sale for $50 and the Systern Rain Barrel is on sale for $65, reduced from the normal prices. Household waste typically consists of 30% organic material. Composting turns this waste into reusable material for gardens and lawns while reducing the amount of waste in landfills. Similarly, collected rain water can reduce water consumption in municipal areas as well as reduce storm water runoff.
Order must be placed through the sale website at www.montgomerycompostersale.ecwid.com. Pickup of items is on Sat., June 2, 2018 at Norristown Farm Park, 2500 Upper Farm Road, Norristown. Place orders by May 19 as there are no sales at the pick up site. For more information on the products visit the link above.
Buy Native Plants
Encourage new habitats for birds, butterflies and wildlife in your backyard by planting species of flowers, shrubs and trees native to our environment. As the weather warms, two organizations will hold their annual plant sales. On Sat., May 12 from 10 am to 4 pm, the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy (PWC) will hold its annual sale at the Peter Wentz Farmstead. The sale will feature expert advice from PWC staff, free native gardening information, and a variety of native vines, ferns, shrubs, trees, flowers, and grasses. The Farmstead is located at 2030 Shearer Rd., Lansdale, PA.
On Sat., May 19 from 9 am to 1 pm, the Penn State Extension located at 1015 Bridge Rd., Collegeville, will hold its annual sale. Native plants including shrubs, herbs, berries, vegetables, annuals, and plants for ponds are all grown in PA Master Gardeners’ own gardens. For more information, call (610) 489-4315.