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The Alabama Cooperative Extension System's Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs Unit recently partnered with the City of Huntsville's Operation Green Team to observe Earth Day 2014. The event was held on Saturday, April 12 at the J. D. and Annie S. Hays Nature Preserve in Huntsville.

With the aid of Urban Extension Specialists and Earth Day Co-chairs Robert Spencer, Dr. Karnita Garner, and Dr. Roger Richardson, Urban Affairs was able to market Extension programs to a much wider audience.

As part of the festivities, Urban Extension sponsored the "Butterfly Release." Monarchs, tiger and spicebush swallowtails, painted ladies, and other varieties of butterflies were released at Hays Preserve with the aid of public officials, Extension administrators, and the general public. In addition, attendees had an opportunity to view more than 70 exhibits and participate in other hands-on activities, including a puppet show by Fantasy Playhouse with nature-based themes, a bird watching tour, and Alabama wildlife provided by the Coosa River Science Center.

"Extension really added to the variety and quality of the exhibits… and based on several factors, we estimated that 10,000 attended this year," said Denise Taylor, Operation Green Team's assistant director for public relations and marketing.

Operation Green Team was founded in 1977, and is a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, that strives to inform and motivate the community to keep Huntsville beautiful through environmental conservation efforts.

For more information about Urban Extension's environmental programs, please contact Dr. Karnita Garner at (256) 372-8331.​


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