The Earth Day Lakeshore Celebration 2018 is slated for Saturday, April 21. The 13th annual event kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with a Green March, followed by the Earth Day Fair from 1-4 p.m. at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave.
“It’s a day to celebrate the Earth,” said Leslie Newman, president of Wetland Watch.
People interested in joining the Green March can meet at the Ottawa County Courthouse parking lot. The public is encouraged to participate by walking, biking, skateboarding or other ways that don’t use fossil fuels.
The parade will travel along Washington Avenue before turning on Harbor Drive and continuing on Columbus. It will end at the Community Center.
About 30 booths will be displayed during the Earth Day Fair, where Ken Freestone will host a composting demonstration. Participants can also receive rides around Central Park from the Smallegan Horses.
The Prevailing Winds will be among some of the musicians performing at the event.
In the Community Center’s lower level, children can make a planter and plant a flower with the Home Depot. The Grand Haven Board of Light & Power will also hand out tree seedlings, Newman said.
A renewable energy panel discussion will be take place from 2:15-3:15 p.m. in the auditorium.
Some of the organizations that will have booths during the fair include Wetland Watch, Audobon Club and students involved in Lakeshore Middle School’s Lakeshore Environmental Education Program.
The Environmental Education program is at Grand Haven Christian School, Lakeshore Middle School, Spring Lake Intermediate School, Spring Lake Middle School, Walden Green Montessori School, West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics and White Pines Intermediate School.
The program runs for eight weeks in the fall or spring, depending on the school’s schedule, and each group has at least 10 students, Newman said.
Earth Day Fair participants can walk away from the fair with a mug and a metal soupspoon. Newman said they’ve collected the more than 100 mugs from thrift stores to give away, and they’re trying to have as little paper and plastic products to take away from the event.
Newman said people are trying to use less fossil fuel, and noted that some residents have installed solar panels on their homes. Newman also said the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power is also working to stop burning coal in the coming years.
When it comes to energy and alternative sources, Newman said the community has a lot to consider.
“(The fair) is a good place to come and ask questions,” she said.
Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup
The 8th Annual Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup is also being held April 21-22.
In honor of Earth Day, the event will be taking place with organizations and individuals from Grand Haven to Grand Rapids that engages the community to remove trash and debris from the surrounding area while also providing a hands-on learning experience to encourage people about preventive practices.
The Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup is being organized by local volunteers with help from the West Michigan Environmental Action Council and sponsored by the City of Grand Haven.
To sign up, contact GrandRiverNick@gmail.com, or call Nick at 616-292-0119
Participants will have all weekend or any part of the weekend to participate in the event.
Muskegon Community College events
Muskegon Community College’s Joint Sustainability Council also has events planned for the 2018 Earth Week.
A used book giveaway is underway now through April 20 in the MCC science hallway. The public is encouraged to participate.
“The Joint Sustainability Council has organized this as one of their Earth Week events as a way of emphasizing the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle,” said MCC biology instructor Theresa VanVeelen.
MCC’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter is coordinating the college’s Adopt-a-Highway section of U.S. 31. The group will clean the area on April 14.
Students artwork from Tim Norris’ Painting 1 class will also be displayed April 18-20 around campus.
Norris said that in connect with the weeklong theme “End Plastic Pollution,” students created “compositions contrasting either one plastic object against several natural ones or vice versa.”