By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma City will hold a variety of eco-friendly events this month to support of Earth Day, which is April 22.
Each event gives Oklahomans the opportunity to lend a hand and make the earth a better place to live.
During the month of April, the 16th annual LitterBlitz campaign is looking for teams to clean up an area of their choice in Oklahoma City. The City and OKC Beautiful are co-sponsors of the citywide cleanup event. Trash bags and gloves are provided. Organizations, businesses, and individuals can register online or by calling 405-525-8822.
On Friday, April 8, the OKC Parks & Recreation Department will celebrate National Arbor Month with a Community Tree Planting at Will Rogers Gardens, 36th Street and N. Portland. Naturalists will demonstrate proper pruning and how to successfully site, plant, and water a new tree. The free event begins at 11 a.m. Groups are welcome. Call 405-943-0827 for details.
The 11th annual Lake Overholser & Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge Clean-Up will take place on Saturday, April 9, as part of the American Rivers National Rivers Clean-Up event. Clean takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. after a free lunch. Additional volunteers are needed from 1 to 5 p.m. to help sort recyclables. Participants will meet at the Overholser Pavilion, NW 14th and Overholser Drive, and are asked to wear sturdy shoes, a hat, work gloves, insect repellant, and sunscreen.
“Last year our volunteers recycled about 75 pounds of aluminum, 380 pounds of scrap metal, about 24 tires, and over 2.95 tons of glass/plastic/tin in addition to 1160 pounds of trash we collected,” said event coordinator Karen Miles
To sign up, email [email protected] or call 405-702-8192.
On Saturday, April 16, people 6 and older can build a model planet during Earth Model at Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W Memorial Road, at 2 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Construct the planet from the core to the crust and learn how each layer was formed. The cost is $8 a person. Registration is available online.
Oklahoma City’s Embark transit system will offer free bus rides throughout the day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 22. For details, go to www.embarkok.com or call 235-7433.
The Myriad Botanical Gardens will celebrate Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 22 with educational information, live music, food and more on the Great Lawn. Admission is free.
Learn about the city’s fisheries management program during the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 22. At 10940 N. Meridian. Visit the city’s hatchery ponds, see equipment used in fishery work and learn about “Close to Home” fishing education program. For more details, call 405-297-1426.
On Saturday, April 23, securely destroy personal documents during Free Shred Day, sponsored by Waste Management Recycle America. Drop off paper documents from 7 a.m. to noon at Recycle America, 5519 NW 4. This event is provided to Oklahoma City residents only.
Oklahoma City’s Mayfower Congregational Church, 3901 NW 63rd, will host an Earth Day event on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Steven Stark and Adam Sarmiento will be leading this event and answering questions about gardening and Oklahoma’s botanical heritage. This is a free event that’s open to the public. There will also be tomato seedlings for sale and childcare will be provided.
Norman’s Earth Day Festival is held at Reaves Park, 2501 S. Jenkins on Sunday, April 24 from 12 – 5 p.m. State agencies, local organizations and City departments will come together to provide family fun activities teaching the importance of protecting the earth’s air, water forest, wildlife and all natural resources. For more information, call 405-366-5473.
The Spokies bike-sharing program will be free throughout April. New users can register at www.spokiesokc.com and use the promo code “Earthday2016” to enjoy a free membership through April 30. A valid credit card is required. Usage fees apply for trips longer than 30 minutes.
The OKC Zoo will host a Party for the Planet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. Festivities will include live music, giveaways, family activities and more in observance of Earth Day. Events are included with regular zoo admission.
From 1 – 4 p.m. on April 30, the Martin Park Nature Center will celebrate Earth Fest with a series of earth-friendly educational seminars on alternative fuel cars and more. Activities will include family-oriented games, crafts and other nature-based events. For more details, call 405-297-1429.
The brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Today, Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year.