Marietta marks Earth Day with community celebration | News, Sports, Work

Vale Bratke, 4, shows his mother the skull of a bald eagle, while Serienty Styer inspects feathers at the booth of the Appalachia Bird Conservation Center during the 23rd annual Community Earth Day Celebration in Marietta. (Photo by James Dobbs)

MARIETTA — Green technology, wildlife, electric cars, hands-on activities and more are on display Saturday at Marietta for the 23rd annual Community Earth Day Celebration.

Residents gathered in the armory yard to view environmental exhibits from the Appalachia Bird Conservation Center and the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, among others.

The Appalachian Bird Conservation Center booth features skulls and feathers, as well as an adult Eastern screech owl called Crystal.

Madeleine Khoury, bird trainer and educational intern, said the center educates the public about birds, how to treat them and what to do if someone comes across an injured bird. They also rescue injured birds and nurse them until they recover. Khoury said the center brought different bird species such as owls, kestrels and eagles to their booths to engage the community.

Two electric cars, a Tesla and a Chevrolet Bolt, were on display for the audience to see as an environmentally friendly alternative form of transportation.

Madeleine Khoury, bird trainer and educational intern at the Appalachia Bird Conservation Center, handles Crystal, a grown Eastern screech owl, during the 23rd Annual Community Earth Day Celebration in Marietta. (Photo by James Dobbs)

There are lots of activities for kids, such as model locks and dams with real running water. Department of Agriculture Forestry Service has coloring books available and spreads the word about forest security. They also offer maps of the different trails available in Wayne National Forest. The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge booth features animal skulls, fur, and spiny soft shell turtles to view in its terrarium.

“Rocked Middle School” performed at the celebration. Mark Doebrich, a retired former principal of Marietta Middle School, says he has been teaching students how to play music for 21 years.

“I started because of budget cuts,” she says.

Doebrich said he watched students over lunch and finally offered to teach those interested how to play the guitar on Fridays. He teaches guitar, keyboard, percussion and vocals to his students. He said he had spent the last two years teaching children music through the popular video program Zoom, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was excited to be back playing live.

“We had fun doing this,” she says. “This is very nice.”

A tree is displayed at the Ki No Kaze Bonsai Club booth at the 23rd Annual Community Earth Day Celebration in Marietta. (Photo by James Dobbs)

James Dobbs can be reached at jdobbs@newsandsentinel.com.

High Schools That Rock performs during the 23rd annual Community Earth Day Celebration in Marietta. Photo from left is band members Darren Rhodes, Brandon Schilling, Taylor McConnell, Mark Doebrich and Evan Cunningham. (Photo by James Dobbs)

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