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White Plains Celebrates Earth Day With Exhibits, Music And Lots Of Chalk

Saelis Garcia, 3, draws on recycled paper lining Macy's for an Earth Day event in White Plains
Saelis Garcia, 3, draws on recycled paper lining Macy's for an Earth Day event in White Plains Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Kids of all ages enjoyed writing on the recycled paper.
Kids of all ages enjoyed writing on the recycled paper. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Ananya Shah, 4, and her brother, Advait, 2, went green with their drawings.
Ananya Shah, 4, and her brother, Advait, 2, went green with their drawings. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Nirav Shah and his wife, Deepa, plan to plant a vegetable garden outside their home for a second year in a row.
Nirav Shah and his wife, Deepa, plan to plant a vegetable garden outside their home for a second year in a row. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
People wrote their pledge to help the environment on paper leafs.
People wrote their pledge to help the environment on paper leafs. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The paper leaves will be displayed in the White Plains Mayor's office after the Earth Day event Saturday.
The paper leaves will be displayed in the White Plains Mayor's office after the Earth Day event Saturday. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
White Plains resident Nicole Filder and her son Chaz learn about snapping turtles.
White Plains resident Nicole Filder and her son Chaz learn about snapping turtles. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Who knew? The snapping turtle has been in existence since the time of the dinosaurs.
Who knew? The snapping turtle has been in existence since the time of the dinosaurs. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
The weather cooperated for Saturday's Earth Day celebration in White Plains.
The weather cooperated for Saturday's Earth Day celebration in White Plains. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Brittany Brandwein is director of events and business promotions at the White Plains Business Improvement District (BID).
Brittany Brandwein is director of events and business promotions at the White Plains Business Improvement District (BID). Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
People wrote their pledge to help the environment on paper leafs.
People wrote their pledge to help the environment on paper leafs. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Kids like Saelis Garcia drew environmentally friendly pictures.
Kids like Saelis Garcia drew environmentally friendly pictures. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Dozens of children’s environmental goals and drawings lined the White Plains Galleria Mall Saturday during the city’s annual Earth Day Celebration.

Hosted on Court Street for the first time, the event featured Earth Day-themed exhibits, live music and readings by local author and storyteller Laura Scott Schaefer. But, the highlight for many kids basking in the glare of the of shining sun Saturday was the city block-long wall of canvas, complete with three boxes of chalk with which to draw environmentally friendly pictures.

“Suns, trees, rainbows, you name it,” said Brittany Brandwein, director of events and business promotions at the White Plains Business Improvement District. “And we have these wonderful trees of hope… where everyone can pledge their environmental goals.”

Some goals read:

“I will save trees and help the animals.”

“Save the trees and never litter.”

“Reusable grocery bags and bike to work.”

One even rhymed:

“I will not smoke. I will not cut trees. I will not break leaves.”

Kids like Ananya, 4, and Advait Shah, 2, enjoyed drawing pictures of trees on the recycled canvas. Their parents Nirav and Deepa Shah, who live in White Plains, wanted to enjoy the sunny day, while promoting a good message for their kids.

“We recycle and we plant trees every year,” Deepa said. “Last year our vegetable garden didn’t come out too well. But we’ll do it again.”

Deepa, an internal medicine physician in Manhattan, said she uses vegetables they don’t eat to help compost their garden. She said she learned this from city employees at Gedney Way and hopes it will help her garden this year.

Bronxville resident Yasely Garcia was spending the day in White Plains with her daughter, Saelis, 3, when she walked upon the event.

“It is cool that they have this wall to draw on,” she said, while watching her daughter’s smile grow with each line she drew.

Nicole Filder of White Plains and her son, Chaz learned about snapping turtles and other animals from one of the exhibitors.

“They say you learn something new every day and I certainly learned something,” she said.

Exposing her child to an environmentally friend message was also important to Filder.

“Recycling is important to me because my children have to live on this earth,” she said. “So, you want to teach them from when they’re young... and there are so many things here that we don’t know about. So, it’s good to have these vendors out here and sharing with us.”

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