COMMUNITY NEWS

Earth Day activities and opportunities abound throughout April
Friday, April 13, 2018

CONCORD – The City of Concord invites the community to celebrate the planet as it works to preserve and protect our natural resources. April 22, 2018 will mark the 48th anniversary of Earth Day. The City has a variety of activities and opportunities planned for the weeks surrounding Earth Day.

City Nature Challenge
As citizen and community science initiatives continue to increase in popularity, this year’s third annual City Nature Challenge (CNC) will expand to more than 65 communities across the globe, including Cabarrus County! Kicking off April 27 at 12:01 am in each time zone, the Challenge runs through 11:59 pm on April 30. The multi-city, global event calls on current and aspiring citizen scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages and science backgrounds to observe and submit pictures of wild plants, animals, and fungi using the iNaturalist website and free mobile app.

The City of Concord, Cabarrus County, Cabarrus County Schools, NC Wildlife Federation, Concord Wildlife Alliance, and others are joining the Challenge. This a first-of-its-kind local partnership to engage citizens in documenting the plants and animals that live in our back yards! 
Events are scheduled each day of the CNC. Citizens can also participate from anywhere in Cabarrus County including their back yards or even when strolling down the sidewalk.

Flutter-By Earth Day events
All ages are invited to join the Parks and Recreation Department for two Earth Week celebrations showcasing the monarch butterfly. You'll be enlightened with information about this endangered pollinator and its native plants. Kids and adults alike can participate in fluttering fun crafts and activities. No registration required.

Day 1:
Tuesday, April 17, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at McGee Park, 219 Corban Ave SE 

Day 2: Thursday, April 19, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at James L. Dorton Park, Large shelter, 5790 Poplar Tent Road

Paper Shredding and Recycling
On Saturday, April 21, the City of Concord and Cabarrus County will host a FREE secure shredding event for all Cabarrus County citizens. From 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., each Cabarrus County resident may bring up to three regular-sized garbage bags or bankers boxes to be shredded at 280 Concord Parkway N. (behind Arby’s). All shredded papers will be recycled. For more information, contact Lonnie Bulger at bulgerl@concordnc.gov or 704-920-5371, or Kevin Grant at kpgrant@cabarruscounty.us or 704-920-3209.

Litter Sweep
Each year, the City of Concord conducts a two-fold, semi-annual Litter Sweep. Once each spring and once each fall, Concord coworkers team up to remove litter from City streets while recognized neighborhoods tackle streets within their neighborhoods. The 2018 Spring Litter Sweep is scheduled for Saturday, April 14 through Sunday, April 29. Litter Sweep is a statewide roadside litter removal initiative. Recognized neighborhoods can win a cash prize for collecting the most bags of litter, and can register by contacting Cherie Jzar at jzarc@concordnc.gov or 704-920-5298.  We all win when our city is cleaner – even our wildlife and water benefit!  Everyone can conduct a cleanup, and we encourage you to “Show Us Your Litter Sweep” by posting a photo to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ConcordLitterSweep.

Arbor Day
National Arbor Day is April 27.  See if you can spot tagged trees around Concord!  City staff is applying the tags, courtesy of the NC Urban Forest Council to draw attention on the monetary value and ecosystem services provided by our urban trees.

Kids in Nature Day
In partnership with NC Wildlife Federation’s Great Outdoors University, the Concord Wildlife Alliance will host Kids in Nature Day on Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at Woodland Discovery, 8755 Poplar Tent Road. Kids in Nature Day is a free event for families to come and play outdoors.  Families can help make observations of plants and animals to help Cabarrus County win the global City Nature Challenge.  Other activities include fishing (poles and bait provided), guided nature hikes, nature scavenger hunt, crafts, wildlife experts and more! Contact concordwildlifealliance@gmail.com for more information, or visit ConcordWildlifeAlliance.com or facebook.com/ConcordWildlifeAlliance.

Protecting Wildlife
The City of Concord recognizes that wildlife is one of our natural resources, and like all natural resources, is worthy of protection. Concord partnered with Concord Wildlife Alliance to gain recognition as a Wildlife Habitat Community in 2015 from the National Wildlife Federation. We encourage everyone to incorporate native plants into landscapes, employ sustainable lawn and garden practices and to have their lawn certified as a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. It’s easy, and even an apartment balcony can serve as a habitat! Simply provide food, water, cover and places to raise young. To learn more, visit nwf.org/garden.

Our focus on wildlife habitat was enhanced by joining the National Wildlife Federation’s
Mayors' Monarch Pledge in November 2015. Over the next year, the City and Concord Wildlife Alliance completed 3 required actions and 12 additional actions to protect pollinators. Not only are pollinators important for agriculture, they’re a vital part of the local, native ecosystem, providing food and pollinating the native plants that provide invaluable ecosystem services. We encourage everyone to join us by considering pollinators in your gardening and landscaping, making your backyard habitat part of the NC Wildlife Federation’s Butterfly Highway.

Additional opportunities available throughout the year
You can make a difference for the environment and keep Concord beautiful though the Adopt-A-Street program. Litter-free streets, parks, and public areas add to the beauty and appeal of our community. Visit concordnc.gov or contact the Transportation Department at 704-920-5338 to find street segments needing volunteers.

Clean-A-Creek
is an ongoing City program that solicits volunteers to do one-time cleanups along sections of Concord streams. This program serves to protect wildlife and water, as volunteers remove litter and report other signs of pollution to the Concord Water Resources Department. Groups who are able to commit to a series of cleanups may choose to participate in our Adopt-A-Stream program. After the third stream cleanup and report are complete, a roadside sign will be placed near the stream, in honor of the volunteer group’s official adoption of the stream segment.
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More than half of North Carolinians believe storm water runoff from cities is cleaned up before it is released into local bodies of water. Actually, it flows untreated into lakes, creeks, streams, and rivers. Our Storm Drain Marking program allows individuals, families or groups to help educate others by marking storm drains with stickers that say, "No Dumping. Drains to Creek." Those interested in volunteering with the
Storm Drain Marking, Clean-A-Creek or Adopt-A-Stream programs may contact Crystal Brown at 704-920-5287 or brownc@concordnc.gov.

Mandy Smith-Thompson is the City's full-time environmental educator, who works to promote environmental literacy, encouraging citizens to protect and preserve our natural resources. Call Mandy at 704-920-5379 or visit
concordnc.gov/EnvironmentalEducation for additional contact information.