Hickory – Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with family-friendly activities at the SALT Block during the “Growing a Green Future” event.

Learn about what it means to “be green” in Catawba County during the seventh year of “Growing a Green Future” event. This event will be held on Saturday, April 23, between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., on the “Green” between the Arts and Science Center and the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, 375 3rd Street, NE, Hickory. The rain date is Sunday, April 24 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

“Each year in the month of April our community comes together to become aware of how we can be part of “making every day earth day,” said Maria Goldstein with GoGreen Hickory. “Everyone must be actively practicing responsible stewardship each day and every day. More than ever before, in the history of the planet, being stewards of the environment is key.”

As in previous years, more than 20 groups will be represented at “Growing a Green Future” and they will be providing educational information, and demonstrations, focusing on preserving the earth, supporting nature, or any environmental product, practice or service offered in the area. Some of those groups are Republic Services, Riverkeepers/Covekeepers, Hickory Museum of Art, Community Appearance Commission, GoGreenHickory, and Shaklee.

Many organizations come together to bring this event to the community, including The City of Hickory, Catawba County, the Catawba Science Center, Catawba County Cooperative Extension, Greenway Public Transportation, Keep Catawba County Beautiful, Hickory Museum of Art, Republic Services, Lenoir Rhyne University, and the Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

“Earth Day is an opportunity to promote some of the processes and tools available to us to be wise stewards of what we have been given,” said Andrew Ballentine, City of Hickory Solid Waste Manager. “Recycling is a key component in that process because we have an easy opportunity to make a positive difference. Our community is doing a great job, but there is room to improve even though our new Single Stream Program has been a huge success. To continue to improve upon recycling, we must take a moment and ask ourselves, is this recyclable and where does it go? We have so many programs in the community to help residents and businesses recycle, re-use or re-purpose items we use every day.”

The City of Hickory’s Community Appearance Commission (CAC) and Landscape Services will be handing out tree seedlings again this year. The community is encouraged to stop by the City of Hickory’s booth to pick up a free tree seedling to plant. In addition to the tree give-away and educational opportunities, Catawba County will be providing free event t-shirts to the first 200 attendees.

Air quality improvement and the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere is a benefit of trees. Also, a healthy mature tree will increase property value and the larger the tree the higher the value. This is especially important for resale and will increase yearly as the tree grows. All of these reasons should be an incentive to plant trees. By keeping mature trees healthy by proper pruning, and not topping trees, not only will it increase the value of a property and save money on energy costs, but, it, also, helps provide a benefit of cleaner air and reductions in storm water problems.

For more information on the City’s Community Appearance Commission, go to www.HickoryNC.gov.