Give back to Mother Oregon on April 22
written by Gina Williams | featured photo courtesy of the Environmental Center
Take an electric vehicle for a spin and dress up in your Earth Day best at the parade in Bend. Meet alpacas and plant seedlings in Silverton. Pitch in on a community cleanup at Trashpalooza in Sherwood.
All across Oregon, communities and organizations are planning events to celebrate the 47th annual Earth Day on Saturday, April 22 with educational, fun and purposeful activities.
Here’s a selection of the many Earth Day events planned around the state.
Who doesn’t love a parade? The Environmental Center is hosting a festive celebration that includes a parade followed by an Earth Day Fair. The parade gets underway at 11:30 a.m. and begins and ends at the Fair location (Kansas Avenue in front of The Environmental Center in downtown Bend). Parade-goers are encouraged to wear nature-themed costumes.
The Center’s Lauren Williams said this year’s parade will feature “Earth Guardians,” eight-foot-tall puppets created by local artists Teafly Peterson and Christian Brown.
Forest Guardian and River Guardian will bring “new energy and life to the parade,” she said, and “inspire and capture children’s imaginations about being stewards of the environment.” Funding is still being raised for a third puppet, “Garden Guardian.”
The Fair will feature live music, art, food and hands-on activities for all ages, including an “Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive” with Central Oregon’s Electric Vehicle Group Buy Program.
More details: envirocenter.org
The Science Factory in Eugene is hosting hands-on activities from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and free planetarium screenings all day.
Activities are included with $5 Exhibit Hall admission.
More details: sciencefactory.org
Alberta Street’s 7th Annual Earth Day clean up and Golden Garbage Awards event gets underway at 10 a.m. Residents are invited to help clean up trash and remove graffiti on Alberta Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to 33rd Avenue. Afterwards, volunteers will be treated to prizes, pizza, Salt & Straw ice cream and treats from Random Order.
More details: albertamainst.org
Rogue Valley Earth Day is a family-friendly celebration with hands-on activities for kids, exhibits inspiring environmental stewardship, live entertainment, eco-friendly food vendors and Standing Stone brews on tap. The free event will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. outdoors at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum in Ashland.
More details: southernoregonliveevents.com
Join in on a cleanup effort from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Sherwood’s 5th annual Earth Day Trashpalooza event.
All ages are welcome. Meet at Cannery Square. Organizers will provide trash bags, safety vests, disposable gloves and other equipment.
More details: sherwoodoregon.gov
The Oregon Garden, located in Silverton about 15 miles from Salem, is hosting its 18th annual Earth Day celebration presented by Marion County from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The event includes free Garden entry.
Marion County waste reduction coordinator Alan Pennington said only 350 people attended the first event before the now-famous Oregon Garden was fully established. This year he expects about 3,000. The celebration will take place outdoors and indoors in the Garden’s Grand Hall.
“The event is always a highlight of the year for me,” Pennington said. “I just like being out there.”
Earth Day at Oregon Garden will include vendors and activities such as an electric car drive, an alpacas “meet & greet,” food composting demonstrations, live entertainment and more.
Parking on site is $5, but free shuttles will be available from the gravel lot at 918 North First Street and at Robert Frost Elementary near the Garden entrance.
More details: oregongarden.org
SOLVE Statewide Events
With events planned from Seal Rock to Baker City, SOLVE, an organization dedicated to statewide environmental stewardship and founded one year before the first Earth Day in 1970, is hosting multiple Earth Day cleanup and restoration projects.
CEO of SOLVE Maureen Fisher said the group’s volunteer base continues to grow but added that expanding programs and volunteers is vital to mitigating increased environmental impacts as more people move to the state, especially in rapidly growing areas like Central Oregon.
“We should all be proud to live in a state where residents step up and make a difference when needed,” Fisher said. “Whether it is the 5,000 volunteers who spent a drizzly Saturday morning combing our beaches for litter both large and small, or the more than 6,000 volunteers who will spend Earth Day cleaning up neighborhoods, removing invasive plants and planting native trees all across our beautiful state, Oregonians are ready to put in the time and effort to keep our state clean and healthy.”
More details: solveoregon.org