Guest View: Small actions make big impact on preserving the environment

The following was provided by Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (ERICD).

Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (ERICD) is celebrating Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary by battling climate change on multiple fronts. According to ERICD  district manager Sara Churgin, “You can’t take just one approach to saving the Earth. One project won’t solve all of our problems, but everyone pitching in in small ways will.”

To battle climate change and promote a healthy environment, ERICD is doing just that. It is hosting a series of events to allow all of us to take those small steps to ‘pitch in.’ Two rain barrel workshops in April will help redirect polluted stormwater away from our watershed and a Seedling Sale on April 18 provides the opportunity for residents to purchase native tree seedlings to plant in their homes.

“The planting of trees is one of the biggest and inexpensive ways of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis,” said Churgin.

Planting trees not only beautifies your garden, but also provides food and shelter for wildlife, stabilizes areas at risk for erosion, and even helps your local farmer. “Incorporating more native plants into your home landscape helps attract pollinators that increase crop yields, as well as insect predators that reduce costs for pest management,” said Nancy Parker Wilson, ERICD Board of Directors and site host for the seedling sale.

Seedlings will be sold in bundles of 5-10 and since these are tiny versions of trees, are a financially accessible way to include trees in your garden, while helping the environment. Species for sale will include Colorado Blue Spruce, Eastern White Pine, Scotch Pine, Arrowwood, Winterberry, American Elderberry, Spicebush, and Butterfly Milkweed. The sale will take place April 18 from 9AM – 1PM at Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth.

On another front, ERICD is hosting rain barrel workshops to preserve the health of Narragansett Bay. Churgin said, “A rain barrel catches water from your rooftop and stores it for you to water your garden. They conserve water, save you money, and reduce stormwater runoff.”

Two rain barrel workshops are being offered, one on April 18 in Bristol and one on April 25 in Middletown. The $35 fee provides all the materials and guidance to turn a used fifty-gallon plastic drum into a functioning rain barrel for your home.

According to its website, ERICD works to create a beneficial relationship between our natural resources and our personal, community, and economic needs. Preserving our past, enjoying our present and planning for our future must foster interactions that balance all aspects of our surroundings for the benefit of our local communities.

For more information on all events, search Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District on Facebook. To be added to ERICD’s email list or for questions about the events, contact schurgin.ericd@gmail.com

Seedling Sale Project made possible through a generous grant from the Friends of NACD (National Associated of Conservation Districts)


Event details:

Earth Day Seedling Sale
Join ERICD for a native tree seedling sale to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Native trees support wildlife diversity, help to control erosion, and create natural windbreaks. Seedlings will be sold in bundles of 5-10, available species include Colorado Blue Spruce, Eastern White Pine, Scotch Pine, Arrowwood, Winterberry, American Elderberry, Spicebush, and Butterfly Milkweed. First come, first served.

April 18, 2020
9AM – 1PM
Greenvale Vineyards (582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth, RI)
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/661617848021112/


Rain Barrel Workshops
Turn a used fifty-gallon container into a rain barrel for your home! A rain barrel catches water from a rooftop and stores it for you to water your garden. You will be provided with everything you need to build your own rain barrel. We will guide you through the process of converting these containers into allies for a cleaner Narragansett Bay. We have a limited number of barrels, so sign up early! Cost: $35 per barrel.

April 18
9:30AM
Bristol Parks & Recreation (101 Asylum Road, Bristol, RI)
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-your-own-rain-barrel-tickets-96998574347


April 25
9:30AM
Middletown Public Works (19 Berkeley Ave, Middletown, RI)
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-your-own-rain-barrel-tickets-96998574347

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