Earth Day falls on April 22 this year. This commemorates a day when the environmental aspects of the earth are honored and celebrated on a worldwide scale. The Detroit area holds a myriad of special events, allowing people to experience and celebrate Earth Day in a variety of ways. Festivals, activities and volunteer opportunities are just a sampling of the events that are occurring throughout the Metro Detroit region for this occasion.
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Shelby St. at W. Lafayette Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226
Lafayette Greens is a natural oasis within a sea of concrete structures. This urban garden is located on a half-acre lot in the city. On this site formerly stood a vacant building, which was eventually demolished. The creation of Lafayette Greens turned neglected land into a thriving community garden. Different plots are designed and maintained by those who donate time and energy to the park-like setting. The atmosphere of the garden shifts with the seasons so there is always something new to discover. Flowers, herbs, vegetables, succulents and fruit trees are planted throughout. Visitors are invited to stroll around and take a look at the different natural sights. Volunteers are encouraged to work in the garden.
Earth Day Bike Ride
1340 Atwater St.
Detroit, MI 48207
Date: April 21, 2013
See the city from a new perspective on this urban cycling adventure hosted by the Sierra Club. This special event commemorating Earth begins at Detroit Riverwalk, taking cyclists on an educational journey over miles of terrain. Guides narrate the environmental highlights around town, allowing bikers to view nooks and crannies and get some exercise along the way. Participants will receive a map of the route and a spoke card. Please note that helmets are required.
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Earth Day Festival
Leslie Science and Nature Center
1831 Traver Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Date: April 21, 2013
The Leslie Science and Nature Center supports learning about the natural world every day, and to celebrate Earth Day, the center holds an annual festival. A number of local nonprofit organizations will share tips and offer expertise about environmentalism. This fun-for-all-ages festival features music, a parade, crafts and activities. On the premises is a nature house, a building that houses animals in their natural habitats and birds-of-prey outdoor enclosures. Also located on the grounds are scenic walking trails where visitors are encouraged to observe and explore the natural world.
The Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Dates: April 20-21, 2013
The entire zoo will welcome guests for an Earth Day celebration that covers all 125 acres of the zoo. The list of activities is endless and includes animal-themed crafts, an endangered species scavenger hunt and live entertainment. The zookeeper will hold a special presentation, while conservationists invite visitors to view exhibits on display. Other highlights include a rock climbing wall, yoga lessons and a visit from Arts and Scraps. Practical solutions for composting at home will be demonstrated. Check out the Detroit Zoo’s commitment to the environment here.
Earthworks Urban Farm
1264 Meldrum St.
Detroit, MI 48207
Earthworks Urban Farm is run in conjunction with Capuchin Soup Kitchen and grows food to supplement the diets of local families. Anyone is invited to the garden during the growing season. Volunteers are welcome to get down to the ground and dig in. Opportunities to sow, plant seedlings and pull weeds abound. Work with bee hives to gather the honey and bottle it, pickle vegetables, make jam or procure hand balm. Other ways to help out are to share your time and knowledge with others. Become a mentor to teenagers by guiding them at a farm stand. Teach kids about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and growing food. Click here for a calendar of special activities and seasonal offerings.
After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at www.metalleaves.com and Examiner.com.