Earth Day festivities take place April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Memorial Peace Park, downtown Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge Earth Day contests celebrate health

Deadline for the poetry and photo contests is Mar. 8.

Healthy community healthy self is the theme of this years Earth Day poetry and photos contests.

The theme includes topics like what is a healthy community, why some doctors prescribe nature visits and art activities to increase wellness, how volunteering and helping others improves personal health, how infrastructure and environment affect physical health and how to stay human in an ever advancing technological world.

“We want to talk about health from a holistic perspective,” said Ronda Payne, organizer of the poetry contest.

“Not just personal health, but health of the planet, health of our community, healthy finances, healthy eating, health in all sorts of realms. So it incorporates a lot of the activities that we see at the actual Earth Day event,” she said.

There are three categories for both contests: child up to 10-years; youth from 11-years to 16-years-old; and adult 17 and up.

Poetry contest entries must be send as a PDF, DOC or DOCX attachment and photo contest entries must be a minimum 1 megabyte in size and sent in jpg format.

Prizes will be awarded to the first place winners of each category.

Select winners will be invited to share their work at the Earth Day event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Memorial Peace Park, downtown Maple Ridge on April 13.

Earth Day events will include the Cycle Recycle Free Bike Draw, electric vehicles, the Food Truck Festival, a special Haney Farmers Market, hands-on art and activities, interactive displays, and workshops.

A Repair Café will be taking place as well where the public can bring broken household items to be fixed and children can learn how things work at Tinkerbell Corner.

The Family Freecycle will also be taking place where you can pick up gently used books, toys and clothing for free.

Donations for the Freecycle will be accepted from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Apr. 12 in front of the ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place.

The Ridge Meadows Recycling Society will also be awarding a special screening of The Lorax including popcorn and snacks to the class with the most contest entries. Entries must include the name of the school and teacher’s name or division number.

Photo contest entries will be posted on the Celebrate Earth Day Facebook page and voting will be open to the public until Apr. 5.

Winners will also be featured in the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News.

“I just think it is a great opportunity for people to participate in a local activity that shows their talents and their interests. And they can make use of the theme that sometimes prompts ideas and might take them in places they never thought,” said Payne.

Poems can be emailed to edpoetry@rmrecycling.org and photographs to edphotos@rmrecycling.org.

All entries must include your name, age, B.C. mailing address, phone number and email address.

The deadline is March 8.

For more information go to mrearthday.ca.

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