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Lake County Parks & Trails Division invites community to celebrate Earth Day on April 20

RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2008

LEESBURG — The Lake County Department of Public Works, Parks & Trails Division, will host an Earth Day celebration on Sunday, April 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at PEAR Park, located at 5336 University Ave., Leesburg.

While the 39th Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22, 2008, officials from the Parks & Trails Division chose a weekend to celebrate the occasion in hopes of attracting more families to the event. The daylong event includes a variety of activities, demonstrations and informational booths. A few of the activities include guided bird-watching hikes, butterfly hikes, bicycle rides, planting native plants in the park's restoration area and geocaching. A host of different agencies, including the Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society, Lake County Water Authority and Lake County Public Lands Management Program, will make presentations.

A popular draw for children is the lassoing cowboy antics of the Pollution Prevention Posse. Riding horses from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., these Western warriors teach children the benefits of recycling, reducing waste and protecting the environment. A chorus group of middle and high school students known as the Recycle Maniacs will also be on hand from 1 to 4:30 p.m. to sing a few songs that have an environmentally-friendly tune.

Other participating agencies and businesses include the Lake County Department of Environmental Services, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, St. Johns River Water Management District, Trout Lake Nature Center, Lake Beautyberry Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, Critter Encounters and Covanta Energy.

The PEAR Park Association, which is a volunteer group of local residents, will be selling food, refreshments and native plants to raise funds for future park improvements.

For more information about the 2008 Earth Day event including a comprehensive schedule of events, call Park Ranger Gallus Quigley at (352) 742-0992, e-mail parksandtrails@lakecountyfl.gov or log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Presentations at Nature Center:
9-9:20 a.m. — Lake County Public Lands Management Program by David Hansen
9:45-10:45 a.m. — Geology of Florida by Eugene Bouley
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Hug a Tree and Survive by Lake County Park Ranger Kim Hicks
12:45-1:15 p.m. — The Real Story: Where Did All The Water Go! by the Lake County Water Authority
2-3:30 p.m. — Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society presentation on birding in Lake County’s Parks by Park Ranger Gallus Quigley and Audubon Society members
3:45-4:45 p.m. — Spring Wildflowers by Park Ranger Wendy Poag

Demonstrations at Garden Pavilion
9:30-10:30 a.m. — Scrub Restoration and Scrub Jays by Dr. Ron Plakke
11:30-12:30 p.m. — Scrub Restoration and Scrub Jays by Dr. Ron Plakke
2:30-4:30 p.m. — Geocaching by Park Ranger Kim Hicks

Overlook Pavilion
11 a.m.-12 p.m. — Meadow restoration with Peter Moeller

Activities at River Trail
8:45-9:45 a.m.; 10-11 a.m. ;or 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Bird watching hikes with Park Ranger Gallus Quigley

Activities at Meadow
10-11 a.m.; or 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Butterfly Hike with Park Ranger Wendy Poag
1:30-2:30 p.m. — Butterfly Hike with Bob Putman or Peg Lindsay

Activities at multi-use trail
9-10 a.m.; or 2- 3 p.m. — Bicycle ride with Park Ranger Vandy Bates

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Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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