Beaver Dam Earth Day plans taking root: Downtown cleanup remains featured event

February 6, 2019

Downtown Beaver Dam Inc. will hold its sixth annual Earth Day event on April 27, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Planning is currently underway to make the event a memorable experience, and to spread the message about saving the planet for future generations.

Josiah Vilmin is the chairman of the DBDI Earth Day Committee, which met Friday at Black Waters Coffee, 308 S. Center St.

“This is the sixth year for this tradition,” Vilmin said. “It brings the community together to make a change that all can see. It also demonstrates that people can have a positive impact on their community, and that no effort to preserve the environment is wasted.”

The day will begin at the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce office, 127 S. Spring St. Registration begins at 9 a.m. inside the chamber office, where cleanup crews will be assembled. A tree planting ceremony will be held nearby, with a presentation related to the city’s status as a Tree City USA community. Beaver Dam Urban Forester John Neumann will talk about the benefits of planting trees, and city crews will place a new tree into a place where it will provide shade, bird and wildlife habitat and other benefits for years to come.

The cleanup will follow with crews picking up debris throughout the area, providing a more healthful and attractive environment for the downtown revitalization.

New this year is a contest to see who can gather the most cigarette butts, honoring Lester Peters, aka “Butt Man.” Peters was an eccentric individual who gathered cigarette butts on downtown city streets, and lit up those that still had enough tobacco to make it worth his while.

There are other rewards for collecting this tiny trash. According to recyclenation.com, a typical cigarette butt can take anywhere from 18 months to 10 years to decompose, depending on conditions.

“While disposing of them does not make them disappear, their absence from the streets does have a positive impact on the appearance of the community,” said stained glass artist and committee member Joan Hohenstein.

Children 12 and under — wearing latex gloves and armed with empty milk jugs — will gather as many butts as they can. The person collecting the most will receive a prize.

Older children and adults will collect trash and other debris, or perhaps pull weeds, to enhance the downtown landscape.

Civic, school other groups wishing to get involved are urged to contact 3rd Ward alderman and committee member Jon Abfall at jsabfall@live.com or call 920-887-7953.

Everyone will win with a special snack at the chamber. There, speakers will share messages relevant to saving and protecting the environment. One of them will be accomplished environmentalist Archan Sramek, who will speak on “Simple Ways to Save the Earth.”

Another speaker is currently being arranged, with expertise in enhancing the urban forest at home.

Planners are also hoping to arrange for distribution of free energy-saving devices.

Continuing the Earth Day theme, Friends of Beaver Dam Community Library will host a presentation by nature lovers Jack and Holly Bartholmai at 1 p.m. titled “Celebrate the Seasons!” The program will include readings and images that capture the beauty of nature.

“We always try encourage people to take care of the earth,” Holly Bartholmai said. “You don’t hurt what you love, and we encourage people to love the incredible natural resources that surround us here in Dodge County.”

Tyjesky Family Chiropractic, 119 E. Mackie St., is planning to host its annual paper shredding event.

Collection of old or broken technology is also being pursued.

Planning will continue in coming weeks. For more information or to suggest other ideas, contact Vilmin at josiah@nunatakcoffee.com.

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