The South Portland Land Trust and the South Portland Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department have organized a month-long celebration to engage the community around Earth Day, which will be celebrated on April 22.

Michael Strout courtesy photo

Highlighting the series of environmental events and activities are:

• Community clean-up events at Hinckley Park (April 3) and Mill Creek Park (April 24).

• Native seed bomb kits and nature-themed arts and crafts (April 1-9).

• Self-guided family “story walk” on the Dow’s Woods Trail (April 10-16).

• Geocaching event throughout our parks and trails (April 17-23).

• Park and trails scavenger hunt (April 24-30).

For more information, check the events page at South Portland Land Trust, www.southportlandlandtrust.org/upcoming-events or at the City of South Portland Facebook Page.

“For almost 30 years, the South Portland Land Trust’s Earth Day Clean-up has been a popular and important event,” said Richard Rottkov, president of the South Portland Land Trust in an email. “With the partnership of the city of South Portland and the support of many volunteers and local businesses, we are excited to once again, bring hundreds of citizens together to clean up and celebrate our trails and public spaces and show pride in our community.”

“This year in particular, our parks and trails have been a welcome respite for many individuals and families as they seek local outdoor activities,” said Parks and Rec Deputy Director Karl Coughlin in a written statement. “We are thrilled to work with the South Portland Land Trust to offer a month of Earth Day events that are not only fun and educational, but give the community a chance to support the trails they’ve enjoyed. Of course, in keeping with COVID protocols, social distancing will be followed at all events.”

While Mill Creek Park will again be the meeting location for this year’s citywide cleanup (Saturday, April 24, 9 a.m. to noon), the land trust and the parks and rec department also invite participants to choose when and where they would like to take part.

Those who would like to select their own site, time and date for clean-up or those who seek assistance, should email the land trust at [email protected]

Participating organizations and businesses can find more details about Earth Month and preregister to participateby emailing [email protected] or call 799-5686. To see a detailed calendar of events, visit SouthPortlandLandTrust.org, the city park’s department or the South Portland Land Trust Facebook page.

South Portland Cape Elizabeth Rotary supports students

South Portland School Superintendent Ken Kunin noted that the school district has more than 100 students who are homeless – up from about 30 to 40. South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club service director Tony Wagner got in touch with Director of Community Partnerships Gretchen McCloy and asked how Rotary could help.

The South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club recently approved the purchase $3,500 worth of backpacks, home kits, Hannaford gift cards and Metro bus passes for students. Courtesy photo

As a result, the club’s board authorized spending $3,500 that was used to purchase 36 school supply backpacks, 12 home kits, 20 Hannaford gift cards of $50 each, and 25 Metro bus passes ($20 each). Club member and South Portland community leader, Sari Greene, enlisted many helpers to get the supplies and do all the purchasing. The water bottles were donated by IDEXX, WCLZ, Woodfords Family Services and Key Bank.