2017-04-20 / Top News

Top 5 things to do at the 2017 Earth Day Festival

SPECIAL TO FLORIDA WEEKLY


A Conservancy staff biologist lets a young Earth Day visitors get up close and personal with a baby alligator at the Conservancy’s 2015 festival. A Conservancy staff biologist lets a young Earth Day visitors get up close and personal with a baby alligator at the Conservancy’s 2015 festival. As the end of April approaches, the weather turns warmer and the summer season begins to trickle into Southwest Florida. Around this time each year, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida hosts its annual Earth Day Festival. Featuring a variety of eco-friendly activities, food, presentations and games, the 2017 Earth Day Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22. It’s a great way to grab the kids, get outside and celebrate the Earth.

Here are the Top 5 things to do at this year’s Earth Day Festival:

1. Attend a live show

Throughout the day, the Conservancy will be putting on a variety of live shows that are fun, education and kid-friendly. Highlights include a sing-a-long with Captain Ecology (10:30 a.m.), the shark show with Barnacle Ben (11 a.m.), an interactive science show called “Everglades Interactive” (noon) and the “Caring for Critters”


puppet show (1:15 p.m.). 2. Visit the food and vendor booths In addition to live shows and events, Earth Day features several exhibitors and vendors with delicious food, fun activities and even a little opportunity to shop. While refreshing and refueling yourself, be sure to check out the live music, the photo booth and the bounce house for the little ones. puppet show (1:15 p.m.). 2. Visit the food and vendor booths In addition to live shows and events, Earth Day features several exhibitors and vendors with delicious food, fun activities and even a little opportunity to shop. While refreshing and refueling yourself, be sure to check out the live music, the photo booth and the bounce house for the little ones. 3. Join a book reading

At 12:30 p.m., “E is for Everglades” author Lisa Trebilcock and “Henry the Manatee” author Claire Lawrence and illustrator Randi Zwicker will host book readings. This is a great opportunity to chat with these amazing authors and illustrator about their work and to educate your kids about the animals and ecosystems that populate Southwest Florida.

4. Spot the live animals

The Conservancy is always a great place to spot live animals. For Earth Day, however, several special presentations are planned with the keepers, scientists and von Arx Wildlife Hospital staff that will bring you even closer to the critters. Highlights include a live reptile show (11:30 a.m.), a “Critter Encounter” with our animal ambassadors (12:15 p.m.), a “Through their Eyes” wildlife talk with veterinarian Joanna Fitzgerald, director of our wildlife hospital (12:30 p.m.), and a reptile encounter with Animal Care Coordinator Katie Ferron (3:15 p.m.).

In addition to these presentations, the Dalton Discovery Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital exhibits will be open all day.

5. Enjoy nature

Though the whole 2017 Earth Day Festival gives visitors a chance to spend some time in the sun, the Conservancy offers a few ways to get a bit closer to nature. There will be several guided nature walks as well as electric boat rides where you can learn more about the mangroves and local ecosystems. These activities will be a great way to celebrate and learn more about the beautiful environment of Southwest Florida. We hope to see you there! ¦

— The nonprofit Conservancy of Southwest Florida has a 50- year history focused on issues impacting the water, land, wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. It accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how you can help support the quality of life in Southwest Florida at www.conservancy.org.

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