NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley High School Principal Denis Williams was mowing the lawn of the Senior Courtyard; the Environmental Science Club was planting flowers; freshmen were raking the front lawn. Children were cleaning up the parks.  Over 225 people came out and got dirty for Project Earth Day on Saturday, April 21.

Nutley’s Project Earth Day, under the direction of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci, is now in its 11th year. Earth Day began in 1970 by US senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson after he saw the destruction of an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The first Earth Day 20 million Americans rallies and demonstrated for a better environment.

In Nutley people get out for one day and clean up their town to the best of their ability. This year instead of holding a pizza party afterwards, Commissioner Tucci’s department fed everyone a hearty breakfast which included scrambled eggs, sausage, French toast sticks, muffins and croissants. Tucci presented community service trophies for all participants in a short ceremony. Those not present were given the trophy at their clean up location. Participants also received reusable Earth Day bags.  According to Tucci the event was changed due to sporting activities and scouting coinciding in the afternoon.

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Tucci spoke about the township clean-up and the recent flooding in the parks such as Memorial Park 1, also known as, The Mud Hole and the water falls at Kingsland.  “Our biggest offenders are shopping karts. We work with ShopRite to try and keep them out of our rivers,” said Tucci.

Among the participants were Brownie Troop 20588, Cub Scouts Pack 141 and Nutley Masonic Lodge. They were in charge of cleaning up Yantacaw School, Kingsland Park and Booth Park, respectively. The Brownies also planted flowers around the gazebo at Kingsland Park.

Other places attended to included Lincoln School, Radcliffe School, Spring Garden School and Washington School.

“Once again this year it is a great turnout. Children engaged, parents engaged, keeping Nutley clean and green. … Being environmentally aware is always in style for Nutley,” said Tucci.

Although the annual Earth Day tree planting at Kingsland Park didn’t take place this year 25 trees have been and will be planted. An Arbor Day ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5 at Kingsland Park. In case of rain it will be at Parks and Recreation Annex, 65 Bloomfield Ave. The 25 trees are planted in memory of someone throughout the township parks.