Earth Day 5k walk/run to benefit library system

Earth Day 5k walk/run  to benefit library system

Image Credit: Lori Feeney

The Tuscarawas County Public Library System will hold an Earth Day 5k walk/run on Sunday, April 24 at Southside Community Park in New Philadelphia. Proceeds from the event will benefit the county library’s annual Summer Reading Program.

“We’ve held other 5k fundraisers with different themes,” said Molly Calhoun Bowers, public relations associate for the library. “This year, with the timing of it near Earth Day, we thought it might be fun to incorporate the Southside Community Park because it’s new and it’s such a nice space.”

The race is part of a larger Earth Day celebration that will be held in the park’s pollinator garden. “Our staff will have a pop-up library at the event with books to check out, crafts and other activities,” Bowers said. “We’ll also be giving free picture books to all children who attend.”

Presentations will be given by Fran LeMasters, butterfly breeder and expert from All A Flutter Butterflies, and Kyle Casey, a naturalist from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. A representative from the Ohio State University Extension Tuscarawas County also will talk about the importance of recycling.

“We’re really trying to gear the Earth Day celebration to kids and families, but I think anybody in the community would enjoy it,” Bowers said.

According to Bowers, the system-wide Summer Reading Program is a vital program. “It’s designed to prevent summer slide and education loss over the summer,” she said. “We try to get as many kids and teens participating in the program to keep them reading and learning all summer long.”

The library offers a Summer Reading Program for every age including adult. Michelle McMorrow Ramsell, director, said their customers look forward to the summer program each year, as do library staff.

“We love being able to give each child who completes their summer reading a free book and giving community members a chance to win great prizes and experience things at the library that they might not otherwise be able to afford to attend,” McMorrow Ramsell said.


Runners and walkers can register the day of the event or preregister at any of the library system’s five locations: New Philadelphia Main Library, Bolivar, Strasburg, Sugarcreek or Tuscarawas. A registration form also is available online at

Each participant will receive a free goodie bag, and awards will be given to the top-three runners in male, female and under-18 categories. Registration fees are $30 for adults and $15 for kids under 18.

Registration the day of the event will begin at 10 a.m. with the race beginning at 11 a.m. Bowers said the library is asking participants and others attending to park in the lot by the soccer fields, accessible from York Drive. However, individuals with disabilities may park by the dog park.

“We’ll have plenty of signage and staff around to make sure people know where to go,” Bowers said.

Southside Community Park is located at 1320 Oldtown Valley Road SE, New Philadelphia.

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