It was Earth Day in Maple Ridge on Saturday, with festivities in Memorial Peace Park to mark the occasion, including the recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.
Sandy Sigmund, the president of the society board, said it was a nice surprise when greetingS came from the provincial government to recognize an organization that was a leader in recycling in B.C.
“The society has come a long way from being a grassroots project of volunteers in 1972 to leading the way for green initiatives in partnership with the City of Maple Ridge,” said Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith, as he read a message from MLA Niki Sharma, who is the parliamentary secretary for community development and non-profits.
Sharma noted the group operates the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot, does environmental education, and offers employment to people with developmental disabilities.
“The society is a frontrunner in the environmental movement, and the work it is doing will improve the quality of life for generations to come. A cleaner and greener environment is a lasting legacy of the society’s important work,” said D’Eith, on behalf of Sharma and the province.
The Recycling Society was among many people getting recognized, and on an outdoor stage at the top step of The ACT, numerous people came to a podium to be recognized.
Joe Fiehn, 11, was called upon to read his winning Earth Day poetry, and his mother Charlene came up to be recognized for her Earth Day video entry.
Samantha Szalajko, 16, also won for her poem, which she read for the crowd, and Amanda Shaffer of the group Systematic Mermaid played a song.
Maya Galeas-Allen, 13, won first prize for one of her many photos, and Ross Davies of Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership also presented prizes to second and third-place photographers Julie Cornell and Karen Horne.
Kids had a range of activities and crafts in the park, parents looked at electric cars, and performer Spandy Andy found some willing dance partners.
The Haney Farmers Market opened early to help bring more reasons for people to come to the event, and the first official market will be May 7, and it will run every Saturday through October.
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