Hundreds flock to Fairhope to celebrate Earth Day

FAIRHOPE There was hardly a could in the sky over the Fairhope Pier as hundreds made their way to the 25th Earth day celebration.

For some, today was an annual tradition marked by arts and crafts, life music and pet blessings. For others, it was a great first time experience.

“We’ve always had an Earth Day celebration around here, but we’ve just never been. And I’ve been working, it’s my spring break, and I’ve been working all week and this is the first day that I’ve had off. So I was like, let’s go do something spring break-y, so that’s why we came,” Emily McKinney said.

Mark Wetzel also had a partner in crime today, just a bit smaller. He and Ra, the red-tailed hawk, were there to show people first-hand what kind of creatures are around the bay.

“Whenever you tell them, hey, if you want these guys in your back yard, you need to eliminate your use of rodenticides and that way you end the poison then they really get the message. Whereas you say, hey, you’ve got a red tailed hawk in your back yard. That’s cool, but they don’t see it. Once you see it, once you get them to touch a snake, that’s whenever we really make the difference,” Wetzel said.

Today was also a great way to get some hands on knowledge of how different groups in the area are making a difference.

“It’s a community where a lot of organizations are working to make things better in the environment. And you come and you get all this information and then you see the people and it’s energy and excitement and it’s just kind of contagious. And it’s wonderful,” volunteer Howard McPhail said.

Folks visiting also were able to take a break from learning how to improve the Earth and improve their own bodies with the Fairhope Gyro Gym.

Today was all about community and love of the planet.

“Here at Earth Day, I think I would want people to take away the fact that we have a beautiful ecosystem in our area. We can use it without actually abusing it or taking advantage of it,” Wetzel said.

For more information on the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center, click here.

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