Earth Day is Tuesday, but a number of events are planned in the Toledo area over the next week to help spread its message of environmental stewardship.
The Toledo Zoo hosts Earth Day programs today and has set up recycling drop-off bins in its main parking lot off the Anthony Wayne Trail for anything from beverage containers to electronics. Admission is not required to drop off the recyclables.
Volunteers will gather at Toledo's Erie Street Market, 237 South Erie St., starting at 8:30 a.m. today for the 2008 Great American Cleanup of Ohio, sponsored by state and local groups. The cleanup will be conducted along several roads in Lucas and Wood counties.
Starting Monday, area residents can drop off their old athletic shoes at the Owens Community College campuses in Perrysburg Township and Findlay for a recycling program operated through Nike.
The shoes will be shredded and mulched into material that can be used to build basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks, and playgrounds.
The shoe roundup, the first collection of its kind by Owens' Environmental Club and the Students Involved organization, continues through Friday.
All brands of athletic shoes are accepted. The only shoes prohibited are dress shoes and those with metal or cleats.
Collection points have been set up on the Toledo-area campus at the Student Health and Activities Center; the Industrial and Engineering Technologies Building; the Fire Science and Law Enforcement Center, College Hall, the Audio-Visual Classroom Center, the Center for Fine and Performing Arts, the Center for Development and Training, and Health Technologies Hall.
On the Findlay campus, collection points are in the college's Commons area.
A number of Earth Day events also are slated at the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, and other area colleges and universities.
The national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy urges people to celebrate Earth Day by supporting a rail-to-trail project, in which abandoned railroad lines have been "recycled" into strips of land that people can use to bicycle, walk, run, ski, and go inline skating or horseback riding.
The United States now has 15,000 miles of former rail line that has been converted into trails, with plans for 11,000 more miles. That's up from only 250 total miles of rail-to-trail land in 1986, the group said.
For information, go to www.railstotrails.org.
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