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Students celebrate Earth Day

Kari Lucin/Daily Globe Maria Thier speaks about ways to protect the environment in honor of Earth Day Thursday at St. Mary's School.

WORTHINGTON -- Students learned about recycling, good environmental stewardship and the meaning of Earth Day Thursday in Worthington schools, including Worthington Christian, St. Mary's Catholic School and all four District 518 buildings.

"We're here today just to remind you that because Earth Day falls on one day -- just like your birthdays might fall on one day, (but) we can celebrate you every day -- we can celebrate Earth Day every day," said Maria Thier, who gave an Earth Day presentation at St. Mary's. "And it's not the responsibility of your teacher or your families. It's your responsibility to start now."

Today is Earth Day, which began in 1970 as an environmental awareness and action day.

Youngsters at Prairie Elementary heard presentations about garbage and recycling Thursday and had planned a trash pickup activity, but the outing was canceled due to the chilly, damp weather.

St. Mary's students listened to a presentation from Thier and members of the Community Improvement Committee of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce. The committee offered trash pickup bags, donated by Schaap Sanitation and Worthington Excavating, to all Worthington students, along with bookmarks and fliers with lists of ways to help the environment.

"That's what we're here today to do -- encourage you to take care of your surroundings," Thier said. "... but also, remind other people that they need to take care of the earth as well. Sometimes we forget that, even moms and dads and other family members, so sometimes we need to be reminded. And who better to remind us than our own kids, our own families?"

Thier showed students some science and art projects they could make with recycled materials, and gave examples of ways kids can help keep the environment clean -- even with simple actions, such as throwing gum in a trash can rather than on a sidewalk, keeping bedrooms clean or turning off the water while brushing teeth.

At St. Mary's, environmental protection is part of the stewardship curriculum, said Brittany Larson, the school's principal.