Skip to main content

Earth Day

2013 WNY Earth Day Family Expo at Buffalo Zoo's 'Party for the Planet'

By Bonnie Marrocco

Students and teachers throughout Genesee County who are involved in environmental studies participated in an Earth Day-related event at the Buffalo Zoo in late June. The students created projects about climate change, natural habitats, invasive species, renewable energy, and recycling.

These were showcased in an Environmental Education Science Fair at the “Party for the Planet” -- sponsored by the Sierra Club/Niagara Group along with Daemen College Center for Sustainable Communities & Civic Engagement.

Alexander Central School submitted posters and projects highlighting its Outdoor Classroom. Alexander School is building the first certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom in WNY -- where nature will be connected to curricula.

This outdoor classroom provides experiences that encourage students to appreciate the environment. Students will be able to participate in such activities as building, balancing, adding, subtracting, sorting and classifying using materials from nature like pinecones, sticks, plants, etc. Various stations will facilitate nature observation and art, poetry, journaling, music, drama and physical activities.

Batavia School District entered three projects from Jackson Elementary School.

Students in Aimee Nelson and Heather Landers’ first-grade classes submitted projects on the Rainforest, which combined science and art. Each student prepared a research report focusing on a particular animal in the rainforest. They also submitted 3D projects depicting the four layers of the rainforest.

Jessica Torrey's class studied the temperate deciduous forests. Detailed artwork and individually written reports highlighted each student's understanding of the interconnectedness of life in the forest.

Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia submitted its Gardeners and Scientist project, which children's librarian Kelly March organized.

The submission is from "The Great Sunflower Project," which is one of the programs offered through the library’s “Dig into Reading” summer reading club. Activities for Great Sunflower Project include the study of pollination and pollinators, growing sunflowers, as well as taking part in the national “Backyard Bee Count” – the world’s largest citizen science project focused on pollinator conservation.

Each participant in the Environmental Education Science Fair in Buffalo will receive special legislative recognition for their work.

For more information on environmental education programs in Genesee County, contact Judy Spring at 343-2362 or 344-1122 or e-mail

Photo: Earth Day clean up in Oakfield

By Howard B. Owens

Samantha Pangrazio pulls a bag of garbage from under a tree off Albion Road, in Oakfield.

Pangrazio, along with Jacqualine Chamberlain (pictured) and Debbie Martin, were on Albion Road this morning picking up trash and litter as part of a community Earth Day clean up. More than a dozen other volunteers participated.

This is the fourth year for the event, which Pangrazio started her sophomore year in high school.

"As a kid I grew up out in the middle of nowhere and I saw how people always threw garbage around and it really bothered me," Pangrazio said. "My mom would take us out and we would clean up the garbage. I thought it was something other people don't really think about, so I wanted to raise awareness about how gross some people can be."

This year's sponsors were: Genesee County Roofing, Lamb Farms, Loraine's Day Care, Caryville Inn, Alli's Cones & Dogs, Santino's Pizza and Becky's Treasures and Crafts.

Photos: Scouts clean up at DeWitt Park

By Howard B. Owens

Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts were in DeWitt Park today for Earth Day to do a little clean up. The girls found a whole area of old auto parts that had been dumped, no doubt, decades ago, and dutifully picked up every scrap.

Photos: City's Earth Day clean up at Austin Park

By Howard B. Owens

A persistent drizzle didn't dampen the green spirits of some Batavia residents who turned out for the city's Earth Day park clean-up effort today at Austin Park (with clean-up crews dispersing to other parks after a meeting).

Above, Kaitlin Logsdon at Austin Park, and below, Batavia City Council President Tim Buckley with Katie Buckley, and wearing the trash bag is Dave Russell.

City Youth Bureau hosts Earth Day event

By Billie Owens

In an effort to educate students and the community on recycling, conserving energy, and going “green” in general, the City of Batavia Youth Bureau is sponsoring its annual Earth Day event beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 at Austin Park.

Morning refreshments will be provided by Tim Horton's.

This year’s event will feature a short presentation on energy efficiency and how to reduce your "carbon footprint" to kick off the event.

The following agencies will set up booths and interactive displays for the participants to visit:

  • GLOW Solid Waste
  • Finger Lakes Energy Smarts Communities Program
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Program
  • Youth Bureau, City of Batavia
  • Genesee ARC
  • Pathstone Corporation
  • Smoke Free NOW.

Students will also receive giveaways at some of the booths. After folks have visited all of the booths, school/student groups from John Kennedy, Robert Morris, Batavia Middle schools, Students United for Positive Action as well as others, will be sent out to clean a park or an area in the city.

Volunteers from Kiwanis Club will accompany several of the student groups. We will then meet back at Austin Park and will proceed to Centennial Park for a Tree Planting Ceremony, where the students in attendance will actually plant the tree.  Everyone will then be invited back to Austin Park for a pizza lunch. The event will conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m.

If you would like more information on Earth Day or would like to participate, call the Batavia Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

Thanks to the participants of The Second Annual Oakfield Community Earth Day Clean-Up!

By Samantha Pangrazio

I would like to thank all who participated in and/or sponsored The Second Annual Oakfield Community Earth Day Clean-Up! This year’s event took place on April 23, 2011 and a total of twenty enthusiastic participants met at the Oakfield-Alabama Central School parking lot. Here, we distributed work gloves, safety vests, and garbage bags that were donated to us by the Town of Oakfield and Highway Department along with a complementary event t-shirt. After each participant attained said equipment, we mapped out routes that groups of people would embark on to clear the clutter from the roadsides of our beautiful community.  At 9:00AM, we all set out on different pathways and met up again at noon at Alli’s Cones and Dogs, where we were provided with free pizza and soft drinks. We discussed the most random item that each group found on their missions and also how disgusting it was that we were able to accumulate three full truckloads of debris just from three hours of volunteering. Most people never realize how much litter is actually lining the roads we drive on everyday and I encourage people to begin paying attention. Next year, we hope to gain even more participants and to create new contests so we can continue to make this annual event bigger and better. One last (HUGE) thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible: Genesee County Roofing, Alli’s Cones and Dogs, Becky’s Treasures and Crafts, Lamb Farms, and the Town of Oakfield/Highway Department! 

City celebrates Earth Day and Arbor Day this Saturday

By Billie Owens

From 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, April 30, the City of Batavia will celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day. Rain or shine.

The morning will begin at Austin Park on Jefferson Avenue with an Energy Smart Program presentation. There will also be giveaways and several displays including: a seed starting display by the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners; a composting display by GLOW; city recycling Information; a Youth Bureau Craft Booth, National Grid lighting display and handouts, Garbage Art by GoArt!, and a Smoke Free Now Booth by GCASA.

Volunteers will then be assigned a City Park or downtown in the area of Main and Ellicott streets to pick up debris. The volunteers will be asked to regroup at Austin Park at 11:45 a.m. for tree planting ceremonies and a complimentary lunch sponsored by Reality Check.

A challenge has been given to the local fifth-grade classes and the class with the most participants in our Earth Day event will be announced at noon. The winning class will receive a pizza party for their fifth-grade class at their school.

The City of Batavia Youth Bureau has organized this event for the community.

The trees for the planting ceremonies have been donated by Lowes and Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union. ARC is also donating their services and supplies for the event and Tim Horton’s is donating coffee and TimBits for the volunteers.

The city is seeking volunteers to give a few hours of their time to get out and recognize Earth Day & Arbor Day and to help Clean up & Green up Batavia!

If there are any questions, please contact: City of Batavia Youth Bureau, located at One Batavia City Centre. Phone is 345-6420. FAX is 344-0260. E-mail:

6th annual Cool Kids Eco-Fest set for April 9 at college

By Billie Owens

This information comes from Genesee Community College.

Genesee Community College's Earth Club, Student Activities Office and College Village are once again joining Cool Kids to collectively produce the 6th annual Cool Kids Eco-Fest.

This free, fun-filled, yet educational event aims to increase awareness of important environmental issues and it celebrates Earth Day.

From alternative fuel cars to kites, solar power displays to a big plastic bag bash, water bugs to a giant map of the Earth, Eco-tips to Eco-button making -- it's all at the Batavia campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9.

Both indoor and outdoor activities will be happening throughout the four-hour event, which winds down with the Eco-Raffle of great green prizes, including the Grand Prize -- a mountain bike provided by Adam Miller Bikes and Toys. (You must be present to win.)

While many of the popular eco-opportunities will be back -- such as the annual residential E-Waste Collection and Sloat Tires Inflation Station outside in the parking lot -- there will also be many wonderful new green alternatives to explore and enjoy.

New to this year's celebration will be the collection of worn American flags for honorable disposal by Sheppard, Maxwell and Hale. In addition, this year's ECO-Tips Illustration Contest, sponsored by ESL Federal Credit Union, features fun and unique prizes in the following six categories:

  • Children's Coolest Category: Pre K through Sixth Grade
  • Most Unique Reused Item
  • Best Illustration
  • Longest Term Impact for the Environment
  • Greatest Innovation / Absolutely Cool Awesome Idea
  • Most Fun or Funny

Last year, we had some incredibly clever contributions to the Eco-Tips Contest and we are looking forward to seeing what local citizens, from pre-K classes to senior citizens' groups will create.

"It's a great way to 'get your green on,' " said Donna Rae Sutherland, Genesee's Earth Club co-advisor and associate director of Marketing Communications. "Eco-Fest continues to grow each year and the upcoming festival promises to be the best ever."

Entries for the ESL Eco-Tip Illustration Contest are being accepted now through to 11 a.m. April 9 for the Eco-Fest by sending them to Donna Rae Sutherland, GCC, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

All entries will be on display at the event, and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. contest judges will review entries and select the six prize winners. There is no limit on the number of Eco-Tip entries any one person or group can submit, and there is also no limit on the size of paper or form for each submission.

For Eco-Tip guidelines and the official entry form go to:

Also new this year will be the bird-banding demonstration by Tom Klotzbach, a local birding expert and researcher, as well as a GCC alumnus and employee. He is currently in the second year of a three year bird-tracking project featuring more than 60 bird boxes located at GCC and on the western portion of the Ontario State Parkway.

The seasonal outdoor effort starts in early April when he will once again begin tracking various species of native and non-native birds. Through banding and bi-weekly nest box checks, Klotzbach is collecting bird data such as age, sex, fat score, and body mass. The collected data is used to study migration patterns with the U.S. Geological Survey, and is the foundation for his research on nest site fidelity.

The 6th annual Cool Kids ECO-Fest also includes more than 35 exhibits, presentations and activities, including the Cool Kids Wild Life Show and the Big Bag Bash.

As in years past, hundreds of people of all ages are expected to attend the event enjoying environmental fun and educational opportunities, and the more green things they do – the more Eco-Raffle tickets they collect to increase their chances of winning the mountain bike.

Among the ways to earn Eco-Raffle tickets:

  • Donating residential E-Waste or electronics such as old computers, monitors, calculators, TVs, VCRs, stereo equipment, video games, and microwave ovens (No other kitchen appliances, please.);
  • Donating paperbacks books for American troops overseas;
  • Donating worn American flags for proper disposal by Sheppard, Maxwell and Hale;
  • Donating cell phones and ink cartridges for Oakfield-Alabama Schools collection;
  • Creating an Eco-Tip for the ESL Eco-Tip Illustration Contest;
  • Getting your tire pressure checked by Sloat Tires Inflation Station;
  • AAA mercury hood lamp switch-out (for 2002 or older cars);
  • Being an Eco-Fest volunteer;
  • Wearing green.

 For further information contact Donna Rae Sutherland at 343-0055, ext. 6616.

Photos: Earth Day in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

City and county officials were heading up Earth Day/Arbor Day activities at three locations in Genesee Park. At Austin Park, the city hosted a park clean-up day. At Dewitt Recreation Area, volunteers and children were out to clean up the park, plant trees and post birdhouses, and at Genesee County Park, volunteers were on hand to clean up the trails.

After the jump are more pictures:

Cool Kids ECO-Fest commemorates 40th anniversary of Earth Day

By Billie Owens

The fifth annual Cool Kids ECO-Fest will take place at Genesee Community College from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 17 at the Batavia Campus.

The college's Earth Club, Student Activities Office and College Village are once again joining Cool Kids to collectively produce a fun-filled, yet educational event aimed at increasing awareness of important environmental issues and opportunities.

ECO-Fest 2010 will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with special activities. All portions of the event are free and open to the public. Most of the festival takes place in the central Forum or Clocktower Plaza. ECO-Fest is part of several activities celebrating Earth Day throughout Genesee County this month.

Cool Kids ECO-Fest 2010 includes numerous exhibits, presentations, activities and prizes, and is an ideal experience for anyone interested in celebrating Earth Day. Hundreds of people of all ages are expected to attend. Many of the prior year's favorite environmental fun and educational opportunities will return, with a wide assortment of new options as well. Through active participation in ECO-Fest activities, attendees increase their chances of winning a variety of prizes, including the Grand Prize – an Adam Miller Toys and Bike's Mountain Bike, at the finale of ECO-Fest. (All winners must be present at ECO-Fest to win.)

New to this year's celebration is a paperback book drive for American troops through the Operation Paperback program. Participants can bring in paperback books to be recycled and sent to service men and women. Along with paperback books, ECO-Fest attendees should also bring in old sneakers to be recycled for Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe recycling program which recycles old sneakers into Astroturf. Attendees can also bring in old electronic devices for the E-Scrap drive. The E-Scrap drive collects residential electronics such as computers, monitors, cell phones, calculators, etc. There will be drive-up curbside collecting for community members who wish to drop off their old, unwanted E-Scrap free of charge. (There is a $5 charge for any television sets dropped off.)

Community residents are encouraged to participate in the Earth Day Eco-Tip Illustration Contest to graphically illustrate their favorite Eco-Tip. There are no age or creativity limits, and entries can be individual or group efforts.

Participants can use the form provided at <> or use their own paper. Entries can be brought to ECOFest on April 17 or can be submitted to: Genesee Community College, Attn: Donna Rae Sutherland / MarCom Office D110, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

All entries must be received by 11 a.m. on April 17. Each submission will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a mountain bike from Adam Miller Toys. One winner and honorable mentions will be awarded at ECO-Fest.

"We have some fantastic events planned for this year's Eco-Fest, which we decided to move to a weekend date to accommodate the expanding crowds and presentations," Sutherland said. "Each year gets better than the last and we're excited to be commemorating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day."

She is the associate director of Marketing Communications at Genesee and advisor for the Earth Club.

Other Earth Day celebrations happening in Genesee County later in the month include:

City of Batavia Earth Day Celebration
9 a.m. to Noon, Saturday, April 24
Austin Park (behind Batavia City Post Office)

Genesee County Earth Day Celebration
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24
Dewitt Recreation Area (115 Cedar St., Batavia) and at Genesee County Park and Forest (Bethany Center Road, East Bethany

For further information contact Sutherland at 343-0055, ext. 6616.

'EcoFest' at Genesee Community College

By Daniel Crofts

Genesee Community College invites people to celebrate Earth Day at EcoFest, which is free and open to the public.

This event will be held at the Batavia campus on 1 College Road, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, april 17. Features will include stage shows, a live wildlife show, street cleanup, a book drive, an electronics recycling drive and an "old sneakers" drive.

Please contact Donna Rae Sutherland at 343-0055, ext. 6616, for more information.

Event Date and Time

Earth Day celebration at Genesee County Park

By Howard B. Owens

Press Release:

Show that you care about the Earth. Join us for a clean up day at DeWitt Recreation Area or Genesee County Park. Community displays and fun craft activities at the Genesee County Park & Forest Nature Center. Call 344-1122 to sign up.

Genesee County Park & Forest

11095 Bethany Center Rd.

E. Bethany, Ny 14054

Authentically Local