While April 22 was the day most took time to plant a tree or do something environmentally conscious, Montoursville Area High School decided to devote the day before the holiday to showing off local efforts.
Natural gas and electric-powered cars were on display, along with other environmentally friendly items at the school's first-ever Earth Day Expo.
"I want everyone to get the chance to see all the resources in the area," said Karen Avery, science teacher and co-organizer of the event. "We're really trying to address all of these natural resources."
Mike Kuriga, falconer, gives a demonstration about falcons at Montoursville Area High School’s Earth Day Expo. Kuriga would allow the falcon to perch and then whistle for it. The falcon then would swoop in and grab the food from Kuriga’s hand.
The event - featuring presentations by artist Ken Hunter and Dr. Peter Petokas, Lycoming College research associate - was the idea of Steven Tressler, science department chair and co-organizer, last fall.
"We just wanted to get the community aware of what was available in the area," he said.
Avery said when they first really started looking at doing the event they were going to focus on one resource but later decided they would incorporate all of them. She said it's an opportunity for the community to learn about resources that are available to them and maybe find a new hobby.
"I want everyone to get to choose to see all the resources in the area," Avery said.
Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, was on hand to talk with participants about the importance of alternative energy sources.
Yaw, a Montoursville Area graduate, said we must find ways of using natural gas in vehicles. He said new technology, like natural-gas cars, has a "huge effect on the environment."
Yaw added that the area is "very rich in all types of opportunities." He said the area must take advantage of the natural gas.
"We have it," Yaw said, "we can't afford not to use it."
Mike Kuriga, falconer, spoke to an audience about a variety of birds of prey.
Kuriga said he was duck hunting as a teenager when he first saw a peregrine falcon. He said that's when he became interested in birds of prey.
"I was fascinated, I was hooked," Kuriga said.
He also talked about the turkey vulture, which he called "nature's vacuum cleaner." Kuriga calls them that because they're able to eat things with diseases without contracting it since they're body temperature is 105 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, it kills the disease.
The birds only eat animals that are dead 48 hours or less, as they are the only bird of prey that can smell.
"All birds serve a purpose," he said.
Kuriga brought in one of his falcons to demonstrate his work.
Students also were on hand to show off the work they've been doing in science classes.
Projects included those involving biodiesel and composting. Tressler explained that worms eat paper and many other things except meat products. Composting is a way to keep people from throwing away kitchen scraps.
"You can set this up in your kitchen," Tressler said.
The team of juniors Jessica Young, Brooke Paulhamus and Sierra Shaw showed a simple way to make your own garden.
"We are trying to show how you can reduce your carbon footprint by growing your own plants," Shaw said.
The group used recycled plastic bottles and a fish-tank filter to execute their project.
Tressler said he would like to see the event continue every year and hopes for more community support. With help from his science teachers and the Science National Honors Society, Tressler said the event also showed students the work that goes into doing a big event.
But he also hopes people understand the impact they have on the planet with their actions.
"We are here borrowing the planet for the next generation and to leave it better than we got it," he said.