Earth Day Weekend in “The Boonies”

Boonies Hike

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

On Earth Day weekend almost 300 Boy Scouts gathered for two nights of camping near Big Fish Lake in the Ortonville State Recreation Area for the 10th annual Boonies Hike. None of the young participants or many of the leaders were alive for that first Earth Day, held on April 22nd, 1970. It was an era when Americans were slowly becoming aware of environmental concerns and the need to take action. It was a time when rivers were so thick with oils that some burned. Massive V8 engines swallowed enormous amounts of leaded gasoline. Factories spewed rivers of chemicals and sludge without fear of much in the way of environmental or legal consequences. Scouting was a welcoming gateway to a changing outdoor world.

The need for environmental awareness accelerates again today as the world of scouting continues to move forward. This wilder side tale really starts with Boy Scout Troop 139 based in Ortonville. Scoutmaster Jeff Hafnt explained to his troop that he always liked hiking and exploring the 5,430 acres of Ortonville State Recreation Area. He explained this troop is the most northerly located troop of the Pontiac-Manito District of the Great Lakes Field Service Council. Ten years have passed since Hafnt invited more southerly located troops to join them “in the boonies” for a big day hike and the title stuck. The annual hiking event soon turned into a weekend long nature-embracing camping event. Michigan Department of Natural Resources gave the nod to allow the scouts to tent at Big Fish Lake. I was invited to hike with them for their grand 10th anniversary hike.

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2018 NO HAZ Collection Days

Let Oakland County’s NO HAZ Collection team help you safely dispose of household hazardous materials ranging from pesticides, paints, air fresheners, propane cylinders, cleaning solutions, prescription medicines, and more.

You’d be surprised just how many everyday items are considered hazardous waste. Many of the objects that help us in our daily lives become dangerous when disposed of alongside regular rubbish. Do you have an item you’re unsure about? View lists of accepted and non-accepted materials in the FAQ section of Advantage Oakland’s NO HAZ web page, or call the NO HAZ Hotline at 248-858-5656.

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Celebrate GreenFest with the Detroit Zoo and Oakland County Board of Commissioners

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners has partnered with the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, MI for the 6th annual GreenFest on Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. GreenFest is as a zoo-wide event dedicated to celebrating Earth Day and a wonderful way to engage the community in environmental stewardship.

On April 14, GreenFest will feature a sustainability tour of the Detroit Zoo’s anaerobic digester that annually converts 500 tons of animal manure and other organic waste into methane-rich gas to help power the zoo’s animal hospital, educational rain gardens, farm-to-table food options, a composting program, and other initiatives. They will have myriad activities such as chemistry demonstrations, zookeeper talks, opportunities to create window decals to prevent bird strikes, and much more. A 16-foot ground-mounted solar system called the SmartFlower™ will be featured blooming in the zoo’s garden just east of their Carousel. The system is expected to generate more than 4,000 kilowatts of electricity annually, which will power the 36-foot ride as well as other areas of the Detroit Zoo.

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2017 NO HAZ Collection Days

Let Oakland County’s NO HAZ Collection team help you safely dispose of household hazardous materials ranging from air fresheners and artist paints to propane cylinders and prescription medicines.

You’d be surprised just how many everyday items are considered hazardous waste. Many of the objects that help us in our daily lives become dangerous when disposed of alongside regular rubbish. Do you have an item you’re unsure about? Check the NO HAZ list of accepted and non-accepted materials or call the NO HAZ Hotline at 248-858-5656.

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9th Annual Rochester Green Festival

The 9th MI Earth Day Fest will offer a full weekend of events starting on Friday April 25th.

This year, the event will be held on the streets of Downtown Rochester.

The three-day festival will highlight green and healthy-living efforts of area businesses and community groups. It will feature over 150 exhibits, displays, presentations, and performances, as well as door prizes, healthy concessions and activities for all ages. There will be a ceremony recognizing winners of the USGBC-Detroit’s My Green School Art Contest.

Shop, Learn, & Celebrate! at one of the planet’s largest Earth Day events.. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Visit the MiGreenTeam website for details and special event registration.