To celebrate Earth Day, local youths spent time outdoors Tuesday and got their hands dirty.

In one community in Carter County, members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Carter County packed up plastic planters of Zimnia, Blue Salvia, Oscar Cherry and Velvet Dianthus, along with water cans and gardening tools, and headed to the Wilson Senior Center. Once the dozen youths arrived, they went to work planting flowers in a vacant flower bed near the new sign welcoming seniors to the facility located along Seventh Street in Wilson.

Amy Miller, unit director of Teen Town for the Carter County club, said Boys and Girls Clubs of America participate in a variety of events each Earth Day to honor the planet and teach children about Earth Day, an annual event that is celebrated across the United States and aims to inspire awareness and appreciation for the earth’s environment.

“We wanted to do something that would benefit our seniors and support Earth Day,” Miller said of the local club’s service project.

Recently, the Wilson Senior Center has been sprucing up its appearance by adding a new sign and recently purchased a new American flag for the flag pole. Boys and Girls Club members added to the look through planting flowers, all donated by the Ardmore Lowe’s home improvement store.

The Earth Day service project served as a chance for many of the youths to experience gardening for the first time, as they planted colorful flowers in two flower beds and some along the walkway leading to the center’s doors.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” said 9-year-old Echo Imotichey. “My favorite part is helping to plant the flowers. I did learn to not pull the roots out or it could kill the plants.”

Ten-year-old Marie Christie said she had helped in her family’s garden at home before. She was happy to contribute to the project Tuesday since it served two purposes.

“I was excited to help because we will help the senior center and the earth at the same time,” Christie said.

Across the county, in the community of Springer, kindergarten students spent the day learning about the earth and ways they could help take care of their plant.

In the afternoon, the students in Taylor Dunham class headed for the door and stepped outside to plant a Bruce plum tree on the Springer Public Schools campus.

“When you plant a tree, it helps the earth,” said student Koner Corbett as he watched fellow classmates place dirt around the tree.

Student Aubree Brown added to Corbett’s statement.

“Trees help us have oxygen, and some provide us with food,” Brown said.

Students took turns shoveling dirt to create a hole for the Bruce plum tree, which was donated by Wilkinson Nursery and Landscape Co. for the class project. After the fruit tree was placed in the ground, students helped shovel dirt around the new school plant.

The students say they hope to snack on the tree’s fruit in the coming year.

Student Jacob Stubbs said there are multiple ways to celebrate Earth Day.

“We can plant flowers and we can pick up trash,” Stubbs said.