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Earth Day celebration set for April 27

Krystle Wagner • Apr 22, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Although Earth Day is today, there’s an event in Grand Haven this coming weekend aimed at focusing on conservation and green efforts.

The Earth Day Lakeshore Celebration 2019 will take place Saturday, April 27. The 14th annual event begins with the Green March at 12:30 p.m., followed by the Earth Day Fair from 1-4 p.m. at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave.

Walkers, bicyclists and other forms of transportation not using fossil fuels can participate in the parade, which starts at the Ottawa County Courthouse. The parade will end at the Earth Day Fair.

The fair will feature 35 booths with demonstrations, sustainable products and activities that will include places such as Ottawa County Parks & Recreation, First Christian Reformed Church’s recycling ministry, a beekeeper, Audubon, C3 and the Kitchel-Lindquist Dunes Preserve. Smallegan Horses will provide free rides, and Ken Freestone will also discuss composting.

Casa de Esperanza will cater the fair. In an effort to be as low waste as possible, attendees can take home mugs and silverware, said Leslie Newman, president of Wetland Watch.

Attendees can also leave with a small tree from the Grand Haven Board of Light & Power and a project from The Home Depot.

Prevailing Winds, set to perform from 1-2 p.m. in the auditorium, will be among the musicians performing during the event.

At about 2:10 p.m., Great Lakes and water issues will be discussed by Alan Steinman, the Allen and Helen Hunting director of Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute, and Babasola Fateye, a professor in the biomedical sciences department at GVSU.

About 400 people usually attend the annual fair. Newman said she enjoys seeing children learn about the wetlands, being involved in raising awareness about water and wetlands, and the variety of people drawn to the event.

If people are interested in steps to take for conservation, Newman encourages paying attention to wetlands, what happens in rivers, and creating flowerbeds because they absorb more rainwater leading to not as much runoff.

Newman also recommends getting children involved in gardens and planting vegetables.

“Learning from nature is something that can be a life-long gift,” she said.

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