South Charlotte

Matthews HAWK bash is a celebration for the planet

Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor and 6-year-old A.J. Weil look at a corn snake held by Stacy Almond, an environmental educator with Reedy Creek Park.
Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor and 6-year-old A.J. Weil look at a corn snake held by Stacy Almond, an environmental educator with Reedy Creek Park. MELINDA JOHNSTON

Members of Habitat and Wildlife Keepers would say every day is Earth Day, but the Earth Day Celebration they threw in Matthews’ Stumptown Park on April 18 was a special tribute to the planet.

Thousands came to the park to learn how to make their corner of the Earth a little better place.

Some 63 organizations – ranging from composters to beekeepers, Scout troops to police – did their part to promote recycling, reusing and caring for the Earth.

HAWK member and Earth Day celebration organizer Debbie Foster said the response was overwhelming.

“It was a beautiful thing to see: kids playing outside, using jump ropes made from plastic grocery bags, coloring butterflies and making a ring, looking at the hissing cockroach and the ducks and the corn snake,” Foster said.

“Brownie Troop No. 317 ran out of materials because the build-your-own birdhouse was so successful, and had to go get more stuff in the middle of the event.

“They had sold more than 40 when I asked well before the event ended. Since it was a buy-one-donate-one, that means that a lot of habitats will have houses,” Foster said.

Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor petted a snake, children held worms, parents recycled medicine, and many other activities took place.

Foster said she hopes the lessons learned over the weekend will carry through the year, and said she’s already looking forward to next year’s Earth Day celebration.

“HAWK loves to do this, and it’s a great partnership with the town of Matthews. We want to get the word out however we can to tell people how they can make a difference,” said Foster.

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Melinda? Email her at m.johnston@carolina.rr.com.

Learn more:

Matthews Earth Day recycling results:

▪ 4,300 pounds of paper – automated shredding.

HAWKcycle collected:

▪ 3 milk jugs full of aluminum pop-tops to help pay utilities for the Ronald McDonald House.

▪ 4 large black trash bags full of egg cartons for local farmers to fill with new eggs.

▪ 20 pounds of batteries for Goodwill to recycle the metal.

▪ 5 shoeboxes full of glasses for the Lions Club to distribute.

▪ 2 red recycle bins full of printer cartridges and 3 shoeboxes full of cellphones as fundraisers for Carolina Waterfowl Rescue.

▪ 5 plastic grocery bags full of corks as a fundraiser for the S.C. Aquarium.

To find out more about HAWK, visit its facebook page at “Habitat and Wildlife Keepers.”

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