On Saturday April 23, the North Georgia Conservation Coalition hosted its annual Earth Day event, complete with a poster contest for local children, a raffle and silent auction, an electric vehicle show and several booths offering information about different ways to help save the planet.
Vendors at the event had tables set up covering many of the ways that community members can help the environment, offering information about bees, pollinator plants, solar power, clean energy and much more.
When event attendees entered the Bowen, they were given a “Bingo” card to encourage them to go to the different tables, and once they collected signatures from all of the tables present they were given free flowers. The event also offered a raffle and silent auction with prizes donated from local businesses, and an opportunity for children to make an Earth Day themed craft.
The North Georgia Conservation Coalition also hosted its annual Earth Day poster contest, announcing the winners during the event. This year, three schools from Dawson County participated, and students were given the opportunity to draw Earth Day themed posters and participate in the contest for a chance to win in their age group.
This year’s winners were:
Kindergarten through first grade age group:
First place: Noemi Bryant, Robinson Elementary School
Runner-up: Alonso Zavala, Kilough Elementary School
Third through fifth grade age group:
First place: Benjamin Readinger, Kilough Elementary School
Runner-up: Piper Rae Reebideaux, Kilough Elementary School
Middle school age group:
First place: Kaylee Hall
Runner-up: Ayla Brown
Overall winner: Benjamin Readinger
North Georgia Conservation Coalition Director Bette Holland said that she was pleased with the number of vendors that traveled from all over Georgia to help support the mission of the Earth Day event.
“We’re just pleased as can be; these folks with tables have come a long way,” Holland said. "And we have an amazing group of volunteers; it took a lot of organizing but now I’m just walking around watching everything get done.”
The most important takeaway and the goal that all the vendors were working towards together, Holland said, is that there are lots of small things that can make a big difference toward helping conserve the planet.
“We’re just hoping that people will start to understand that there’s things that they can do on a personal level or in their businesses to cut carbon emissions, to reduce energy costs, to reduce pollution, to keep the water clean, the forests safe and not have them bulldozed,” Holland said. “We need to get people that maybe don’t know that much about it, but they’re willing to turn down their thermostat, put in LED lights, use less water, don’t throw away food and just refuse plastic.”
For more information about how you can make a difference or to contact Holland to learn more, go to the North Georgia Conservation Coalition website at ngacc.org.