"Preserve Planet Earth" at Apple Butter Festival in Berkeley Springs

Press Release. Contact person: Abby Chapple, phone 304/947-7590.

BERKELEY SPRINGS - Aldo Leopold, America’s foremost conservationist who wrote about saving our environment in book after book, and taught a land ethic in class after class, summarized his philosophy in these few words: "Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and esthetically right, as well as, what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."

Appreciating a wise land/water/air ethic as outlined by Leopold is the theme of Rotary’s "Preserve Planet Earth" exhibition center, the newest addition to the Apple Butter Festival scheduled for Columbus Day weekend, October 7th & 8th, 2000. "Preserve Planet Earth" will be located on Independence Avenue in Berkeley Springs, between Hunters Hardware and the Ice House. A first-of-its-kind event, "Preserve Planet Earth" will bring together more than 20 conservation groups anchored by the Eastern Panhandle Soil Conservation outreach trailer, the keystone of the exhibit. Each organization will have information and educational materials available.

A major feature will be a raptor rehabilitation booth containing live eagles, hawks and owls that have been protected by Mr. Frank Galvin, who cares for birds that cannot be returned to the wild and educates people to protect them. He will be bringing five favorites to the festival.

For the children there will be Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s giant "Watershed Game" that teaches environmental principles. It is a 24 foot x 36 foot map of the major rivers in the watershed into which trash has been deposited. In this fun way children will learn the importance of cleaning up the waterways.

Of special -- maybe unexpected -- interest is that four religious groups are taking part. Each will teach a faith awareness of ecology and the environment. There will be New Hope Baptist Church, which is based on Independence Avenue; North American Coalition on Religion and Ecology, an ecumenical organization emphasizing a Global Partnership for the Future; Shomrei Adamah, (Guardians of the Earth) teaching the Jewish ecological ethic; and the ecumenical Religious Campaign for Forest Conservation which promotes the Christian and Jewish call for forest preservation.

A national organization represented will be the Sierra Club. Also Subaru of America’s "Leave No Trace" trailer will stop over in Berkeley Springs on its travels across America to educate people to "Leave only footprints." They will be joined by Morgan County Solid Waste Authority which will emphasize recycling.

Several State Organizations are also taking part. They include: West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection; West Virginia State Parks, including Cacapon State Park; and West Virginia Rivers Coalition. Two regional groups will be represented: The Cacapon Institute and the Canaan Valley Institute, that will display information about Native Plants.

Four Eastern Panhandle watershed organization are included, Friends of the Cacapon River, Sleepy Creek Watershed Association, Blue Heron Environmental Coalition, and Jefferson County Watershed Coalition.

Homeowners will find of interest two Land Trusts from the area -- Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle, and the Cacapon and Lost River Land Trust both of which will have booths to explain the protection that conservation easements give to landowners.

Other groups included will be the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy "Save Blackwater Canyon Campaign," the Corridor H Campaign, and Friends of the National Training and Conservation among other booths.

"Preserve Planet Earth" is a joint project of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Springs, Friends of the Cacapon River and the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association.