By Mark Horning

Environmental groups around the world have made huge advances in setting into motion programs to protect our planet. From suggestions of small lifestyle changes for the general population in their neighborhoods to fighting unscrupulous global companies who practice unwarranted pollution across the globe these groups are at the forefront of the battle to save our planet. Now more than ever we need to support these causes worldwide. April 22, 2017 has been set aside as Earth Day where like minded people gather to learn more about what steps are being taken to protect and what we as single individuals can do to help. Below are a few of the celebrations happening in the Northeast Ohio area.

Earth Fest
Cuyahoga County Fair Grounds
Berea, OH
(216) 281-6468

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is Ohio’s largest environmental education event as well as the longest running Earth Day celebration in the nation. This year’s theme is “Vibrant Green Space” as over 270 exhibitors will gather in nine exhibit areas. One of the yearly featured events is the award ceremony for the yearly K-12 Art, Poetry and Essay Contest. This year there will be pop-up streetscapes and interactive tree canopies, Midwest Evolve Ride and Drives, biodiesel powered amusement park rides, urban farm animals. petting zoos, sheep dog herding demos, Jungle Bob and his animal friends, pony rides, food trucks, microbrewers and vintners as well as music all day on four local stages. Admission is $8 (ages 12 and up) and $4 ages 2-11. Free admission is available for those riding RTA’s Redline (regular fare) to Brookpark Rapid Station with a free shuttle to the fairgrounds, current Earth Day Coalition members ($35 individual level of $50 family level) and teachers with immediate family (present school ID required).

Earth Day And Birthday Celebration At Mustard Seed Market
3885 W. Market St.
Akron, OH 44333
(330) 666-7333

Date: April 22, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Since their beginning in 1981, Mustard Seed Market and Café has celebrated Earth Day and the anniversary of their opening on the same day by giving out free tree seedlings (700,000 in all over the past 36 years). The same holds true this year as Mustard Seed partners with the Metroparks as they distribute thousands of white cedar, red maple, white oak and red oak seedlings ready to plant. From noon to 4 p.m. there will be a taste fair and birthday cake. Free live music will be featured at the Montrose (6-9 p.m.) and Highland Heights (8:30-11:30 p.m.) locations.

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The Wilderness Center
9877 Alabama Ave. S.W.
Wilmot, Ohio 44689
Earth Day Celebration and 5K Run
(330) 359-5235

Begun in 1964 as a nature preserve, The Wilderness Center has grown to 3,000 acres of protected land and is used as an educational site for students of all ages and types. On April 22, 2017 The Wilderness Center will host a chip timed 5K run along the Wilderness Walk and Pioneer Path trails. Those who are registered will receive a race event T-shirt and after-race refreshments. There will also be a one mile fun run around Wilderness Lake as well as family nature walks. Other events scheduled for the day include a StoryWalkTM down to the pond as well as Playscape Playdates. There will also be a garlic mustard pull in an attempt to control invasive species. Local nature photographers will have their photos on display at the Nature FotoFest. Lastly, a Learn Bird Songs program will be offered. For details and times go to their website listed above.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Party For The Planet
3900 Wildlife Way
Cleveland, Ohio
(216) 661-6500

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The annual Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Party for The Planet takes place on April 22, 2017 beginning at 10 a.m. The entire day will be filled with events and activities throughout the Zoo. Guests of the Zoo can meet Animal Keepers, create Earth Day inspired crafts and even join a dance party. There will also be animal enrichment demonstrations, conservation displays and hands-on educational programs geared towards connecting participants with the natural world around them.

Raptor Center Earth Day Program
Glen Helen Raptor Center
1075 Ohio 343
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Earth Day is about appreciated and caring for all that resides on planet Earth. Head down to the Glen Halen Raptor Center to learn about the majestic creatures that are native to Ohio. See the raptors up close and personal and hike the area for a chance to see the birds flying around the area.

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