April 18, 2012 5:24PM
Sunday is Earth Day, a good cause for celebration, education or a little give-back. Several area organizations and communities have planned events on Saturday to give you opportunities to do just that. All are free, and some will even give you ideas on how to be more green and how to save some green.
† The seventh annual Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It’s ironic that the weather hasn’t cooperated with five of the past six celebrations, so planners decided to take the event indoors this year, to the Porter County Expo Center.
“By moving the event indoors, the venue allows for more options. We have a stage and sitting area which is more conducive to holding programs, and flat solid ground, that will allow us to have demonstrations like the big aquaponic gardening exhibit that the U.S. Aquaponics Association will have this year,” said Donna Stuckert of the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County.
Aquaponics combines raising fish and growing plants in a mutually beneficial water environment, and is gaining popularity around the world.
“We have a well-rounded lineup planned with something for everyone, from programs that kids will enjoy, information for gardeners and people who want to make energy efficient improvements on their homes, environmental and nature organizations, and innovative products,” said Stuckert.
The program lineup begins at 9:30 a.m. with secrets to a better lawn, and follows with: electric vehicles, energy efficiency and the environment at 10:15 a.m.; Silly Safaris live animal show at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; the fun and innovative Recycle Cycle show at noon; a presentation about orphaned wildlife at 12:30 p.m.; Your Green Home at 2 p.m.; and an introduction to qigong, a practice for good health, at 2:45 p.m.
The Porter County Expo Center is on Division Road, east of Highway 49 and south of U.S. 30. For event details and more ideas on living green, go online to www.itmeanstheworld.org.
† Another Earth Day event offering programs and activities for a wide range of interests is Green Gary Day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, presented by the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Gary Parks Department and other environmental organizations, at Lake Street Beach and the Douglas Center for Environmental Education in Miller.
A ranger-led hike of Miller Woods, an arts program celebrating Rachel Carson’s environmental movement landmark book, “Silent Spring,” children’s activities, environmental exhibits and a healthy home presentation are just some of the offerings at the Douglas Center. From there you can take a shuttle to the beach where activities include kite flying and a beach cleanup.
To get there from U.S. 20, go west of Ripley Street about 1 mile, turn north on Lake Street and follow the signs to the Douglas Center or Lake Street Beach.
† Cleanups are a great way to recognize Earth Day. Picking up trash, pulling invasives and beautifying parks are some local Earth Day efforts in need of volunteers.
The Field of Dreams Park at 402 W. County Road 700N, and Haven Hollow Park at 330 W. County Road 700N, both in South Haven, are two locations where volunteers are needed for cleanup, recycling, planting and other park beautification efforts from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. A cookout for volunteers will follow. Call 762-1623, Ext. 25 for more information.
Volunteers are also needed at International Friendship Gardens in Michigan City to help clean litter from the perimeter of the garden for a few hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Snacks and gloves provided. Interested volunteers are asked to leave a message at 878-9885.
Join in “attacking” invasive plants until noon Saturday at the Heron Rookery of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and stay for a ranger-led spring wildflower hike. Meet by 9 a.m. at the Visitor Center on Indiana 49 in Porter, just south of U.S. 20, to carpool to the work site.