Brick Pond Park celebrates Earth Day

Bream, biodiversity and birdfeeders all had a part in Saturday’s discussions and activities in Brick Pond Park, amid the annual Earth Day celebration, featuring a variety of displays and activities run by government and private-sector groups.

In keeping with tradition, offerings included an assortment of hands-on exhibits, with attractions including animals from the Savannah River Ecology Lab, brochures from the Sierra Club, a tire-based obstacle course courtesy of the local Bridgestone facilities and a boat used in the Department of Natural Resource’s patrols on the Savannah River.

Friends of the Greeneway had a booth set up on the edge of the Greeneway, with the chance for bicyclists to boost the inflation in their tires, if needed, and pick up a brochure on initiatives to maintain and protect the popular pathway.

A bluegrass band helped set the entire event to music, and Bridgestone’s exhibit included the essential ingredients pine cones and peanut butter for making low-cost birdfeeders that visitors could take home. Offered within a block or two were free oak and evergreen seedlings, lessons on erosion, a chance to hold a young alligator and the opportunity to see a pair of barred owls that have established a nest in the park.

This year’s new features included a chance for visitors to fish from the park’s pavilion, said Tonya Strickland, the municipal government’s environmental coordinator.

“From what I understand, all of these people that registered for this event had never been fishing before, so they learned how to do everything, from putting the poles together, to putting the bait on the hook and taking the fish off the hook.”

“ “Everything went great. In the beginning, it was a little rainy, so we were a little concerned, but it’s a beautiful day. Everybody out here’s having a wonderful time.”

The crowd, she said, was similar in number to those that attended the event during its years at Lions Field, which offered less space for exhibitors to spread out. One event organizer estimated that this year’s gathering was the 12th in the annual series.

This year’s event was “energy-free,” Strickland said, citing a partnership with Palmetto Clean Energy (PaCE), which is associated with Duke Energy and SCE&G. “We donate a certain amount of money to them to create green energy ... It’s an interesting program. A lot of people should look that up.”