The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy and the City of Fort Thomas are sponsoring the largest Earth Day celebration in Northern Kentucky on April 22, 12:00 - 5:00, at the Mess Hall and surrounding area in Tower Park in the heart of Fort Thomas. It will be a jam packed day of fun activities. The celebration will feature vendors, exhibitors, activities for kids and adults, and food trucks.
Debbie Buckley, the city's economic developer, says, “This year’s Earth Day event is going to bring so many groups together who share a love of our natural resources. One would never guess how many people in Fort Thomas and our neighboring community focus their talents and passion on protecting and enriching the earth around us. From bicycles to recycling, from hiking to composting, these vendors and participants love this earth. Everyone should see this because you live here too.”
All vendors have a nature or environmental theme. Roebling Point Books will be there selling nature and environmentally themed books. Leonard Beck will sell his outstanding nature photographs, Ohio RiverWood will display and sell driftwood sculptures and art pieces, and Junk to Enjoy will display and sell whimsical sculpture created from recycled “junk.” In addition Norwex Natural Cleaners will be there. And there will be a seedling sale to benefit the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy.
Ryan Raised Beef, Diamond Ridge Farm, and Little Green Pastures from the Fort Thomas Farmers Market will be there as well as favorite food trucks like California Tri-Tips, Texas Joe, and La Orangette.
Emily Zoller, one of the event organizers, says, “The presentations are being given by folks who live in Fort Thomas and are excited to share their passion and experience in. They’ll be discussing topics like Backyard Habitat, Composting and Backyard Chicken Farming. I love the idea that the folks that are speaking aren’t paid experts and can share both what has worked and the lessons they’ve learned! These folks might be a neighbor of yours! If you’ve ever been curious about one of these topics, there won’t be a more approachable way to learn.”
Some of the demonstrations and talks will cover backyard chickens, backyard beekeeping, creating a certified backyard habitat, a demonstration of the monarch butterfly cycle, as well as tree identification. The Tree Commission will show you how to properly plant a tree and how to effectively eradicate invasive honeysuckle.
There are lots of exciting and fun activities for the kids too - face painting, paint a pot and plant seeds, t-shirt tie dye, using natural materials to make animals figures, and Earth Joy tree climbing will be there with ropes and harnesses to help kids top some large trees. The Campbell County Library will sponsor a kids activity as well. Sidney Thomas, one of the event’s organizers, says that there is “truly something fun for everyone. Many family focused activities and conservation learning opportunities.”
Saint Elizabeth, Duke Energy, NKY Water District, the city parks board, and Rumpke will be there with displays and educational materials. Rumpke will distribute free recycling bins.
John Homer, who will guide the wildflower walk, says, “If you look closely, you will be witness to an amazing transformation. Forest wildflowers are prompted by the sun’s warmth and renew their yearly cycle of life. The rich soil and dense forest in portions of Tower Park make an ideal habitat for spring woodland wildflowers. These plants are termed “spring ephemerals,” because they grow quickly in the spring to take advantage of the open forest canopy. Once trees fill in with leaves and shade the forest floor, many of these flowers are long gone. Other wildflower species are adapted to the shade and remain on display well into the summer. Still other wildflowers wait until late summer to come to life. Tower Park is home to a wide variety of forest wildflowers, and there is something to see throughout the year.”
Sidney Thomas observes, “The FTFC is such a great gift in our community but is unfamiliar to many. After this Earth Day, everyone will know who we are and will look forward to all future events.
Emily Zoller adds, “Protecting the earth is something that every single person is charged with. There are a number of ways that folks can do that. If those who participate can walk away with one or two things actionable items that they can embrace, I’ll deem the day a success!”
The event is sponsored by the City of Fort Thomas, Natural Start Pre-school, and Engineered Building Systems, Inc., and the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy. The event runs from 12:00 - 5:00 at the Mess Hall and surrounding Tower Park trails on Sunday, April 22.