Rain or Shine: Community gardens highlighted during annual Earth Day Celebration

Published 4:54 pm Monday, April 24, 2017

A quick audible wouldn’t deter a newly created tradition in Carter County.
Elizabethton High School was heavily-populated Saturday afternoon with multiple organizations and vendors during the second annual Earth Day Celebration. The high school was the new location for the event after their initial spot — Covered Bridge Park — had to be changed due to rainy weather in the forecast.
“We are so grateful for Elizabethton High School for allowing us to use their gym and hallways for the event,” Jilian Reece, Carter County Community Advisory Board member and one of the event’s organizers, said. “We were able to provide all the events we had planned for Covered Bridge Park … and everybody stayed dry. We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout.”
Attendees had the opportunity to visit over 20 vendors lined up inside the gymnasium and in the hallway. Each organization had activities for children and adults, including a plant swap, DIY arts and crafts and other goodies.
To keep with the theme of Earth Day, children had the chance to receive a free plant thanks to a partnership with Niswonger Children’s Hospital. Free crafts from the Carter County chapter of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library were also available. Not to be outdone, several representatives from UT-Extension provided booths full of information and activities for children.
But the overall message of the event was to recognize community members that helped the CAB’s community gardens take off during a successful first year, Reece said.
“We were able to take time out to recognize our citizens, businesses and organizations that have helped with the success of our community garden,” said Reece, who is the gardens’ project chair for CAB. “We wanted to have this moment to recognize each and every one of them and just have a day to say thanks.”
And 2017 has been a busy year already for CAB. Entering the second year of community gardens, Reece added the organization is looking at implementing gardens at two different locations, so far, including the newest one located at the United Way’s office on Southside Road.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to help out at a couple of garden locations, Reece added, on May 16. From 4 to 6:30 p.m. that day, CAB is encouraging citizens to help gardening at the UW location and another at Pine Ridge Circle — near the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency’s main office. Individuals can contact Reece via email at ccdpdirector@outlook.com to learn more about the gardening date.
Two other main attractions during the day included the Great Cloth Diaper Change, where 24 youngsters were changed during a worldwide attempt of breaking a record, Reece said. The younger children were two weeks old while the oldest was two-and-a-half years old.
“We had a wide range of babies that were part of the diaper challenge,” Reece said.
Saturday was also used as a rally to support the upcoming Downtown Elizabethton Farmer’s Market, scheduled to take place on May 23 in the First Christian Church parking lot on F Street.
Individuals looking to learn more about the market can visit the Downtown Elizabethton Farmer’s Market Facebook page online.

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