In reality, every day is Earth Day, but the end of April is when special observances are planned to remind us how important it is to take care of our planet.
Here in the western communities, we are blessed to have an abundance of green space and natural beauty. From wetlands to open fields to forests, our communities brush up against some of Florida’s most breathtaking natural wonders, such as the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge to the south, Lake Okeechobee to the west and miles upon miles of beautiful beaches to the east.
Living close to such natural wonder, it’s easy to take what we have for granted. That is why Earth Day is important — putting the focus on what we as a community can do to make our world a little bit better, and everyone should get involved.
Officially, Earth Day is scheduled for April 22. The observance dates back to the very beginnings of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This year, we celebrate the 45th anniversary of this special day honoring the planet. Over that span of time, it has raised awareness and brought environmental issues and concerns into the limelight.
The great thing about Earth Day is that you don’t need to celebrate with others if you don’t want to. Plant a tree, grow a vegetable garden, enjoy a family picnic or hike in the outdoors — all are great ways to pay tribute to our planet. However, there are also many observances planned for the week around Earth Day.
The Village of Wellington is celebrating a combination Earth Day/Arbor Day event on Sunday, April 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Wellington Amphitheater with free activities, face painting, a concert, free plants and more. For more information, visit www.wellingtonfl.gov or check out an article on the event is this week’s issue of the Town-Crier.
Also featured in that article is the Okeeheelee Nature Center’s Earth Day celebration, set for Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors will be able to enjoy games, crafts, guided nature walks, animal encounters, exhibits and guest speakers. Visit www.pbcparks.com/nature for more information.
During the week, BioBlitz will be holding a special Earth Day event at Palm Beach County golf courses from April 19 to 25. A species-counting competition, BioBlitz is organized by Audubon International. The Okeeheelee Golf Course is holding its BioBlitz tour Thursday, April 23 from 9 to 11 a.m. For more information, contact Mac Hood at email@example.com.
Another way to celebrate Earth Day is through organized cleanup activities, such as the one Wellington has planned for Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to noon in the 12th Fairway/White Pine community and along Wellington Trace. Volunteers will meet under the blue tents at the Community Services Office, located at 1092 Wellington Trace. RSVP to Meridith Tuckwood at (561) 753-2476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wellington cleanup is just one of many events under the umbrella of the “Great American Cleanup,” organized locally by Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful. There are similar events all over the county. For a complete list, visit www.keeppbcbeautiful.org.