By Matt Mattei - [email protected]

Balance Yoga, Frances Slocum, Terra Preta among organizations recognizing Earth Day

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Fall colors pop against the blue skies and marsh along the Deer Trail at Frances Slocum State Park.
Aimee Dilger | Weekender
Frances Slocum State Park is a recreational area for fishing, kayaking, biking, hiking, walking and running. It also provides a natural landscape for the public to enjoy and explore.
Aimee Dilger | Weekender
The Karma Krew form Balance Yoga in Forty Fort cleans outdoors at a previous community service project.
Submitted photo

With Earth Day falling on April 22 this year, the weekend of April 22 to 24 has become the de facto window to reflect on reducing carbon footprints, creating sustainable lifestyles and appreciating the planet humanity calls home.

A reasonable drive from the Wyoming Valley, both Hawley and Jim Thorpe are holding their annual multi-day festivals throughout the weekend in honor of Mother Earth, but there are several opportunities to participate in eco-friendly activities closer to home.

Balance Yoga of Forty Fort will host an Earth Day Cleanup of the area surrounding the 900 Rutter Ave. location in two sessions — one at 10 a.m. and one at 12 p.m. — on April 23. The yoga studio’s Karma Krew will pick up trash in the area as part of the Great American Cleanup, a national effort staged yearly by the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful.

Balance owner Corrine Farrell said the Karma Krew was started nearly a year ago to give back to the community.

“A big part of yoga is service, so we try to manifest that service with the Karma Krew,” Farrell said. “It’s a group of individuals that go out and do community service each month.”

This month’s service is fittingly Earth-conscious, and Farrell said the Krew members plan to do as much as they can for the neighborhood.

“We’re going to keep cleaning until all of Forty Fort is clean or until we run out of time,” Farrell said.

Those interested in helping the effort can sign up by emailing Balance Yoga at [email protected] or calling 570-714-2777. Cleanup supplies will be provided.

Frances Slocum State Park is also getting in on the green effort. The park’s Earth Day Cleanup will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. April 23. An average of 15 people meet yearly to collect litter and clear debris in order to beautify the grounds.

Environmental education specialist Kathy Kelchner said the group might be able to cut back some trail brush as well if enough people show up. She said community involvement helps the park a great deal.

“By having volunteers come in and clear some branches and debris, it allows us to focus on providing more programs and services,” Kelchner said. “We have people who love to walk here, and I think it gives them a sense of satisfaction to help out and see the park clean.”

Anyone who wishes to help should go to the park entrance at 565 Mount Olivet Road, Wyoming and meet at the park office. Supplies will be provided.

On the sustainability front, Jaya Yoga will host an Earth Day Celebration and farm-to-table dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m. April 22 at Terra Preta Restaurant, 222 Wyoming Ave., Scranton.

Yoga practitioner Donna Fitzgerald Vannan will prepare dinner using food sourced from local farms.

From 5 to 5:30 p.m. patrons can check in and enjoy energizing tea or juice. Between 5:30 and 6:45 p.m., a relaxing yoga session will be offered, and a four course vegetarian dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m.

Tickets cost $65, and patrons can sign up at www.jayayogastudio.com. A vegan option is available upon request by sending an email to [email protected]

Co-owner of Terra Preta Patricia Dickert-Nieves said a farm-to-table philosophy cuts costs by cutting steps between those who cultivate livestock and produce and those who cook with them.

“If you think about chicken, you buy chicken imported from another part of the country, so someone has to spend resources to raise and slaughter them, but it also has to be shipped and packaged,” Dickert-Nieves said. “It has to be transported and packaging can be wasteful. We’re cutting out the middle men.”

Northeastern Pennsylvania, Dickert-Nieves said, is a fit location for farm-to-table efforts.

“We’re surrounded by farmland in NEPA,” Dickert Nieves said. It’s really accessible. It boosts the local economy. The money we’re spending is going to another business in our area.”

Catholic Social Services will receive $10 from every ticket sold at the farm-to-table dinner to help resettle refugees in the area.

Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts

Local organizations participate in Great American Cleanup, farm-to-table diner

By Matt Mattei

[email protected]

Fall colors pop against the blue skies and marsh along the Deer Trail at Frances Slocum State Park.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_TTL101315Fall3.jpgFall colors pop against the blue skies and marsh along the Deer Trail at Frances Slocum State Park. Aimee Dilger | Weekender

Frances Slocum State Park is a recreational area for fishing, kayaking, biking, hiking, walking and running. It also provides a natural landscape for the public to enjoy and explore.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_TTL101315Fall2.jpgFrances Slocum State Park is a recreational area for fishing, kayaking, biking, hiking, walking and running. It also provides a natural landscape for the public to enjoy and explore. Aimee Dilger | Weekender

The Karma Krew form Balance Yoga in Forty Fort cleans outdoors at a previous community service project.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_KarmaKrew_resized.CMYK_.jpgThe Karma Krew form Balance Yoga in Forty Fort cleans outdoors at a previous community service project. Submitted photo
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Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts