Metro Detroit throws party for Mother Nature
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In celebration of Earth Day, April 22, dozens of great events and outdoor activities are on tap across the region throughout the entire month.
“Earth Day is the perfect chance to teach your kids the importance of respecting and conserving our natural resources and wildlife for future generations,” said Merisa Campbell of the Michigan Wildlife Council.
It also presents an opportunity to learn about efforts to take care of Michigan’s vast outdoor resources, Campbell said, noting that the Michigan Wildlife Council has kicked off an education campaign highlighting the importance of conservation and scientific wildlife management.
The Michigan Wildlife Council’s website ‒ HereforMIOutdoors.org ‒ contains lots of information about the campaign and conservation in general.
As for Earth Day itself, one of the biggest celebrations around is the MI Earth Day Fest in Rochester. The festival is free and takes place April 22–24 at the Rochester Municipal Park/City Center. It includes:
- Whole Kids Korner with rock wall climb, straw bale maze, arts and crafts and other fun activities
- Dance and live music
- Dozens of green/wellness products, services and program exhibits
- Door prizes and contests
- Food and farm areas with local and organic products and food service
- Wellness programs and services including free yoga, massage and health screenings
- Presentations by experts and community leaders
The Michigan Wildlife Council is one of several organizations whose sponsorship allows free admission to the 11th Annual MI Earth Day Fest. Campbell said the council is happy to do all it can to help wildlife to survive and thrive.
Festival hours are 4-8 p.m. April 22, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. April 23, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 24. For more information, visit http://www.migreenteam.com/miEDF.
Throughout April, there’s something for everybody celebrating Earth Day ‒ from planting trees to Detroit Zoo fun to park cleanups. Check out these great ways for your family to get involved:
April Tree Plantings (Detroit)
The Greening of Detroit with Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision and other community groups will be planting hundreds of trees on various dates and locations in honor of Earth Month. Volunteers are welcome to attend these events:
- April 9, 2016; 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; 5608 Plumer St., Detroit
- April 16, 2016; 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; 767 Marlborough St., Detroit
- April 23, 2016; 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; 1550 W. Euclid St., Detroit
- April 30, 2016; 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; 18627 Stoepel St., Detroit
April 16–17 – GreenFest at the Detroit Zoo
When: 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
Cost: Free with admission: $14/ages 15-plus, $10/ages 2–14 (Bring an old cell phone and admission will be discounted to $9.)
Info: http://detroitzoo.org/events/zoo-events/greenfest/ or 248-541-5717
GreenFest will feature earth-friendly crafts, chemistry demos, zookeeper talks and more. Join the Zoo’s Green Team at the Green Games Gallery and enjoy earth-friendly activities, games and a community art project highlighting plastics in the environment. The event will also include exhibits by local conservation groups and artists providing tips and goods for keeping our planet a healthy place to live.
Many parks across Metro Detroit are hosting cleanup days on April 16 in honor of Earth Day. You might want to clean up your favorite park on your own, or visit one of these organized events:
26th Annual Earth Week Cleanup Day at Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metropolitan Parkway, Harrison Township. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Free with $10 vehicle entry.
Shoreline Cleanup at Lake Erie Metropark, 32481 W. Jefferson Ave., Brownstown; 9 a.m.–noon. Free with $10 vehicle entry. (Preregistration required at 734-379-5020.)
Earth Day Cleanup at Oakwoods Metropark, 32911 Willow Road, New Boston; 10 a.m. Free with $10 vehicle entry. Free lunch for volunteers will be provided. Register in advance. (Preregistration required at 734-782-3956.)
April 16 – Vernal Pond Day (Dexter)
When: 10–11 a.m.
Where: Hudson Mills Metropark, 8801 N. Territorial Road, Dexter
Cost: $5 per adult, $3 per child (preregistration required); plus $10 vehicle entry
Discover the creatures that make these temporary ponds their homes, and how they adapt to the dry season. Visitors will explore two different types of ponds using dip nets.
April 17 – Earth Day 2016 Celebration at SOCRRA
When: Noon–3 p.m.
Where: 995 Coolidge Highway, Troy
Info: http://socrra.org/ or 248-288-5150 (ask for Karen)
Take a tour of the SOCRRA (Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority) recycling facility, see fashion made of recycled materials, make an earth-friendly craft from recycled items, check out a recycling truck, and check out a rain barrel or composting demonstration.
April 17 – Ann Arbor Area Earth Day Festival 2016
When: Noon–4 p.m.
Where: Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor
This family-friendly event features displays from 40 local environmental, nonprofit and governmental organizations; live animal demonstrations; hands-on activities; live entertainment; green building and commuting technologies; energy topics; water awareness; sustainable agriculture; and more.
April 22 – Earth Day Celebration at Heritage Park
When: 5–7 p.m.
Where: 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
Stop by and enjoy earth-friendly fun such as live music, face painting, a free hayride (for the first 100 people), archery, food trucks and more at this fourth annual event. There will be exhibits, STEM experiments, displays and a seedling giveaway to help teach families how to save money and energy, and how to reduce their environmental footprints.
April 22 – Earth Day Celebration (West Bloomfield)
When: 3-6 p.m.
Where: The Nature Room (inside the Recreation Activities Center), 4640 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield
Info: http://www.westbloomfieldparks.org/earth-day-celebration.html or 248-451-1900
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by spending time enjoying nature? Come explore the West Bloomfield Parks & Recreation Commission’s Nature Room and Outdoor Natural Play Area. Celebrate Mother Earth with the many activities available, including making your own trail mix. The first 50 children will receive free tree seedlings. No registration required.
April 22 – Caring for Planet Earth (Madison Heights)
When: 3:30–5 p.m.
Where: Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights
Info: http://www.destinationoakland.com/Lists/Events/DispForm.aspx?ID=2989 or 248-585-0100
Stop in to celebrate Earth Day by learning how you can help the environment in your very own backyard. There’ll be a compost demonstration and kids can make “seed bombs” for pollinators. Watch a nature movie, or join in on a short hike showcasing stewardship projects at Friendship Woods.
April 22 – Earth Day Cleanup and Craft (Waterford)
When: 6–8 p.m.
Where: Drayton Plains Nature Center, 2125 Denby Drive, Waterford
Cost: Free (bring clean glass jars, rags or craft supplies for admission)
Take a walk around the grounds to pick up the litter that accumulated over the long winter, make a recycled craft and plant a seedling. Children ages 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Register by phone with Parks and Recreation.
April 23 – Lower Detroit River Cleanup in Trenton
When: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. (Orientation meeting begins at 9 a.m.)
Where: Trenton Rotary Park (foot of Harrison Street, just off West Jefferson)
Info: http://bit.ly/1UCZnuE or 734-676-4626
Volunteers, outboard owners, families and friends are invited to join the cleanup of the shores and small islands in the Lower Detroit River. The goal is to pick up litter that collects along the shores of the many dikes, islands and bays in the lower river. Bring outboard boats (if available), gloves and extra lifejackets if you have them. A picnic lunch will be provided for anyone participating in the cleanup. The cleanup gives volunteers the opportunity to help make the river cleaner, as well as to get out on the river and appreciate the need for stewardship of this valuable resource.
April 23 – Earth Day Cleanup (Ray)
When: 9 a.m.–noon
Where: Wolcott Mill Metropark, 65775 Wolcott Road, Ray
Cost: Free with $10 vehicle entry
Clean up the rubbish and debris that has collected over the cold winter months. Lunch provided afterward. Preregistration recommended.
April 23 – MSU Science Festival (Novi)
When: 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Where: MSU Tollgate Farm, 28115 Meadowbrook Road, Novi
Info: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events/detroit_science_festival_msu_tollgate_earth_day_open_house_on_the_farm or 248-347-0269 ext. 227
This family-oriented visit will give you a glimpse into what goes on when the sun goes down. Do the chickens still lay eggs? Do the horses go to sleep? Do the wildlife from the forest visit with the goats? Following an informative tour, enjoy a light snack in the historic barn while learning about the world around us. Preregistration is required.
April 23 – Community Cleanup Day and New Neighbor BBQ (Detroit)
When: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Where: 13000 West McNichols, Detroit
Info: email@example.com or 313-285-2238
The Greening of Detroit will be moving into its new location soon and wants to help clean up the neighborhood. Lunch is at 12:30 p.m.
April 23 – Novi Earth Day 2016
When: 9–11 a.m.
Where: MSU TollGate Farm, 28115 Meadowbrook Road, Novi
Info: http://cityofnovi.org/Community/Go-Green.aspx or 248-347-0400
In partnership with MSU Extension Tollgate, the city of Novi will be mulching, planting trees, weeding, garlic mustard weed pulling and preparing the Hungry Garden for the spring planting. All events are rain or shine. Hand tools and shovels recommended; gloves are supplied. No preregistration required.
April 29-30 – St. Clair County Earth Fair
When: Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Goodells County Park, 8345 County Park Drive, Goodells
Info: http://www.earthdayfair.com/ or 810-987-5306
Using demonstrations, exhibits, artists, workshops and activities, Earth Fair focuses on raising awareness for environmental stewards of all ages. Earth Fair offers fun-filled information on healthy alternatives in food, energy, transportation, home, garden and more.
April 30 – Arbor Day 2016 (Novi)
When: 9-11 a.m.
Where: Lakeshore Park, 601 South Lake Drive, Novi
Info: http://cityofnovi.org/Community/Go-Green.aspx or 248-347-0400
Give back to Mother Nature and your community at this annual Arbor Day celebration by volunteering to plant and mulch trees. All events are rain or shine. Hand tools and shovels recommended; gloves are supplied. No preregistration required.
This story is provided and presented by our sponsor The Michigan Wildlife Council.
Members of the editorial and news staff of The Detroit News were not involved in the creation of this content.