Community comes together to clean up Johnston Memorial Park on Earth Day

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Marvin Carter, the highly acclaimed chef who doubles as food service director at The Bridge at Cherry Hill, wore an entirely different hat last Thursday while performing a number of outdoor duties.

Carter went out to Johnston War Memorial Park to rake leaves and pile them into extra-large disposal bags, while Executive Director Maryann Grace, The Bridge’s new sales director Cullen McKain and business office director Liz White performed other such yard-work duties in the nationwide observance of Earth Day 2021.

Equally as impressive was that the day’s chilly temperatures, which felt even colder because of the brisk breeze that swept through the fields, didn’t impede Grace’s gang. They worked for more than two hours cleaning up the park.

“We were proud to be part of Earth Day, and to join sister communities throughout the country for this important annual event that began in 1970 as an environmental movement,” Grace said.

Carter, meanwhile, said, “I’ll take the warmth of our kitchen anytime, but truthfully, we all enjoyed having rakes in hand to clean up parts of the park even though the wind made chasing down the leaves a little difficult.”

Everyone from the “Team at The Bridge” to Gov. Dan McKee participated in last Thursday’s Earth Day 2021, which is held to improve air and water quality, clean up contaminated lands, conserve open space, increase recreational opportunities, and take action to confront climate change and enhance Rhode Islanders quality of life.

“Earth Day is a time to get outdoors and explore our state’s abundant natural resources, from the rolling hills of the Blackstone Valley to the sandy shores of Aquidneck Island, to the sparkling waters that grace southern Rhode Island,” McKee said. “As Rhode Islanders, we’re fortunate to have an abundance of parks, beaches, management areas and bike paths where families can picnic, walk, bike, fish or just enjoy the beauty of our state’s environment.”

The governor, who offered high praise to “each and every Rhode Islander that participated in Earth Day,” concluded: “On this, the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, we can all take pride in knowing that the steps we are taking to preserve and protect our precious natural resources will benefit Rhode Islanders now and well into the future.”

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