BY CINDY TOOPES Courier Staff Writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Since April 22, 1970, people around the world have cleaned up the outdoors and planted greenery for Earth Day.
Naturalist Annette Wittrock of Wapello County Conservation has worked on activities for Earth Day in the past and will host a celebration 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center. The Wapello County nature area is about seven miles south of Ottumwa on U.S. Highway 63 South.
Wittrock says that she was skeptical about her program plans due to Wednesday’s heavy rain. She had planned to host visitors who would plant several items and pick up any trash on Saturday. She hopes people will remember Earth Day.
New greenery may be planted if it’s not too wet, she added.
“We do have prairie plants to put in near the Nature Center,” she said. “Also, we go to the Ayers Addition, which is a new property that connects to Pioneer Ridge’s south side. We’ll meet at the Nature Center.”
Wittrock wasn’t sure how long Pioneer Ridge has celebrated Earth Day, but the event has been restarted after doing Earth Day off and on for several years.
“I couldn’t tell you how many years or what was done, but I’ve been here for seven years and have celebrated Earth Day,” she said. “Earth Day is celebrated around the world and at Pioneer Ridge, where people come out and get dirty while helping us continue restoration and conservation work.”
For more information about Saturday’s event, call Pioneer Ridge at 641-682-3091.