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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Mobilize for Earth: Pledge a Green Act for Earth Day 2012

Apr 01, 2012 01:08PM

Large or small, each green action we take—from workplace commitments to reduce, reuse and recycle to individual initiatives like riding a bike to work—helps to protect the integrity of our irreplaceable planet. We have come a long way from the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, that activated 20 million Americans. Today, the Earth Day Network (EDN) collaborates with 22,000 partners in 192 countries, and 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the world’s largest annual civic observance.

More progress is needed, however. “This Earth Day, we are mobilizing people on the planet simply to say one thing: The Earth won’t wait,” advises EDN Director of Earth Day, Franklin Russell, noting that environmental issues are frequently put on the back burner in the face of global economic challenges. “All too often, we hear of another oil spill or pipeline break, or another mountain leveled to mine for dirty coal. It’s time that we mobilize the Earth and speak with one voice, one message,” he asserts. “It’s time that our leaders put us on the path to sustainability.”

EDN invites us to help build the momentum by continuing to participate in the Billion Acts of Green campaign launched for Earth Day 2011. Its goal is to record a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, taking place this June, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To date, more than 499 million acts have been pledged—a powerful cause for hope. “I’m resolutely optimistic,” says Denis Hayes, organizer of the original Earth Day. “I think it’s really valuable for everyone in the world, even for a day, to do something for the environment and think about the Earth.”

Take Part Now

Pledge your own green act today at and help mobilize the Earth by attending and supporting one or more of these local Earth Day 2012 events.

Earth Day Walk at Caloosahatchee Regional Park

9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, April 21

Join park staff on a 1.5-mile stroll through a beautiful oak hammock, an ecologically vital plant community that is home to Southwest Florida native wildlife and migratory birds. Bring a water bottle and packed lunch to enjoy at the park following the walk.

Cost: Program is free with paid parking. Registration required; program limit is 25 participants. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Location: 18500 N. River Rd., Alva. Register online at or call 239-533-7440.

Lee County GAC Earth Day Trash Bash

9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 21

Sponsored by Keep Lee County Beautiful (KLCB), this 24th annual countywide clean-up campaign is part of the nationwide Great American Cleanup (GAC) effort sponsored by Keep America Beautiful.

Location: Check-in and collection sites are located throughout Lee County. For a site list and more information, contact Trish at 239-334-3488 or visit

Conservancy Nature Center Annual Earth Day Celebration

9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 21

• Family programs
• Kids’ carnival
• Environmental exhibits
• Food
• Crafts

Location: 1450 Merrihue Dr., next to the Naples Zoo. Call 239-262-0304 or 239-403-4200 or visit Convenient, free off-site parking available at Colonial Square Office Park and Lake Park Elementary School. No onsite parking available at the Conservancy Nature Center due to continuing renovations.

Earth Day Celebration at Naples Botanical Garden

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 21

• Children’s Garden activities focusing on trees starting at 10:30 a.m.
• Facility tours starting at 11 a.m.

Admission fee: $12.95/adults; $7.95/children 4-14. Free for members. Location: 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. Call 239-643-7275 or visit

Earth Day at the Refuge J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 21

• Free, family fun activities
• Environmental presentations
• Kids’ recycled material for crafts
• Wildlife Drive is free and open to bikers and hikers only. Free bikes provided by Tarpon Bay Explorers (bikes must be picked up at their location).
• First 200 visitors receive a free, reusable shopping bag

Location: 1 Wildlife Dr., Sanibel Island. Call 239-472-1100, ext. 236 or visit

Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 21

• Special animal shows
• Kid-friendly crafts
• Solar observing outside the planetarium

Location: 3450 Ortiz Ave., Fort Myers. Call 239-275-3435, email [email protected] or visit

The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens – Party for the Planet

11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 21

Party for the Planet, the national Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) annual Earth Day event, is hosted by AZA-accredited institutions nationwide and is one of the largest Earth Day celebrations on record. Enjoy three locations of family-friendly conservation fun.

• Conservation Station has information about organizations that protect the Naples environment
• Zoo Town for Kidz includes fun games and arts and crafts made from recycled materials
• Nature’s Mall features green-friendly businesses

Location: 590 Goodlette Rd., Naples. Call the Info ZooLine at 239-262-5409 or visit

Collier County Parks and Recreation Department Earth Day Celebration

3 to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 21

Watch demonstrations of Earth-friendly activities you can do at home, including organic gardening, composting, and using rain barrels and solar energy.

Location: Freedom Park, 1515 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-4000 or visit

11th Annual Earth Day Festival at Koreshan (co-sponsored by Happehatchee Center and Sierra Club Calusa Group)

9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, April 22

• A tribute to Ellen Peterson
• Free kayak rides
• Local art displays and demos, environmental presentations and kids’ activities
• Live music by Natural Spirit, James Willhite Band, The Lids and Adam Mac
• Honoring of Mother Earth by Las Mayas De HuehueTenango
• Belly dancing by Natasha Hazard
• Raffles, including a poster donated by renowned photographer Clyde Butcher
• Gaia Live! Project NatureConnect Experiences: Janet Weisberg, LLC, certified traumatologist, educator and peace ambassador, will facilitate free group New Brain Connecting, Natural Consensus, Natural Systems Thinking Process, Unity With Nature, Separation From Nature, The Web of Life and Being There sessions to empower our lives and spirits, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• Drum circle from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Free admission. $10 parking. Bring chairs and blankets. Location: 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Preregister (required) for Gaia Live! participation at Food and Thought, Naples; For Goodness Sake, Bonita Springs; Happehatchee Center, Estero; House of Gaia, Naples; or Unity of Naples. Contact Weisberg at 239-280-8229 or [email protected] For more information, call 239-947-5255 or 239-777-0186 or visit

Third Annual Earth Day Celebration, Pine Island

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 22
Sponsored by Earth & Spirit Garden Gallery

• Expert speakers on sustainability and environmental issues
• Natural and organic food from island growers
• Artwork and music
• Vendors and demonstrations

Location: 5425 Maria Dr., St. James City. Call 239-282-1025 or visit

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