For the love of community and Mother Earth

The recent Earth Day Experience was an overwhelmingly positive day for our community and the preservation of the planet we all call home.

The opportunity to partner with a national company with a Wilmington base doesn’t come around often. AZEK TimberTech invested in an educational event for the sole purpose of bringing families together for fun while broadening perspectives about recycling and sustainability — truly community engagement at its best.

The energy, enthusiasm and thoughtful planning of Wilmington College student partners created perfect event synergism. The passion of this generation as the future curators of our environment is inspiring. Sugartree Street with dozens of students and attendees of all ages was a beautiful sight.

This first-time event was a gamble and work in progress until it launched Saturday morning. Every person who attended, planned, promoted and supported was crucial to the success. There are dozens of thank you’s to extend including Susan Schmidt of AZEK TimberTech and local staff, Andrew Conarroe of Art House, and Wilmington College student organizers Jordan Snarr, Milena Wahl and Taylor Powell-Abbinante. Their vision, creativity and tenacity transformed a vague concept into reality.

Community volunteers who offer to “do whatever you need” are the secret sauce to every successful event. Beth Huber, Becky Bowman, Julie Bolton, Dan Evers, Katherine Harrison, Shay Doak, Jason and Leah Stoops, Kirsten Walls, Jason Vaughan, Branstrator Farms, Isabelle Allbright and Brad Reynolds are a few of those crazy selfless people.

Support and encouragement are two crucial components. Special thanks to Main Street Wilmington Board members Abbie Niklasson, Ruth Brindle and Mike Allbright for volunteering and cheering us on.

Special thanks to Annen Vance and her volunteers who kicked off the day, removing 27 bags of trash from the downtown area.

Tim Wiederhold of Wiederhold Painting and Home Improvement volunteered his time and talent to turn a small sketch into a visual action on the Sugartree Community Square, inviting visitors to “Be Transparent about waste.”

We are grateful to the News Journal and their commitment to support and share this event and its images.

It’s likely we have missed a thank you or two, but know we appreciate you!

Introducing a new family event to our city is both a challenge and labor of love. Main Street Wilmington looks forward to the opportunity to continue a tradition of quality activities which make Wilmington and particularly downtown, an entertainment destination for residents and visitors.

Darcy Reynolds, Main Street Wilmington volunteer

Andrew Conarroe, Owner, Art House; member, Main Street Wilmington board