Earth Day 2019 in the 9 Lakes of East Tennessee
While Earth Day is traditionally celebrated with events that promote actions to care for the planet, the commitment to public lands in the 9 Lakes is marked year round. Across the region, communities, businesses, and non-profit volunteers take to the trails, lakes, and rivers to improve wildlife habitats and remove debris from trails and shorelines. In a region known for its beauty and biodiversity, the efforts of these volunteers help to preserve and protect the scenic landscapes and fragile ecosystems.
Spring seems to attract the most volunteers to work on the lakes, rivers, and streams to clear debris from shorelines before the spring rains return lakes to full summer pool. Other groups plant trees to improve riparian buffers and fish habitats or assist with removal of invasive species that crowd out native species. The net impact of these efforts directly benefits fishermen, boaters, campers, swimmers, and paddlers who enjoy the recreational opportunities of the 9 Lakes region.
Can you help with these efforts? Yes! Join a scheduled clean-up. Sign up for one of the many naturalist programs offered at the state parks and national parks or join a BioBlitz. Pitch in on a trails work day on one of your favorite hiking or biking trails. Practice Leave No Trace principles when you visit by packing out what you pack in. Secure items on your boat when in motion to avoid items blowing into the water. When hiking or biking, stay on the designated trails to prevent damage to fragile eco-habitats. Take a picture, but leave the plants undisturbed.
Earth Day 2019 will be celebrated on April 22 nationwide, but celebrate with the 9 Lakes of East Tennessee all year round.