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Take time to explore local natural resources

Celebrate Earth Day on April 19 with special activities at the weekly Mulberry Market, located in Tattnall Square Park.
Celebrate Earth Day on April 19 with special activities at the weekly Mulberry Market, located in Tattnall Square Park. bcabell@macon.com

We are constantly being told what we should think, believe and where we should place our values. Natural resource conservation and sustainability are important in today’s world — no matter where you fall on the political spectrum.

During the next few months, Middle Georgia residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the natural world that surrounds them.

Macon-Bibb Earth Day

The roots for the celebration that has eventually become Earth Day started with Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson in 1962. The lack of emphasis on environmental issues in national politics troubled him and he began to devise a plan.

The initiative took some time to take hold. Although the public was taking notice, the policy-makers were not. Nelson pushed on and by 1970, 20 million citizens participated in the first Earth Day.

On April 19, Earth Day will join with the weekly Mulberry Market at Tattnall Square Park. There will be a variety of vendors from both the private and public sector who will be sharing information about recycling, energy conservation, trees, gardening, fitness and nutrition, fall-line geology and more. Raffles, music, demonstrations and other activities will keep the whole family engaged.

2017 Master Naturalist Program

The Georgia Master Naturalist program was developed by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources as an adult environmental education program. It is offered as a combination of lectures and field trips to a number of Middle Georgia venues. Tailored to Macon and surrounding communities, this program explores natural resources from both urban and traditional perspectives.

While the Macon program was developed to span eight Thursdays in the fall, this year we are changing things up. We will offer the first session on Thursdays through May followed be a second four-week session in October. Program developers hope that this will be easier on the schedules and pocket books of those interested in participating.

In May, topics will include natural history, ecology, invasive species, waste and recycling, forest ecology and game management, among others.

Most classes will last from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. However, some days will start earlier and/or end later. It is very important that attendees make arrangements to get to class on time and stay through the end of the day. We realize that this class structure is not suitable for everyone’s busy lives.

Our speakers, all local experts in their fields, come from a variety of professions. We are fortunate to have professors from local colleges and universities, professional foresters, wildlife biologists, as well as presenters from the private sector.

Class size is limited. The price for the May session is $80. This amount covers class materials, entrance fees and transportation. Call the Macon-Bibb County Cooperative Extension Office at 478-751-6338 or email karolk@uga.edu for more information.

Upcoming Events

Master Gardener Spring Home and Garden Show: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, McGill Marketplace, Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, Perry. Plants, trees, shrubs, bulbs and garden art along with garden furnishings porch and patio accessories. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. Includes a Children’s Corner that offers workshops at no cost. Hosted by Master Gardeners of Central Georgia and the UGA Cooperative Extension Service. McGill Marketplace, Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, Perry. $5; free for kids under 12 with an adult. mgcg.org.

Contact county Extension agent Karol Kelly at karolk@uga.edu.

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