Last week there were several different observations of Earth Day 2021 in Pleasant Hill. Members of the Cumberland County Plastic Action Group put together kits for the PH Elementary School students in the fourth and fifth grades. These kits were in large brown paper lunch bags tied with strings. They contained a simple activity page with suggestions of nature-based activities children can do at home; materials and instructions to make a pine cone-based bird feeder (string, pine cone, bird seed; students apply their own peanut butter); and pamphlets from the Recycling Center about how to recycle in our county. The group plans on making 50 or more kits to be distributed by the Art Circle Library with activities young people can do at home to connect them to and learn more about nature. The CC Plastic Action Group has promoted “Plastic Free July” for the last few years and emphasizes not buying single use plastics such as straws, shopping bags, water or drink bottles, or disposable food containers of plastic or Styrofoam.

Uplands Lifelong Learning Institute (ULLI) presented a ZOOM session on April 21 titled “My Home Land Ecology: How to care for the environment in your yard, garden, or woodlot.” Greg Upchurch, Cumberland County agricultural agent, discussed the importance of having a beneficial impact on the environment. This included supporting wildlife, soil and composting, invasive species impact and management. He recommended resources and answered questions from the participants. Diantha Hodges introduced Upchurch and led the post talk discussion.

ULLI will present another ZOOM session on May 8 from 10-11:30 a.m. with Tennessee Naturescapes, a nursery in Clinton, TN, selling only native plants. They will introduce local native plants, shrubs and trees to benefit viewers’ gardens and environs. They will emphasize the importance of pollinators and recommend resources. Diantha Hodges will introduce the program and moderate the question and answer period. Send email to ullipleasanthill@gmail.com to register. You will receive a response confirming your registration and a ZOOM link will come in your email before the program. There is no charge for this program. Become a member of ULLI  for $50 annually with checks mailed to ULLI c/o PHCC PO Box 167, Pleasant Hill 38578. As always, donations are greatly appreciated.

The Pleasant Hill Community Church Environmental Stewardship Team produced an Earth Day 21 packet that included poems, songs, prayers, a blessing and quotations. They suggested that these could be used as meditations of the beautiful world in which we live. If you are interested in receiving an email copy, please contact PHCC at phcchurchoffice@gmail.com or call 931-277-3193 and ask for it.

Uplands Village maintains several trails in the woods and around the lakes of their property for anyone to enjoy the natural beauty of this area. Cheryl Heckler, manager of Village Services, leads hikes in the Village and around the Plateau. Cheryl will also lead some of the Cumberland Medical Center “Hike for Health” Series, which are one-mile hikes every Monday starting at 10:30 a.m. in Crossville, Fairfield Glade and Cumberland Mountain State Park during April, May and June. For more information that includes maps of trail locations and routes visit www.crossvilletrails.com/health-walks or call 931-459-7019.

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