There were animals, plants and recycling galore at the 18th annual Earth Day Bay Day celebration at Heritage Park. Hosted by the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, the event aimed to bring fun and education to the Coastal Bend.
The event featured a wide range of events and vendors, with many local groups having presentations for environmental causes such as local produce, anti-plastic and anti-littering projects, environmental activist groups and educational presentations.
While the event was mostly for educational purposes, it was far from dull. Wildlife presentations, art showings and activities such as fishing and rock climbing were also offered.
Angelica Duke, a sophomore at Collegiate High School, said she “just came for fun,” but didn’t ignore that the event was “to show people that they need to care for the environment more.”
The importance of buying local was also stressed.
“We want people to not rely on store produce as much and start growing their own fruits and vegetables,” said Kimberly Rios with Grow Local South Texas. “We also encourage people to visit the farmers markets and buy natural and local produce.”
Her booth was one of the many that had fun and light-hearted presentations for kids to enjoy with Styrofoam cups filled with soil to encourage kids to plant their own vegetables that they could take home with them.
Just a ways away from the center of the event was a large art sculpture made out of plastic water bottles to represent plastic pollution. With over 3,000 bottles tied together by fishing line, the bottles made a waterfall, river and pool with fish and turtles also made of bottles by local schools and groups.
“I want people to learn about the problems and pollution that plastic makes,” said Melissa Zamora, who made the piece for people to be more conscious about the environment.
Zamora, an environmental science major at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi who made the art piece, said that it “was part of the EPIC plastic project in response to the increased usage in plastic bottles after the water crises.”
The event was organized by Kristin Evans and Cristal Guerrero at the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, who said their main goal in planning the event was to “get the community involved and protect the environment.”
Texas state Rep. Todd Hunter, R, said he comes every year to support environmental causes in the community.
“I try to support positive stuff within the community that helps educate and grow,” Hunter said, “and I also like to come see people in my district learning and having a good time.”