Just like our weather, planning for this year’s Earth Day Event was a bit unpredictable!  Just a few weeks before the event we learned that a change in venue was needed. The Town of Middleton let us use the Rubchinuk Town Park soccer field. With a few modifications in our planned activities, the event was very successful and a lot of fun! The North Shore Tech School students under the leadership of Paul Crofts, brought canoes to Thunder Bridge and offered a shuttle so that people could try out paddling and learn what a valuable asset the Ipswich River is to us.  Marc Plante answered many questions about electric cars and had his car on display for interested patrons. At the field the parachute and sack games were fun but the simple duck chute water recycled game was a non-stop favorite for toddlers! Leland, director of Creighton Pond Camp, gave an exciting presentation on owls and their Super Powers! Children and adults then got to find out just what an owl ate for dinner with owl pellet dissections. Mammals, insects, and amphibians all had booths dedicated to educating folk about habitat protection for them. Giant White Bird puppets and butterfly string puppets, created by Nancy Sander, flew around outside to the delight of the youngsters and adults!  Rocky’s Hardware of Middleton donated a new wheelbarrow, Topsfield Fair donated tickets, and there were over twenty other exceptional raffle prizes. The highlight is always the much coveted stone birdbath created by Leon Rubchinuk every year. Vendors, such as “Knotty by Nature”, used recycled wood to create artful products. Marty Jessel, our Bee Man, talked of protection for the bees. Mira Plante had an exceptional booth on litter and next to her were Masco students helping make beaver puppets. Sol Bean, our loyal supporter for all twelve years that the festival has existed, provided crimson ice tea and healthy goodies. The Boy scouts cooking their famous Dutch oven meal and desserts; Pack 19 also had a fun activity.  The Ipswich River Watershed educated people about how to protect our river. We also appreciate the generous donation made by donor Kosta Prentakis for festival supplies.  We thank all the folk that supported our raffle, as we are now able to award a scholarship to a Masconomet and a North Shore Tech student continuing their education in environmental studies. Our mission is also to encourage you to keep enjoying and protecting our local wild places, including our Ipswich River and wetlands. Many species, including humans, depend on healthy natural ecosystems and biodiversity!  Healthy ecosystems include keeping litter off our roadways, out of our many brooks, river and ocean. This year the Middleton Stream Team sponsored a month long challenge to clean up litter; we will be announcing the winner at our May meeting and our tallies of how much litter was picked up during the month. As you remember all the Mother’s this month, please take a moment to help Mother Earth!  
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