The event, which includes awards and activities for the whole family, will be held at Indian Island County Park in Riverhead, 275 acres of beautiful woods, creeks and beaches that sit right at the gateway to the North Fork.
Organizers are hoping the scenic course will help raise awareness about helping to protect local natural resources.
“In the past, the NFEC has held successful ‘Bike What’s Left,’ ‘Hike What’s Left,’ and ‘Paddle What’s Left’ events,” said NFEC President Bill Toedter. “The Earth Day 5K Race is a way to recognize the changing face of families’ outdoor activities.”
“As we’ve talked about our local and regional water issues over the past three years, this is a prime location to showcase the beauty of the North Fork and why we must work to protect and preserve such natural treasures where land meets water,” he added. “People say, ‘you have to walk before you run.'”
The Earth Day 5K Race was the brainchild of NFEC Treasurer Susan Mackenzie.
“All of our board members have fond memories of how the original Earth Day celebration in 1970 raised their awareness of the need to protect clean air, clean water and reduce pollution,” she said. “It was their call to action. We wanted to find an activity where the entire family could get outside and experience both the beauty of the North Fork and also become more aware of the need to protect and preserve our special corner of the earth.”
All proceeds from this event will go towards the NFEC’s children’s environmental education programs and scholarship fund, continuing the group’s efforts to get more school-aged children involved in environmental issues.
Participants can register online for the discounted pre-race price of $25 per person. There’s also a special family registration of $75 for up to four (4) related family members. No day-of-event family registrations are offered, so families are urged to register early. And the first 150 registrants are guaranteed an event T-Shirt. The pre-race registration site is: EarthDay5k.ItsYourRace.com.
Individual race-day registration will be accepted at $30 per person. Indian Island County Park is on the east side of Route 105 (Cross River Drive) just south of Route 25.
Entry fees cover refreshments, a post-race raffle, awards ceremony, a water stop on course and awards.
This year, awards will be presented to the top three male and female overall winners and top threemale and female winners in the following age groups: Under 8, 9-12, 13-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and over 70.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the race. A 1/10 mile Kids Fun Run will be held at 9:15 a.m., followed by the 5K Run/Walk at 10 a.m. All kids ages 8 and under run for free.
Incorporated in 1972, the NFEC works towards the preservation of land, sea, air and quality of life in the towns of Riverhead and Southold in support of its identifying motto, “Save What’s Left!”