Celebrate Earth Day at Penitentiary Glen

Mimi Promo Lake County Metroparks
Penitentiary Glen will host an Earth Day celebration on Sunday, April 28, from 12 p.m. noon-4 p.m.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

Since Earth Day began in April of 1970, the worldwide initiative to foster TLC for Mother Earth has grown by leaps and bounds, evolving into a day of action to change behaviors and raise awareness about protecting the environment.

It is now observed in nearly 200 countries and has become the largest secular holiday in the world.

Here in Lake County, the celebration takes place on Sunday, April 28, from noon to 4 p.m., at Penitentiary Glen.

“Our theme this year is Save our Species, focusing on what people can do to protect endangered species,” says Caitlin Pace, assistant chief of interpretive services for the Lake Metroparks.

“We’ll highlight plants and animals and how we can be better stewards in their well-being by preserving the environment around us. For instance, we’ll feature the spotted turtle as a local species that’s on the endangered list and talk about its habitat.”

Recycling and ways people can help protect the planet will be part of all the action, too.

“We hope people will be inspired to take an active role in the world around them,” she says. “From adopting an animal at our wildlife center to planting pollinating plants in their own backyard to help attract birds, bees and butterflies, anyone can play a role.”

Attendees will enjoy a bevy of fun, interactive games and demonstrations, as well as wildlife programs and shopping at the Earth Day Marketplace with locally made, fair-trade products. An indoor Eco Fair will include tables with agencies offering guidance on conservation. And miniature train rides through the woods will take place from 1-3 p.m., weather permitting.

Plus, as supplies last, each family in attendance will receive a free sapling tree to take a nice piece of green home.

This is one of the best-attended events of the year at Penitentiary Glen, and Caitlin reports that last year there were more than 5,000 people. Admission is free.

Penitentiary Glen Nature Center is located at 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland. With the mission of conserving and preserving the natural resources of Lake County, Lake Metroparks provides more than 3.3 million visitors each year with educational and recreational programs and activities. For more information, visit LakeMetroParks.com or call 440-639-7275.