Earth Day celebrated at library

Photo by Daniel Jackovino
Flo Rollino, left, of Greener Bloomfield, explains some of the finer points of composting at the Earth Day event at the public library.

In the plaza of the Bloomfield Public Library on Saturday, April 20, the township celebrated Earth Day with about a dozen organizations represented.

Not all were foremost ecologically inclined as the Bloomfield High School Jazz Band performed under the direction of Natalie Kerr. Even the Bloomfield Police department attended with an electric vehicle and also Essex County One-Stop, which provides training and employment opportunities to county residents.

They came touting a QR code to keep paper use down. They can be reached at 973-530-9581.

But the community heavyweights were there: the Bloomfield Health Department which is conducting a town wide health assessment and encourages everyone to contact them online to participate; the Bloomfield Citizens’ Solar Campaign, which is a group of citizens which, for the last eight years, have appealed to schools and municipal authorities to install solar panels on buildings; Bloomfield Recycling, which wants everyone to know they are introducing new ways to recycle including used clothes bins and collecting reusable bags.

The Native Plant Society of NJ, Essex County Chapter was there. The society has been in existence for 40 years; the chapter for five.

Deb Ellis, who started the chapter, was at Table No. 1.

“Having native plants helps our butterflies and pollinators,” she said. “Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on the leaves of the milkweed plant. They cannot lay them on any other plants people have in their garden.”

She said 95 percent of all native plants are perennial. So, plant once, water and sit back.

“It’s important for pollinators to have something blooming all the time,” she said.

Of course, Greener Bloomfield was in attendance with Flo Rollino showing how to compost and Elizabeth Pacheco-Fallon passed out seedlings.

According to Catherine Farnham, BPL employee, Bloomfield Earth Day grew from a single table in 2018, when the library started its “seed library,” joined forces with Greener Bloomfield and member Flo Rollino. Greener Bloomfield was established in 2006.

The Bloomfield High School Jazz Band performed under the direction of Natalie Kerr at an Earth Day celebration at the library.

“We reached out to different groups and even a couple from the county,” said Pacheco-Fallon. PSE&G is here today and even the police department with an EV car is out front.”

Councilman Nick Joanow, as the council liaison for Greener Bloomfield, the Recycling Committee and the Environmental Commission, was there, too.

“The significance of today is to educate the community about environmental stewardship,” he said. “These groups encourage people to be stewarts by providing information and opportunities for volunteerism.”

He said Earth Day would not survive without volunteers.

“We are looking to be more and more sustainable,” he continued. “Earth Day allows residents to see the groups involved. Residents can always reach out to these groups. We are eager to share information.”

Part of PS&G’s purpose, he said, is to educate the community it serves.

“Bloomfield Earth Day gives them this opportunity,” he said.

Joanow said the basic goal of sustainability is to reduce our collective carbon footprint.

“Economics and environment work hand-in-hand,” he said. “It’s common sense.”

Sebastian Juarez made a picture of a Black-eyed Susan, the township flower.