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volunteers describing animals from their hides

ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY, Ala.—More than 1 billion eco-friendly people gathered to observe Earth Day on April 22 around the world. Among them were Alabama Cooperative Extension System staff who attended Earth Day festivities at Hays Nature Preserve in Huntsville, Alabama.

As an active partner with the City of Huntsville’s Operation Green Team, particularly for Earth Day, Alabama Extension at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) has co-sponsored its butterfly release and continues to set up interactive exhibits each year. This year was no exception as eco-friendly enthusiasts from an estimated crowd of 5,000 people visited Extension displays on native animal skins and skulls, water conservation, bees, pharmaceutical drug disposal, family and child development programs and environmental crafts.

In addition, AAMU students and faculty members were in attendance from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Service Learning and Volunteerism, the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences and the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences.

“We are particularly happy to see the crowds return,” said Alabama Extension Environmental Specialist Karnita Garner. “Earth Day allows people of all ages to not only engage with nature but to learn what it means to be a good environmental steward.”

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

In addition, April 22 was National Drug Take Back Day that occurs on the last Saturday of April and October each year. During the last Drug Take Back Day in October 2022, Alabama had 43 law enforcement agencies participate at 58 collection sites. As a result, 5,142 pounds of drugs were collected in Alabama.

Last year Alabama Extension at AAMU’s natural resources team partnered with law enforcement agencies to collect nearly two tons of prescription and over-the-counter medication—1,575 pounds from drug take-back events—and 1,160 pounds from prescription drug drop boxes across the state.

More Information

For more information about Urban Extension environmental programs, contact Karnita Garner at (256) 372-8331 or visit the Natural Resources page.

You can also visit the AlabamaExtensionAAMU Facebook page for more Earth Day photos.