Earth Day is officially Sunday, April 22, but one local organization intends to make it a week-long affair in Carroll County.
Planet Carroll describes itself as a group of local students, educators and activists who want to provide an educational, balanced and inclusive look into our environment and how we affect it.
Starting Monday, April 16, Planet Carroll will host events and activities to educate citizens about climate change, growth and development, and water quality issues.
Don West, one of Planet Carroll's leaders, said that it was impossible to celebrate the environment in just one day.
"The idea for this event was spawned from the Board of County Commissioner's forum in Pikesville back at Halloween ," West said in an email to Patch. "Those of us who attended that event were left somehow unfulfilled and uninspired by what we saw and heard. We felt a need for a local event, free to the public, that would be educational and fact-based."
The group is primarily made up of students from Carroll County's local colleges-- and . West said that it's not the younger generations that he worries about when it comes to recognizing the importance of caring for the environment.
"Actually, I have great faith in young people, it's my generation that concerns me most," West said. "I am proud of the partnership that Planet Carroll has been able to forge between students and faculty at both McDaniel College and Carroll Community College. They did NOT need to be convinced about the importance of this undertaking."
West said that it's important to think on a larger scale than Carroll County.
"There seems to be an attitude among some here locally that Carroll County is somehow an 'island'," West said. "In other words, things that we do here have no effect on others around us and vice versa.
"I happen to believe that we are all part of a larger community, so not only is the well-being of Carroll County important to us, but so is that of our greater community, including our entire state, the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and our wider ecosystem."
The following Earth Day-related events will take place in Carroll County next week:
Monday, April 16
- Business and Career Day, Decker College Center, McDaniel College, 4-6 p.m.
- Recycling Art Show, Ensor Lounge, McDaniel College, 6-9 p.m.
Tuesday, April 17
- Earth Day Activities, Great Hall, Carroll Community College, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18
- Energy event with BGE, Carroll Community College, K 100, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., immediately followed by a screening of the film, Cool It.
Thursday, April 19
- Earth Day Event, Main Lobby, Carroll Hospital Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Community Matters Film Series/Discussion No Impact Man, Room K 127, Carroll Community College, 7-8:30 p.m., sponsored by Sustainable Living MD
- Artists' Panel, McDaniel College (tentative)
Friday, April 20
- Concert at Carroll Community College, sponsored by Waste Not! Carroll and Sustainable Living Maryland, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 21
- Keynote Address and Panel Discussion, Decker Auditorium, McDaniel College, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Sustainability displays outside Decker Auditorium, McDaniel College by the Venturing Crew.
Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day)
- Tree Planting with Boy Scout Troop #395, Freedom Park, Sykesville, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
The events are free and open to the public. To learn more or get involved, visit the website at http://planetcarroll.webs.com.