Kingsport Earth Day celebration underway with new Stormwater Management Award and Zero Emission Day

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KINGSPORT ‚¬ Earth Day 2014 is set for April 22nd, but Kingsport has several events planned, complete with freebies, including a GoPro Camera giveaway and free radon test kits provided by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, to promote stewardship of the environment.

The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen acknowledged the importance of protecting the public water ways at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 15th by awarding the first ever Stormwater Management Award to business owner Diane Clayton of Van Mar, Inc. and Lindsey Harris representing the design firm Littlejohn Engineering. The award recognizes innovative engineering and outside-the-box thinking to create unique ways to protect Kingsports streams and rivers from contaminated rainwater run-off. This years award winning project uses rain gardens to mitigate run-off from the parking lot and driveways of the new Burger King on Clinchfield Street.

Next up in Kingsports Earth Day celebration will be a free guided bird walk on the Kingsport Birding Trail. The hour-long walk starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday April 19th on the Greenbelt beside PetSmart in the East Stone Commons shopping center at the corner of North Eastman Road and East Stone Drive. Free radon test kits are available on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. Contact Rack Cross at 423-229-9492 for more information.

Meanwhile, Keep Kingsport Beautiful will host a Greenbelt clean-up event from 9-11 a.m. Saturday April 26th at the same location. Clean-up volunteers will meet at ‚ PetSmart. Free radon test kits will be available for volunteers while supplies last. Contact Robin Cleary at 423-392-8814 for more information.

Also on April 26th, Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium will host vendor exhibits and live music at the nature center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bays Mountain, a 3,500 acre nature preserve, is the largest municipally owned park in Tennessee and attracts nearly 200,000 visitors annually. Entrance fee to the park is $4.00 per car. Contact Melissa Keeler at 423-229-9447 for more information.

ZERO EMISSIONS DAY GoPro CAMERA GIVEAWAY

Finally, Zero Emissions Day is April 22, and participants are encouraged to reduce their emissions by walking or biking that rather than using a fuel burning automobile. Those who chose to make April 22nd a Zero Emissions Day may enter their name for a drawing to win a GoPro camera. To register, email your name and how you reduced fossil fuel consumption on April 22, 2014 to KBT@kingsportbirdingtrail.com by Friday April 25, 2014. Contact Cross for more details.