Earth Day

Marsha Hite and Sharon Blosser with the Halifax Village Association teach children how to make bags out of T-shirts.

It proved to be a good day to commemorate the planet, with the town of Halifax celebrating its 11th Annual Earth Day Extravaganza on Saturday.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout,” said Assistant Town Manager Denise Barksdale.

The town rolled a number of events into one on Saturday, with the Earth Day celebration combining with a countywide Barn Quilt Trail tour.

Those attending Earth Day in Halifax had an opportunity to pick up a trail map at the market to enjoy the second annual barn quilt trail when eight historic properties opened to the public offering visitors a peek inside properties not usually open to the public. 

Travelers had chances to view Berry Hill Resort, Elmo Grocery, Glenwood United Methodist Church, Noland Village, Olive Branch United Methodist Church, Oak Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast, Sunny View 1894 Inn and and Mt. Vernon Baptist Church.

Back in Halifax at the Earth Day event, organizations such as the Southside Master Gardeners, Halifax Village Association, Halifax Public Library and more teamed up to provide activities for all ages.

A number of vendors lined the streets of uptown Halifax, while the Farmers Market hosted a number of Earth Day-themed activities, including one where residents could learn to build a rain barrel or attend a shiitake mushroom workshop that included a PowerPoint presentation about the health benefits of shiitake inside the market and then a hands on log inoculation outside. 

Youngsters enjoyed a scavenger hunt, painting rocks, sun catchers and magnets, making seed babies, and some brought an old, clean T-shirt to make a no-sew tote bag with the Halifax Village Association volunteers.

The Halifax County Forestry Department was on site Saturday with free pine seedlings they gave away to eager recipients.

The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation was a hit at the Earth Day Extravaganza with kids and adults of all ages enjoying the Next Generation Outreach educational mobile unit and its animals that help teaches about the great outdoors.

Participants visited with members of the Staunton River Battlefield State Park who had their wildlife displays consisting of skulls, furs, live turtles and more, and they made pinecone bird feeders with the park staff.

The fishermen out there enjoyed viewing the vermiculture display as part of Earth Day activities at the farmers market. Anglers wanting to learn more about the art of raising earthworms got to see red wigglers used to compost organic waste and make fertilizer and some of the best pan fish bait in the world.

Children got a kick out of learning about the life and habits of these fantastic little wonders too on Saturday.

In addition to hosting the rain barrel workshop, the Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District and the Virginia Cooperative Extension-Southside Master Gardeners Association also had plot signs available and were handing out seeds.

A workshop on the benefits of essential oils also attracted people who wanted to learn how to blend essential oils at safe dilution rates. Their reward was getting to make and take one free essential oil inhaler home at the end of the day.

Some Earth Day visitors stopped by the Halifax Public Library Saturday morning and made a birdfeeder using a cardboard tube, peanut butter and birdseed.

Across the street at the Cozy Cottage Gift Shop, kids flocked to a free Earth Day crafts workshop and came away sporting their own potted plants.

Throughout the day, plenty of food was available with Full Circle Pizza serving up pizzas, The Packhouse serving breakfast until noon, and other merchants such as The Peddler’s Market, The Exchange and Guns –N- Stuff were open to Earth Day visitors as well.

One of the hottest attractions of Saturday’s extravaganza in the town of Halifax was electronics recycling that took place near the Halifax Public Library.

People lined up to drop off their computers, keyboards, mice, monitors, cable/DVD boxes, modems, routers, switches, audio/visual equipment, radios, CB radios, cords and cables and small kitchen appliances such as blenders or toasters and televisions.

The weather cooperated, and sponsors were pleased at the end of the day describing it as a very successful Earth Day Extravaganza.