CAMDEN — Preble County Earth Day was held on Thursday, May 2, at Wilderness Ridge at PVM Retreat Center. Approximately 500 students from all five school districts had an opportunity to learn about conservation of natural resources and taking care of planet earth.
The event is sponsored annually by Preble County Soil and Water Conservation (PSWCD) and Preble County Solid Waste Management District (PCSWMD). Rumpke also donated gift cards for contests, while Jubilee paid for the rent for Wilderness Ridge. PCSWMD and PSWCD would also thank Wilderness Ridge for allowing Earth Day to be held on their grounds.
Beth Wright, Assistant Director of PCSWMD, said, spreading the news of conservation is a top priority in Preble County. The landfill tries to push reduce, reuse, recycle so they don’t fill up the landfill too fast.
“It is important [to host earth day], because a lot of the kids these days have the throw it away mentality. They think once it is gone, it is gone, but if you look around in nature, you will see garbage, pollution, and trash. That is what the Solid Waste District believes; number one, dispose of your trash responsible, number two, recycle whenever possible. We’re here to conserve the earth and it’s resources,” Wright said.
“Kids will learn about the habitats of animals and how to take care of them and they will learn about how to produce honey and what comes from the earth. I like that kids can come out and see nature, they get to experience first hard things like conservation of natural resources. I would like to remind the kids who attended Earth Day that Earth Day is not just about one day, it is about every day. We are all about Earth Day every day.”
Allan Gerhart is the Habitat and Youth Chairman at Butler County Pheasants Forever and he was a presenter at Earth Day. Butler County Pheasants Forever does a lot of habitat work with landowners in Preble County, mainly with the Farm Bill or CRP. They are set up as a cooperator in the county. Landowners come in and sign up for the government programs to plant wildlife habitat and various practices with the Conservation Reserve Program.
Gerhart believes it’s important for Pheasants Forever to attend Earth Day, because they work with the earth.
“We plant a lot of cover for wildlife, a lot of food plots, and we work with farmers and landowners. We’ve been promoting pollinator habitats the last several years for bees and butterflies. To me, it just fits right in with Earth Day,” Gerhart said.
“I think it is great [that students attend Earth Day] because this is something that they don’t see very often, unless they are in an Ag Community. They are learning all different things today about soil, about bees, about history, and habitats. I think it is a great opportunity for them to soak all this in and see what is out there. Hopefully, they’ll learn something today and take some of this valuable information home with them.”
Doug Kramer is a land surveyor and the owner of Kramer and Associates in Eaton, Ohio. He was a presenter at Earth Day and explained to the students how the original land surveyors in the country were also the first natural resources inventory that had been done in the Americas. He showed the students about mapping and let them experiment with old surveying equipment.
Being present at Earth Day gave Kramer an opportunity to explain what surveyors do.
“It is important here, on Earth Day, because of the Natural Resources Inventory that was done in the early 1800s. Few people know about that,” Kramer said. “[Earth Day] gives them a tie to the nature and roots of the land they live on. An appreciation for that land too.”
The following students were recognized as winners for the Solid Waste District’s Earth Day Poster Contest:
•First Place — Jacey McQueen, Eaton Community Schools
•Second Place — Deztiny Landerer, Tri-County North Schools
•Third Place — Katie Simpson, Tri-County North Schools
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH