While not a traditional holiday, Earth Day is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated observances in Haliburton County.

Held annually on April 22, the event gives people the opportunity to learn about, and act on, ways to help restore nature and celebrate our environment. John Watson, environmental manager with Dysart et al, says all four lower-tier municipalities will be partnering with the County and local library this year on a week-long virtual educational campaign.

Through their social media channels, Algonquin Highlands, Dysart et al, Minden Hills, Highlands East, the County and the library will share ways everyone can help conserve and protect forests, energy, biodiversity, resources and water. They will highlight environmental conservation tips, supported by book recommendations, that will help to deepen the understanding and impact of our actions on the planet.

The event will run from April 18 to 23.

“While Earth Day itself has been a thing for over 50 years, I feel over time, and especially recently, it’s been getting more attention. People have become more educated about climate change and the implications that brings and are starting to stand up and take action,” Watson said.

Touching on the biodiversity theme, Watson added there will be information on how to plant native species of flowers, plants and trees and the benefits they can each bring.

Waste management is another focus, with Watson offering advice on how to avoid wish-cycling.

“We want to make sure people are putting the correct items into their recycling bins, so there will be information on that. We’re also promoting the new Haliburton County Waste Wizard mobile app, which will help residents understand what items are considered recyclable,” Watson said.

Community events

On April 23, the Gooderham Community Action Group is hosting a community clean-up from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will be meeting at the Robert McCausland Community Centre.

Environment Haliburton! is also getting in on the action, hosting a virtual presentation on human health and the climate emergency. Led by Dr. Samantha Green of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the seminar will address why she feels the climate emergency is the single biggest threat to human health. The event begins at 8 p.m. Those interested in registering can do so at environmenthaliburton.org.

As we head further into spring, Watson said the local municipalities would be offering more programming centring on environmental preservation.

“We’ll be doing some litter cleanups, and then a lot of things around minimizing illegal dumping,” Watson said. “In Dysart, we’re moving ahead with our FoodCycler pilot project for indoor composting, and a food waste reduction initiative that we’ve been working on with some Fleming College students, so there’s lots of exciting things going on.

“There’s lots of different ways that we can be looking after different issues in our community, both to make it more beautiful but also to minimize our impact on the environment.”