Earth Day included goodies for all ages

Gale Rose

Rainy weather and a global pandemic couldn’t stop the Macksville City Library from holding their annual Earth Day celebration last week. The library staff made sure Earth Day materials were available to the children in the community. Since they couldn’t get the children together, the staff set up a drive-by event where they handed out Earth Day materials for the children in the community.

“This would not be the same as our usual program so we did it curbside,” said said Jody Suiter, library director.

This is the first time for a drive-by program. For many years, the library has held outdoors programs for kids, usually in the city park. Children get to learn about activities they can do outdoors and have fun at the same time. Programs include dog training, learning about birds, plants, rocks, hiking and all kinds of things. They planted seeds around the library and and have watched them grow.

“These kids love it,” Suiter said.

The original plan was to have the event on Earth Day on April 22 but there was rain in the forecast so the event was pushed back one day to April 23 when the forecast was for much nicer weather, Suiter said.

The Macksville library provides the Earth Day materials as part of their effort to teach children about enjoying being outdoors.

“At the library, we promote the importance of being outside,” Suiter said.

Helping with the drive-by project are Assistant Librarian Linda Murrow and Library Board of Directors members Eileen Loomis and Nelda Satterlee.

The event was also designed to bring some hope to the community as the world deals with COVID-19. The virus doesn’t mean children have to stay indoors.

“We just want to reach out to children at this time,” Suiter said. “In ways, this year’s event was a little less about Earth Day and a lot more about hope.”

The school makes about 80 lunches a day and hands them out from 10:30 a.m. to noon. So the library set up their drive through service that time. It was also a time when people walk by for exercise or to get their mail. Packets were given to 46 children and 22 children with an additional 21 packets given to bank and city workers, neighbors and friends.

Items handed out include chalk, Earth Day Bingo, prepackaged fruit snack and flowers from Stutzman Greenhouse who generously donated five flats of flowers. Each person received two plants in a baggie. Disposable bags may not be the normal choice for an Earth Day event but this year is anything but normal, Suiter said.

Earth Day Bingo has topics of hug a tree, take a shorter shower and pick up trash as part of the library’s efforts to teach children to reduce, reuse and recycle. Finding chalk turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Apparently, lots of parents have purchased chalk for their children and had picked the Walmart shelves bare. Chalk was found after visits to Dollar Tree and Dollar General.

The Macksville Library has been around for 90 years. While the building is closed, their services are still available. People can click on the library link for a wealth of information including the history of Macksville, online books and games plus a special “Staying Home?” tab with new resources for all ages. The library is making plans for a summer reading program. The library is accessible though Internet at all the time.