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Buffalo mayor plants tree for Earth Day

With Earth Day still a week away, Mayor Byron W. Brown kicked off the celebration Friday with the 27th annual City Hall tree planting.

The event behind City Hall involved planting a 9-foot-tall Spring Snow Crab Apple tree - a fitting name given the April snowfall this year.

While the City Hall tree was planted Friday, another 437 shade and ornamental sidewalk trees are being planted around the city Saturday by ReTree WNY/Buffalo Green Fund. Those trees will be planted with help from block club volunteers and other local organizations.

But the tree plantings aren’t the only Earth Day events Buffalo has planned.

When Earth Day arrives on April 22, an e-Junk drop-off will be held from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at City Honors School, 186 E. North St.

The drop-off will benefit the Pelion Community Garden, located on Best Street, across from the school.

Also on April 22, Brown will provide an update on the city’s recycling program.

This Earth Day marks the first anniversary of the city’s “34 and More” initiative to increase Buffalo’s recycling rate.

The rate was 22.8 percent in 2014. The city’s goal is 34 percent.

Brown will talk about progress the city is making moving toward its goal.

In addition, the Allentown Association and Green City Window Project on April 22 will unveil the “up-cycled” art display. Items from recycled materials are being displayed in over a dozen store windows along Allen Street and around the city.

The Earth Day activities continue from 9 a.m. until noon April 23 at Cazenovia Park, with a “Community Shredding” of personal and household documents, and a composting demonstration. The WNY Coalition for Donated Goods will also be there with a clothing and shoe drop-off, and GoBike will be there with a bicycle recycling drop-off.

Also on April 23, the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers’s Spring Shoreline Sweep will be held from 10 a.m. until noon at 40 locations across Western New York, including Cazenovia Park, the Erie Basin Marina, Hoyt Lake, and LaSalle Park.

And the Republic Services recycling materials facility will hold an open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 23 in the rear of the Speed Warehouse Complex, 2299 Kenmore Ave., so city residents can see where recycling goes once collected from the curb.

Earth Day started in 1970 in recognition of harm being done to the planet and to support efforts to to restore the environment.

“It’s more critical than ever to observe the importance of our natural resources to our environment and economy,” Brown said. “I’m proud of the city’s efforts in making Buffalo a greener, cleaner and more sustainable city.”