by Bri Kilroy
Earth has always been inclusive when it comes to inviting its inhabitants to join the international celebration that is Earth Day. The world’s varying geography and climates make for a dynamic collection of how each of the 193 countries show love to the planet, whether it’s advocating for the environment or taking a day to enjoy the great outdoors. Read further to discover the local opportunities that invite you to celebrate Earth Day to the fullest.
1. Attend the Earth Day Lakeshore Celebration in Grand Haven (April 21, 12:30-4 p.m.)
West Michigan’s lakeshore is reputable for having some of our state’s most stunning views, so it makes sense for the City of Grand Haven to host an Earth Day celebration that fills the entire afternoon. Starting at the Grand Haven Courthouse (414 Washington Ave.) the Green Parade leads earthlings to the Earth Day Fair at the Grand Haven Community Center (421 Columbus Ave.). The fair features booths showcasing environmentally friendly products, food, games, demonstrations and activities for all to enjoy. Festivities are free to attend and give visitors the chance to explore the lakeshore town.
2. Visit Blandford Nature Center for their Earth Day Celebration (April 21, noon-3 p.m)
If you haven’t experienced this neighborhood nature oasis, Earth Day is the day to do so; Blandford Nature Center is waving its admission fee and welcoming all ages to explore the 264 acres of property that includes weaving trails, educational buildings, a farm and recently added highlands. Enjoy special Earth Day activities throughout the grounds while immersing yourself in the tranquil nature of our planet.
3. See the Butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (through April 29)
Share the celebration with a different species at The Garden’s Butterflies are Blooming exhibit, saturating the tropical conservatory until April 30. Thousands of tropical butterflies showcase the breadth of Mother Earth’s palette with vibrant colors that even an HD television can’t capture.
4. Trek the Riveredge Trail
Whether you have a whole day or just a moment to break away, the Grand River’s Riveridge Trail is a community treasure that offers a riverwalk escape without parting from the city’s urgency. The riverside path beginning at Fulton Street and continuing North until Leonard Street is an environmental gift that we haven’t had many chances to take advantage of over the last few months. Absorb the serenity a walk or run along the river will give you, free of charge.
5. Play in the Park
Since we’re talking about the river, our local parks deserve a recommendation as well. Toss a Frisbee at Ah-Nab-Awen Park (220 Front Ave.) or pitch your hammock at Riverside Park (2001 Monroe Ave. NE) for a relaxing recline in nature. Giving yourself the chance to step away from the screen and regroup in a new physical setting paves the way for a calmer and more appreciative life.
6. Bike Brewery Tour
Because it doesn’t take a set of wheels to travel from one brewery to another in Downtown Grand Rapids, this Bike Brewery Tour includes an adventure along the White Pine Trail starting in Riverside Park and ending in either Rockford or Cedar Springs, depending on how far you want to pedal. Elk Brewing Company in Comstock Park, Bier Distillery, Rockford Brewing Company and Cedar Springs Brewing Company are all accessible from the White Pine Trail, and you can map out your trip with brew stops to break up the miles.