Rome will kick off several days of Earth Week events beginning Tuesday with a tree planting celebration at Etowah Park at 2:30 p.m.

Earth Day was first observed on April 22, 1970, when Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson decided to take proactive measures to combat deteriorating environmental conditions across the United States.

The Rome observances will commence with a National Arbor Day celebration at the park at 1325 Kingston Road. International Paper has donated 17 trees to replace the trees in Ridge Ferry Park that were lost to the new natural gas pipeline that will service the IP mill in Coosa.

Mary Hardin Thornton, special services manager for the Rome Floyd Parks and Recreation Department, said Etowah Park was chosen to bring attention to some of the community’s smaller parks.

“Etowah Park is known for golf, tennis, skating, walking trails and especially our senior community,” Thornton said. “These 17 trees will be a great addition to this park for years to come.”

Kevin Walls, the new IP plant manager, is expected to make some remarks as will Floyd County Commissioner Scotty Hancock.

“COVID has been a hard time for everybody, so any investment in our parks is a good reason to celebrate,” Thornton said.

Parking for the event Tuesday will be in the lot on the Wilshire Road side of Etowah Park.

Wednesday, a special event will be held at the Nature Center in the Lock & Dam Park Trading Post off Black’s Bluff Road.

Brian Roberts, environmental compliance manager in the Building Inspection Office, and his assistant Brady Underwood will discuss the significance of the entire Coosa watershed.

People are encouraged to bring a bag lunch with them for the noon program. Sarah Visser, director of the Keep Georgia beautiful program, is also expected to be on hand.

“Not only will you learn about the Coosa River Basin and its sub watersheds, information about floodplain management information, but the history of the Lock and Dam will also be discussed,” Thornton said. “Wear your hiking shoes if you want to explore the trails after lunch.”

Other scheduled events are free recycling audits at the Rome-Floyd Recycling Center on Thursday; special Earth Day materials at the ECO Center in Ridge Ferry Park; and a nature walk on the GE Trails at Garrard Park on Saturday.

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