Celebrate Earth Day
Every April, people all over the world celebrate Earth Day, raising awareness of our beautiful Mother Earth and all her splendor. For the fabulous Florida Keys, surrounded by a national marine sanctuary and bordered by the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef, the environment, and ecosystem is truly the lifeblood of this scenic island chain. While most of the world focuses its attention on April 22nd, Earth Day in the Florida Keys is a month-long celebration with fun and important events.
Earth Day in Florida
On April 9th, two Key Largo-area Florida state parks, John Pennekamp Coral Reef (Mile Marker 102) and Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical (Mile Marker 106) are hosting a Native Plant Day Earth Day event at Mile Marker 102.5, Oceanside, 9 AM to 2 PM. In addition to numerous community and environmental groups manning information booths and free donations of native plants for visitors to take home, there will be a variety of activities for Earth Day in the Florida Keys. These include talks on how to propagate and care for native plants and how to plant butterfly gardens, nature walks, kids’ activities, exhibits, and presentations by biologists. The State Park entrance fee will be waived for this event. For more information call 305-451-1202 or visit www.fla-keys.com.
Celebrate Earth Day, April 22nd, at The Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden. Admission is free and it will be open to the public for three extra hours. Though the facility usually closes at 4 PM, it will stay open until 7 PM for visitors and families to picnic or enjoy the lush tropical surroundings. The Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Garden is located at 5210 College Road on Stock Island, Mile Marker 5.
Earth Day Events
Florida Keys Earth Day events are being held by Marathon’s Dolphin Research Center from 4:30 to 5:45 PM. on Thursday, April 23. Volunteers are needed to collect discarded trash, monofilament fishing line, and other debris at Tom’s Harbor Bridge, Mile Marker 62. Participants should wear hats, shoes, and clothes that can get wet or dirty and bring a reusable cup, bug repellent, sunscreen and a cutting tool. The Dolphin Research Center will supply water, trash bags, and gloves. The cleanup will begin on the south side of the bridge. For more information, call Courtney Coburn at 305-289-1121, ext. 231.
Finally, Bahia Honda State Park, in the Lower Florida Keys, Mile Marker 36.8, is celebrating Earth Day, 9 AM to 2 PM, Saturday, April 25. There will be live music, food, and fun for the whole family. Local environmental groups will host exhibits and interactive activities. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission plans to bring two marine touch tanks. Children can get their faces painted, participate in a sand sculpture contest and play games. The event is free with regular Bahia Honda State Park admission. For more information on the event, call the park’s Sand and Sea Nature Center at 305-872-9807.
Come to the fabulous Florida Keys to celebrate Earth Day and Mother Earth’s beauty this April.