Earth Day is Saturday in Harford [Editorial]

On the heels of the annual Harford County Envirothon comes our area's Earth Day observances this Saturday.

There will be plenty of activities at Festival Park in Aberdeen, as well as opportunities to participate in the annual River Sweep cleanup along both shores of the Susquehanna River.

The Earth Day celebration in Aberdeen is a family event that begins at 11 a.m. and features food, live music, environmental exhibitors, animal exhibits, games and recycled crafts. The rain date is Sunday.

The game prizes will have recycled content or a green theme, and visitors can receive free game tickets by recycling cell phones, ink cartridges, baseball equipment and blue jeans or by bringing pet food.

Sponsors include Harford Glen Environmental Center, Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, Harford Bank, PNC Bank, the Aberdeen Lions Club, Frito-Lay and Aberdeen High School. The event is hosted by the City of Aberdeen.

For more details or rain information about Earth Day in Aberdeen, call 410-297-4215. Festival Park is at 60 N. Park St. in Aberdeen, across from the library and city hall and two blocks from Route 40 and West Bel Air Avenue.

The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway's 17th annual River Sweep, a volunteer shoreline and roadside cleanup in honor of Earth Day, will take place in Havre de Grace, Conowingo, Perryville, Port Deposit and Garrett Island.

According to organizers, over the past 16 years, River Sweep volunteers have removed more than 95 tons of trash from area roads and waterways, including about 8 tons last year. Lower Susquehanna Greenway is a Harford County-based nonprofit whose mission is to promote linkage of natural, historic and cultural resources along the river, including a series of land and water recreational trails.

Although the deadline to register online passed Tuesday, volunteers may also register at one of the sites the day of River Sweep, when everyone is asked to check in at 8:30 a.m., with the clean-up following from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.

River Sweep includes in Harford County: Tydings Park, on Commerce Street in Havre de Grace; and in Cecil County: Conowingo Creek (boat launch), 2 Mt. Zoar Road (Mt. Zoar Road and the water); Octoraro Creek (Conowingo Community Park), 1720 Susquehanna River Road in Conowingo; Marina Park, Port Deposit, 190 S. Main St.; Perryville Boat Launch and Garrett Island, 501 Roundhouse Drive; and Perryville Community Park, Marion Tapp Parkway.

Those interested in volunteering on Garrett Island should bring their kayaks and canoes and meet at the boat launch in Perryville. Boaters are also welcome.

River Sweep participants will fan out to spend the morning removing trash and other debris from the Upper Bay region, including the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and tributaries that feed into the Susquehanna River. Volunteers are encouraged to wear old clothes and to bring work gloves. Volunteers who sign up in advance will receive lunch.

Sponsors of the 2017 River Sweep include Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Exelon Generation and Central Maryland Chapter of Delta Waterfowl.

For more information about River Sweep and Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, visit www.upperbaytrails.com.

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