Local conservation groups to host forest awareness event

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UNCW ECO is one of a handful of local and state conservation groups coming together for a Save Our Southern Forests Fun Day Sunday in downtown Wilmington. Image courtesy UNCW.
UNCW ECO is one of a handful of local and state conservation groups coming together for a Save Our Southern Forests Fun Day Sunday in downtown Wilmington. Image courtesy UNCW.

A partnership of local and state advocacy groups are celebrating the area’s trees–while aiming to raise awareness of how to protect them.

Organized by a number of organizations–Dogwood Alliance, N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Fear Sierra Club, Wilmington CAN and UNC Wilmington’s ECO (Environmental Concerns Organization)–the Save Our Southern (SOS) Forests Fun Day is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday during the Downtown Wilmington Marketplace, at the intersection of Water and Princess streets along Riverfront Park.

The all-ages event will feature games for children and adults, a 7-foot SOS bottle on display and opportunities for citizens to make a statement regarding the state of forestry in the southeast.

Interested participants can help SOS Forests create a human banner–in the shape of SOS–at 4 p.m. in Cape Fear Community College’s parking lot at the corner of Front and Hanover streets. The banner will be photographed and sent to decision-makers in the European Union.

According to organizers, the event arose from a group of southerners concerned about trees being chopped down for use as wood pellets–a common form of electricity in Europe.

It is also an opportunity, SOS Forests members say, to educate the public on the benefits forests provide–clean water, protection from storms and wildlife habitat, among others.

The local gathering is part of a summer tour covering all of the major port cities where forests are being exported from within the region.