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Members of the Hernando Mayor's Youth Council display "bottle" bird feeders they made for distribution at Saturday's Earth Day bash on the courthouse square.

Henry Bailey|DTT

If you like going green, take a trip Saturday to the annual Earth Day Celebration around the DeSoto County Courthouse square in Hernando from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., coinciding with the popular Hernando Farmers Market.

Earth Day, a partnered project of the county, cities and concerned groups, will offer family-friendly activities and games, plus dozens of vendors and exhibitors. There's at least 56 at last count, with green information, freebies and prizes, a petting zoo from Kids Kountry, the "Arcs and Sparks" safety demonstration from Entergy, and more, including a paper-shredding truck on the Trustmark Bank parking lot, and a clean-air puppet show presented by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

At the City of Hernando booth, Mayor's Youth Council members will distribute bird feeders to all, and there's a giveaway of free curbside recycling service for a year to one lucky household, donated by contractor Waste Connections, said Gia Matheny, Hernando Community Development Director.

Also, the DeSoto Road Department will be taking signups to "adopt" roads for anti-litter efforts, and a Mississippi Public Broadcasting crew is set to come and record the event, said DeSoto Administrative Services Director Pat McLeod, who is coordinating Earth Day with Administrative Assistant Lynn Ford and other staff.

Earth Day action is supported by the DeSoto Board of Supervisors and a $2,000 grant from MDEQ.

Making a first Earth Day appearance is LifeBlood, the Mid-South Regional Blood Center, said Ford. Their bus will be located on the southeast corner of the square, taking donations.

"We're recycling blood," said Ford. "Now that's really getting back to basics."

"There are about 56 vendors now," said McLeod. "All we need to add is some good weather."

Helping spread the word is "Earth Day Man," a logo character that the county created a long time ago.

"We brought him back the year before last," said Ford. "We want to keep him around, because continuity goes a long way" in building a brand that people view as uniquely DeSoto and its partners.

For more Earth Day information, go online to the DeSoto website, desotocountyms.gov.

Henry Bailey is Contributing Writer and Copy Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He can be contacted at hbailey@desototimestribune.com and at 662-429-6397, Ext. 241.

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