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Earth Day inspires tireless volunteer effort

April 21, 2001

Earth Day inspires tireless volunteer effort



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Approximately 1,000 Allegheny Energy volunteers spent part of Earth Day 2001 helping get rid of discarded tires.

"Allegheny Energy came up with this idea last year on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day," said Allegheny spokesman Scott Shields.

Numerous sites were predetermined, and crews were assigned throughout Allegheny's service area in parts of five states, Shields said.

Close to Allegheny's headquarters in Hagerstown, some volunteers went to sites in Boonsboro, Hancock, Frederick, Md., and Cumberland, Md., while others were assigned to Bedington, W.Va.

"I understand the mother lode of old tires is there," Shields said.

Of the total number of tires picked up Saturday, Maryland volunteers had collected more than 16,000, Shields said.

The tires were to be hauled away in trucks to the Meadowfill Landfill in Farmington, W.Va., for shredding and recycling by North Marion Tire Recycling, Shields said.

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Many crew members were Allegheny employees. Others were spouses, children and friends of the employees, Shields said.

"We provided T-shirts to all who participated as well as heavy-duty gloves for those who didn't have gloves," Shields said.

Elsewhere in the region, other observances of Earth Day encouraged people to get on better terms with Mother Nature.

Carl Stark, principal of Fairview Outdoor School near Clear Spring, said more than 40 people had taken advantage of the balmy spring weather to visit the school and see displays set up for Earth Day.

"It's been a while since we have done something like this on Earth Day," Stark said. "It's a great way for people to either get to know the school or become reacquainted."

Opened in 1979, the outdoor school has programs for children in grades kindergarten through 12, with its main focus at the fifth-grade level, when children spend three days and two nights at the school, Stark said.

The site on Draper Road has a wide variety of habitats and is always expanding its curriculum, Stark said.

In the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry hosted a variety of eco-friendly events Saturday to commemorate Earth Day.

Bird walks, wildlife displays and talks on endangered species and different types of habitat were held throughout the day, said Marsha Starkey, education/public relations spokesman.

"The threat of bad weather kept the crowds down a little but we did have 32 people participate in the 7 a.m. bird walk," Starkey said.

A "Name the Peregrine Falcon" contest was held to highlight the park's ongoing restoration program. Starkey said the name chosen for the bird was Speedy.

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