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SRPMIC Commemorates 2018 Earth Day With Environmental Fair, Cleanups

Volunteers also planted gardens at various Community houses.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s Community Development Department and its Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Division presented the Community’s 14th annual Earth Day event, held on Saturday, April 21.

Staff welcomed volunteers beginning at 7 a.m. at the Round House Café at the Two Waters complex. Volunteers registered and were assigned specific work areas for the day. Each participant received a free T-shirt, raffle ticket and meal.

Amy Miguel of CDD served as MC for the event. Miss Salt River 2017-18 Mikah Carlos shared an opening prayer, and SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier gave everyone a brief history of Earth Day, officially recognized on April 22 each year, and the importance of taking care of the Earth by being conscious of our everyday actions. Michelle Tenorio, physical fitness specialist with the Diabetes Program, warmed up the volunteers with some light stretching exercises and jumping jacks before they headed out to their assigned locations.

The locations requiring services were spread throughout the Community. Volunteers provided assistance in a variety of ways: they picked up trash, trimmed brush, painted over graffiti, and planted trees, plants and vegetables. It was all part of the worldwide effort to take care of the planet.

The Round House Café reserved a section of its dining area for volunteers with limited mobility, who decorated reusable canvas bags for people to use instead of plastic bags, which contribute to land and water pollution.

Also taking place was the Environmental Fair, which was full of various activities for the whole family. Organizations set up environmentally focused booths and exhibits providing attendees with information on environmental safety and awareness.

“These are important things that we need to think about while we’re here in this world. We need to make sure we try to take care of it the best we can,” said Harvier. “Everything we do should be [for the benefit of] future generations, and looking out for the future needs to start now. That’s what we’re trying to do here, to protect Mother Earth.”

A drop-off location was set up in the north parking lot for collection of household hazardous materials. More than 100 cars dropped off items such as tires, antifreeze, pesticides, used oil and aerosols (see sidebar for full list). The CDD and EPNR also provided a pick-up service for Community seniors and members with disabilities; they visited a total of 82 homes to pick up waste materials.

Children’s activities included a petting zoo, rock painting, entertainment and games at Friendship Park.

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