‘Eco’ reverberates at Sebastian’s Arbor Day and Earth fest – 32963 Features, People

The City of Sebastian and the City’s Natural Resources Board recently hosted its annual Arbor Day and Earth Celebration in Riverview Park, offering families a chance to spend the day learning about the environment while participating in a variety of children’s activities, scavenger hunts and dancing to live entertainment.

The free community outreach event was designed to educate the public about the fragile condition of our local waterways and what they can do to help save it. The City of Sebastian, which is celebrating 20 years as a “Tree City USA,” was also celebrating its partnership in the Sustainable Sebastian Initiative.

The park was filled with informative booths from such environmental organizations as Keep Indian River Beautiful, St. Sebastian River State Park, Pelican Island Audubon Society and FDEP Aquatic Preserves Program. Art vendors showcased their creative, environmentally themed art, and there was even a Tai Chi demonstration in recognition of World Tai Chi Day.

In the early afternoon, a group of hardy volunteers waded into the river to help wrap oyster mats around city dock pilings, creating a living dock where marine life can thrive.

“Sebastian is in the forefront of other cities our size, and the natural resources board are moving forward in trying to become a city that is sustainable in everything,” explained City Councilman Ed Dodd.

“We’ve integrated pest management plans that are unique to our state and we’re proud of our continued efforts to protect our environment.”

The Sustainable Sebastian plan supports the overall reduction of single-use plastic usage by the city and its business community, and promotes programs focused on the use of alternative products. It also supports landscaping practices that foster a healthy ecosystem and provides recommendations for city policies and codes related to natural resources.

Kimberly Haigler, environmental planner/GIS specialist, said the Natural Resources board is comprised of residents of the City of Sebastian.

“We have nine members who meet the first Tuesday of every month in the city chambers and our mission is to improve the quality of life in Sebastian by nurturing the beneficial relationship between our citizens and our environment by protecting, preserving and promoting our natural resources,” said Haigler. “The public is always invited to attend our meetings.”

For more information, visit CityOfSebastian.org.

Photos by Mary Schenkel

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