On April 22 a group of residents gathered at the Owen Sound legion to celebrate Earth Day. This event was hosted by CARGOS, a group of residents against radioactive generators in Owen Sound, although it was not political in nature.

It started at around noon and ended at 4 p.m. That morning a group of residents had participated in a downtown clean up organized by Tracy Buckton of Buzz Inkbee and the Green Taxi donated free rides to the legion for those who wanted to take part in the celebrations there.

Members of the Youth Theatre Coalition, accompanied by Micheala Morris, started things off with the national anthem. Piyak Ootihi performed a traditional First Nation’s water blessing ceremony.

Richard-Yves Sitoski gave a memorable slam poetry performance of some original work that he created for Earth Day.

Ziggy Kleinau, a long-time environmentalist, delivered some inspiring words about taking care of the Earth and energy conservation. Then there was entertainment by Kyler Kwenzie and Brock and Bryndan Boomstra.

Grade 9 student Julia Grein brought her award-winning science fair project, “How Does Your Garden Grow,” from John Deifenbaker Secondary School for folks to see.

Tablecloths were decorated by the children at the YMCA day-care.

Merchants who made the day a success by donating to the event inlcuded Shoppers Drug Mart (downtown location), Foodland grocery store, Rexall drug store (9th Ave. E. location), Metro grocery store, Zehrs Grocery Store, National Grocers, McDonald’s 10th St. location Anne Finlay-Stewart and Fulford’s Hardware.

Many thanks to Kay Cumbow of Michigan for the donation of the Earth Day flag, Kelly Ross for the terrific photos, Lori Ross and Richard-Yves Sitoski for the organizing and planning and to Chrystelle Owens for helping out with the set up and clean up.

Once again a special thank you to the Owen Sound legion for a terrific venue.

Earth Day is an important day to recognize because we need to remember that the earth, air and water are not ours to treat as we please.

We are the stewards of these resources and, as such, need to remember that governments and corporations do not always have the best interests of the environment in mind.

We need to be vigilant and question whether the decisions they make are the best ones.

Reduce, reuse and recycle and set good examples for your children. We may not have the solutions to our energy problems right now, but conservation is a good start and everyone can play a part in that.

We also need to have respectful discussions about green energy alternatives. There are alternatives if we listen to each other.

Every day should be Earth Day.

Sharen Skelly and Ziggy Kleinau

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