FRANKFORT, KY. – (April 19, 2005) – John James Audubon loved to observe nature. He spent a great deal of his life painting North American birds and promoting the importance of the natural surroundings in which they lived.
A crowd gathered today at John James Audubon State Park near Henderson to express appreciation for Mother Nature just as Audubon did more than a century and a half ago.
“Earth Day at Audubon” featured activities to promote recycling, wildlife education and composting and to encourage the use of hybrid vehicles.
“I am very excited that the public and schoolchildren have come to learn about and enjoy the Earth that God gave us,” said Pauline Allen, solid waste coordinator for Henderson, Webster and Union counties. “It is also a privilege to be celebrating this special day with LaJuana Wilcher, who has a heart for Kentucky,” she said.
Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, spoke of the importance of recycling and of each individual’s responsibility to the Earth.
“We should all remember that the environment is an inheritance that we pass along to future generations,” said Wilcher. “Kentuckians generate nearly 8 pounds of waste per person per day. That’s more than the national average of 7 pounds per day. It’s not something that Kentuckians want to be known for.”
Since the “green box” disposal system was dropped in Henderson, many people have turned to burning their household garbage in barrels. Allen said that made it even more important to recycle as many household items as possible.
“Burning these items poses serious health threats to humans,” she said.
Smoke from fire barrels can contain hazardous pollutants that can cause serious health problems such as cancer, asthma and damage to the liver, kidneys and nervous system.
Aside from all the serious issues discussed, there were horse and pony rides, music and magic shows to entertain all ages.
The event was a fun day as well as a success in sending the message that everyone should develop an unbridled spirit for protecting Mother Earth.
Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Friday, April 22. Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day. Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.
This is the second year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day. Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, collection of cell phones for recycling and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology. Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.environment.ky.gov/earthday to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration.