Earth Day has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1970 as a national grassroots “teach-in” on the environment.
Now observed worldwide, Earth Day, observed April 22, continues to focus on the environment but goes beyond teaching. Locally there are celebrations, service projects and special activities throughout the Cincinnati area. If you're looking for a way to celebrate, here’s a listing of opportunities to consider.
Volunteers needed for food prep
In the Cincinnati area hunger and poverty are significant challenges. In recognition of this, Indian Hill High School students are observing Earth Day by making enough soup to feed 10,000 to 15,000 people.
In partnership with La Soupe, the students plan to prepare 5,000 quarts of soup over two days. To achieve this goal, they need your help. Adult volunteers are needed to work in 2.25-hour shifts. Volunteer opportunities are available on Wednesday, April 19 or during the main event Thursday, April 20 through Friday, April 21.
To volunteer, visit http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4fafad2baa8-ihhs.
Party for the Planet
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden hosts its eighth annual Party for the Planet 4 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20. Businesses and organizations from around the region will share their expertise and resources about sustainable living. Topics include solar energy, composting, recycling, energy efficiency, green building, rain gardens/barrels, and more.
Speaking of rain barrels, the 5th Annual Rain Barrel Art Benefit Auction will be held during Party for the Planet. The silent auction is 6 to 8 p.m. Winners can take home their rain barrels at the end of the night. The band, Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, will be at Party for the Planet too for the weekly spring music series Tunes and Blooms.
Additional details can be found at cincinnatizoo.org or by calling 513-281-4700.
Seeds to save Monarchs
The Save Our Monarchs Foundation is making a push ahead of Earth Day to encourage people to plant milkweed seeds. Milkweed is the only source of food for the monarch caterpillar.
The monarch population is down 90 percent from what it was in 1992. Milkweed is also rapidly disappearing due to habitat loss resulting from land development and widespread spraying of weed killer on the fields where they live.
If you wish to observe Earth Day by planting milkweed seeds, visit www.saveourmonarchs.org and place your order for seeds.
Mill Creek Cleanup
If you don’t mind getting a little wet and dirty, you might want to check out the Mill Creek Yacht Club’s 23rd Annual Stream Cleanup from Evendale to Lockland beginning at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 21. Enthusiastic volunteers are needed to help collect litter in and along the stream. Last year about 25 people helped including volunteers from Procter & Gamble and J.M. Smucker.
Seats in the canoes are limited to volunteers who are 18 or older. There’s plenty of room for the land-based effort that’s open for all ages. Volunteers will meet at Koenig Park in Reading. For information or to sign up visit the sign-up page at Eventrite.com or call, 513-563-8800.
Cincinnati Nature Center blends fun and education
Free admission is offered Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23 to the Cincinnati Nature Center's Rowe Woods, 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, for its Earth Day celebrations. Over the weekend, the center offers several family friendly activities.
A native plant sale will take place on both days along with an opportunity to meet the artist Jaime Iliff from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Nature PlayScape will be the location of several child-friendly activities. For a complete listing of happenings, or to preregister for the program “Gardening for Wildlife,” visit the Cincinnati Nature Center’s website – www.cincynature.org or call 513-831-1711.
Earth Day Haiku
Looking to do something unique this year for Earth Day? Then head over to Fernald Preserve, 7400 Willey Road, Ross, to participate in the free Earth Day Haiku Hike 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22.
Organizers of this event decided to combine two celebrations into one, Earth Day and National Poetry Month. For information, visit their Facebook page at Earth Day Haiku Hike.
The 47th Greater Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration
The new Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, in Blue Ash plays host to this ongoing and popular free, family-friendly Earth Day event noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Local Food.”
Greater Cincinnati Earth Day features more than 100 vendors and exhibitors offering Earth-friendly products and interactive educational activities, live music, a beer garden, petting zoo and recycling games. In addition to the exhibits and entertainment, local food trucks and Rhinegeist “Cincy Made” craft beer truck will attend.
Musical entertainment will be plentiful throughout the afternoon. Acoustic sounds of Lauren & Hogan will begin things at 1 p.m. in the food court area. The indie rock band Room for Zero hits the stage at 2 p.m. followed by the area’s top Americana band Hickory Robot at 4 p.m. A yet-to-be-named band performs at 5:30 p.m.
The theme, Local Food, will actively involve environmental groups, government agencies, businesses and citizens of all ages in demonstrating their contributions to the beauty and quality of life through their positive actions.
More details about this event hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition can be found by visiting www.cincinnatiearthday.com.
More Earth Day events from our calendar.
A free tree seedling goes to the first 300 visitors to Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, as part of its Earth Day Celebration 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 21. The special event is included in admission $7, $4 ages 5-17, free ages 4 and under. 513-421-5707.
Looking to get out and enjoy nature on Earth Day while also getting in a bit of fitness? Then head out to England-Idlewild Park, 5550 Idlewild Road, in Burlington where the Burlington Elementary School and its PTA are holding an Earth Day 5K starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22. Money raised will be used for physical education enrichment tools and equipment. Race day registration begins at 8:30 a.m. For information visit, http://bit.ly/EarthDay5KBurlington, or call (859) 334-4447.
Earth Day in Loveland
The Jackson Street Market, 204 W. Loveland Ave., in Loveland celebrates Earth Day 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22 with a scavenger hunt, games and local organizations offering ways of incorporating sustainability in your life. The event is free. For information call, 513-265-2217, or visit bit.ly/2czSzPP.
What better way to celebrate the Earth than through an Arbor Day Celebration? Amberley Village is hosting such a celebration at the village hall, 7149 Ridge Road, 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 24. Guests can meet by the flag pole as a tree planting demonstration is held in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day. The event is free. For information call, 513-531-8675, or visit, www.amberleyvillage.org.
Celebrate Earth Day at Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., with eco-friendly activities and vendors noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The day includes live music, food and drink plus activities for children and adults.
Sustainable living under Green Umbrella
Just in time for Earth Day, Green Umbrella announces grant funds going to groups that are working to advance efforts to feed the hungry, reduce food waste and conserve energy.
Thanks to a $75,000 gift by the Duke Class Benefit Fund, Green Umbrella, the regional sustainability alliance, is funding six projects which will allow each to expand and grow its efforts. Grant recipients are: Our Harvest Cooperative and Ohio Valley Food Connection; La Soupe; Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati; Gabriel's Place; and Dirt: a modern market.
"Green Umbrella's theme for Earth month this year is Innovate: Activate: Celebrate. We're thrilled to be giving out $75,000 to activate these member projects that benefit the health of our community and environment," Executive Director Kristin Weiss said.
To learn more about how Green Umbrella is working to make the Cincinnati area one of the nation's top metro areas for sustainability by 2020, visit www.greenumbrella.org.