Earth Day extravaganza returns to Fredericksburg's Old Mill Park

By Amanda Patterson, FOR Volunteer

Fredericksburg’s 13th annual Earth Day celebration will be taking place on Saturday, April 23rd from 11am to 4pm (rain date: April 30th) and you don’t want to miss it! Thanks to Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation and many other organizations and individual contributors, this event remains free to the public and fun for all. This event will be taking place at Old Mill Park in Fredericksburg and will feature many attractions and activities that will not disappoint.

Last year’s FOR Earth Day booth was a thrill, showcasing our National Bird, the Bald Eagle, as well as another majestic bird, the Red-tailed Hawk. Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Nature Education Coordinator Linda Bailey said that this year, “We will have many exciting activities for young and old alike,” including a barrel train and pony rides, numerous animals, dozens of interactive exhibits put on by participating environmental groups, and various wildlife shows. That’s just naming a few of the many attractions! There will also be a variety of tasty food for sale and tasteful live music playing all day long.

This year, FOR will be showcasing the ancient sturgeon. Learn more about the effort to reintroduce sturgeon to the Chesapeake Bay and how scientists are monitoring their recovery in the Rappahannock River. There will be special guests for young people and signing for the hearing impaired. Check out more about sturgeon!

Bailey is excited for two other huge new aspects of this year’s event, the website and the shuttle service, which will make having a good time that much easier! Among various other parking options in the area, a free shuttle service will allow people to park at James Monroe High School and catch a ride on a school bus to Old Mill Park. These shuttles will be running all day long for easy transportation to and from the park. The new website, www.earthdayfred.com, will allow interested individuals quick access to more details and information about the event. This website also provides an easy way for people to get involved, as there are many needs for sponsors, vendors, volunteers and donations. So come out, have fun, and celebrate our Earth while learning more about how to protect our planet and the incredible wildlife that inhabit it!

Amanda Patterson is a senior psychology major at the University of Mary Washington, is new at FOR, and excited to be involved in an organization that works to keep the environment around her college town beautiful and active.