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Oak Ridge Earth Day Gears Up for Its 9h annual celebration

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Keep Anderson County Beautiful (KACB) will be hosting the ninth annual Earth Day festival in Oak Ridge on Saturday, April 23 from 11 AM to 4 PM at Bissell Park in Oak Ridge. East Tennesseans are invited to participate in the festival that features free outside activities and events that promote environmental education, encourage individuals to create and contribute to a sustainable community, and get children to play outdoors.

Sponsored in major part by Leidos and the City of Oak Ridge, Earth Day 2016 will feature exercise games, exhibits, free tree sapling give-a-ways, a scavenger hunt, food vendors, plus a special recycling collection program. 

Starting at 11 AM, free activities will commence at Bissell Park (Oak Ridge Turnpike and Tulane Ave) with scheduled organized fun and games with music for children to promote healthy communities.

Exhibitors will bring wildlife critters for children to pet and learn about outside habitats. There will be exhibits by area students showing off their Lens on Litter photos as part of a new art contest organized by KACB with cash prizes.   Food vendors will be available to keep participants fueled for all the fun.  In case of inclement weather, all activities will be held inside the Civic Center.

A special recycling collection program, ERASE YOUR TRACE will be held at the ORAU parking lot next to Bissell Park on Badger Road rain or shine.  Old electronics (computers, printers, cell phones, and personal papers for shredding, books, blankets and towels (for the animal shelter), fluorescent light bulbs, rechargeable and button batteries (not alkaline batteries) eye glasses, and gently worn shoes will be collected from 10 AM till 3 PM.  No TV’s or computer monitors will be collected because of high disposal costs.  Documents to be shredded will be collected and shredded off-site. 

Gently worn shoes are being collected from April 1 through April 24th at locations throughout Anderson County as well as at the festival.  Locations and collection details are listed at the festival website at www.orearthday.org . Shoes will be sent to third world countries where up to 300 million children have no shoes and over 700 million people contract parasitic diseases annually because of a lack of shoes. 

A special treasure hunt, ECO-EXPEDITION, on the North Ridge Trail and Black Oak Ridge Area will be available during the months of April and May.  Clues and details can be found at the www.earthday.org website.   New clues will be on Facebook and Twitter and will direct people to the website. Adult and Youth volunteers are always in demand. An on-site eco-expedition will be organized at the festival.

 Information on how you can get involved and more details on the festival on the festival can be found on the website www.orearthday.org.

Pat Imperato, Vice Chair of Keep Anderson County Beautiful

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