Earth Day reminds us to protect the environment

Saving the planet from Kingman may be impossible, but the local surroundings can only be saved locally

Earth Day Kingman

Photo by Aaron Ricca.

Earth Day Kingman

photo

Manzanita Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jeanne Miles helps her students collect rocks as part of a geology lesson. Her class will also have projects related to science and environmentalism this week.

Earth Day is April 22 and city officials and local schools are already getting in the spirit.

According to the Earth Day Network website www.earthday.org, April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity.

President Donald Trump has already signed executive orders to eliminate Environmental Protection Agency regulations and jobs. The topic of climate change continues to spur rabid debate in all lanes of the political spectrum.

Kingman isn’t quite the hotbed of environmental activism, but recent advancements are in the works to bring awareness and eco-friendly incentives to residents. Support for curbside recycling is growing and the creation of bike lanes on city streets is on the horizon.

Kingman City Councilwoman and bike enthusiast Jamie Scott Stehly announced at Tuesday’s city council meeting the Traffic Safety Committee will hold a public meeting at 1:15 p.m. April 20 at the city public works office, 3700 E. Andy Devine Avenue to discuss the possibility of adding bike lanes to El Trovatore Hill after new asphalt is applied.

“I’m hoping to get enough support to start making Kingman a more bike friendly community,” Stehly said.

Local riders have to dodge potholes, feel the close call of inattentive drivers and most annoyingly, ride on the sidewalks – which is dangerous and illegal.

Stehly is aware that many people don’t own cars or a valid driver license and that many people just want a healthy alternative to driving.

“This isn’t just an issue for cyclists. It’s a community issue to help people ride on the road safely,” she said. “Just like recycling, I hope we can generate enough interest for safe bike riding.”

The city doesn’t have any major Earth Day events planned. The Kingman Clean City Commission and the Sanitation Department will hold a special trash haul clean-up through the month of May. The clean-up is available to residential customers within the Kingman city limits only.

Requests are limited to one special trash pickup per residential lot or property. Items that can’t be accepted include concrete, brick, dirt, rock or gravel, tires, batteries, motor oil, paint, lawn or pool chemicals or other hazardous waste, and refrigerators or air conditioners unless cooling compressors or coils are removed.

Contact the City of Kingman Water Department at 928-753-5561 (option 1), or Public Works Department at 928-692-3115 throughout May to request an extra trash pick-up for a $3 nominal fee. All requests for special trash pick-up received prior to May 1 or May 31 will be billed at the normal rate of $15 per five cubic yards.

Local schools are getting in on the environmental action.

Kids Against Dumb Stuff of Mohave County will team up with Mt. Tipton School in Dolan Springs to hold an Earth Fair and Open House 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. April 20. Students, families and Dolan Springs residents are encouraged to visit the schools garden, community center and science lab, a petting zoo as well as meet the schools’ tortoise mascot “Speedy.”

Manzanita Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jeanne Miles is keeping her class busy with geology and gardening projects. City of Kingman Sanitation Department representatives will visit the class and teach kids the benefits of recycling. As part of four other projects this year, students will be assigned to take a household recyclable and turn it into something useful such as artwork or a planter. The projects will be on display during an open house night May 4.

“It’s really neat some of the things these kids come up with,” Miles said.

Kingman Academy of Learning didn’t have any major projects as of Monday’s deadline.

Local law enforcement agencies don’t have any big projects planned, but Kingman Police Department does have a prescription medication drop box at their main office at 2730 E. Andy Devine.

Citizens can safely dispose of expired or unused prescription medications. Although unlikely, flushing them down the toilet could potentially contaminate the water supply. The KPD drop box is an eco-friendly prevention measure.

For information on Earth Day or to take action, visit www.earthday.org.