Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 16
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
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Weather Forecast

Earth Day Celebrations Set as Region Gears Up to Honor the Environment

Matthew Hersh

Organizations and community groups throughout the Princeton area are set to celebrate Earth Day this Sunday, April 22, marking the 37th year since the environmental appreciation event was established.

In contrast to recent weather history, this weekend should shed some light and warmth on all things earthly, as temperatures are expected to reach the mid-60s, with abundant sunshine.

For some, the celebration has already begun.

The Princeton University student environmental group, Greening Princeton, along with the non-profit organization, Princeton Prospect Foundation, sponsored a "Cool Bulb Initiative" last Sunday to encourage the switch from high-energy incandescent light bulbs to more efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

As part of the initiative, fluorescent bulbs were distributed to Prospect Avenue eating clubs. The $5,000 worth of bulbs was offered at a discount from Billows Electric of Trenton and was purchased for the clubs by the Princeton Prospect Foundation.

To reduce the carbon footprint of the Cool Bulb Initiative, Greening Princeton members delivered the bulbs in an electric car.

"The idea is to take small, personal steps toward improving the environment. We can reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and save energy one light bulb at a time," said Kelsey Stallings, a Greening Princeton member.

Falling on the actual Earth Day this Sunday at 1 p.m., the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance will continue a trail building session along the Millstone River, carving out the newest trails within the Millstone River Preserve. The group will meet at the gravel parking lot of the Millstone River Preserve off of Millstone Road. Those interested are encouraged to bring rakes, shovels, and clippers. Organizers are also asking those attending to wear a hat and gloves.

In Princeton Borough, the Princeton Parks Alliance and the Harrison Street Park Friends are co-sponsoring an Earth Day cleanup of Harrison Street Park, also this Sunday, at 10 a.m. The program will continue to address not only infrastructural elements like drainage and park equipment, but the creation of new botanical habitats and a new generation of trees to succeed the current, aging, tree canopy.

Tasks at the Harrison Street Park event will include weeding, raking, pruning, and mulching. Additionally, the Harrison Street Park Friends will experiment with some native plant sites to try growing native wildflowers and grasses.

The Whole Earth Center is slated to "go green" this Earth Day as it moves closer to expanding into the store that used to be occupied by Judy's Flower Shop. Starting at noon, participants will be able to meet with the builders and architects involved in the expansion, as well as students from the Princeton High School Environmental Club. Store renovations are expected to be compliant with the standards outlined in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a nationally recognized benchmark for design and construction.

Finally, this Saturday at 2 p.m., Sustainable Princeton, an initiative of the Princeton Environmental Commission, will hold its second annual Sustainable Leadership Awards in the Community Room at the Princeton Public Library. The awards recognize local individuals, institutions, and businesses that employ environmental strategies in planning and implementation, including alternative energy sources, fueling the local economy, and using non-polluting chemicals.

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