The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. More than 1 billion people in 194 nations now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. – See more at: http://www.earthday.org/
Here in South Florida, we are blessed with beautiful weather throughout most of the year. However, due to our proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, we also have to sometimes deal with the wrath of Mother Nature. Everything from hurricanes to rising sea level put our fragile ecosystem at risk, and make us more aware of the power of the Earth.
There are several events going on to help celebrate Earth Day in the area. Each one has it’s own special blend of fun and education, and put their own spin on what Earth Day means.
Eau Spa at the Eau Palm Beach Resort, 100 S Ocean Blvd, Manalapan, FL 33462
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, 2051 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
As Earth Day turns 47 years old on April 22, local organizations have formed an alliance to call attention to the day’s significance and educate local residents on actions they can take to protect our earth. To be hosted by Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, “A Partnership for Art, Science and the Natural World,” will offer discounted admission for family-friendly activities and presentations by collaborating organizations throughout the day on Saturday.
Designed to embrace Ann Norton’s vision for maintaining an urban preserve that supports the coexistence of art and nature, the event will spotlight the missions of the Lost Bird Project, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery CenterTM, the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium with expert and artist talks and tours, panel presentations, Q&As, interactive learning stations and garden tours. Light refreshments will be provided throughout the afternoon.
“Ann Norton described the Gardens as her legacy to the community − encompassing an environmental showplace intended to display her nine monumental sculptures and the work of visiting artists amidst her collection of over 250 native plants, rare palms and cycads,” said Roger Ward, president and CEO of ANSG, and moderator for the Earth Day panel discussion. “She defined its purpose as an educational museum and urban sanctuary for the public enjoyment of art, garden and natural history enthusiasts of all ages. She would love the idea of this celebration and we are grateful to our partners for their collaboration.”
Participants in the event will be invited to sign a #earthdayeveryday pledge – taking action over the next year to participate in sustainable activities in an effort to protect the planet.
In honor of Earth Day, ANSG will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with discounted pricing. Children under 5 and members of participating organizations enjoy free entry with proof of membership. General admission is discounted to $10 for adults and $5 for seniors (age 65 and older), students and children (ages 6 to 18).
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens is located at 2051 S. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. Parking for the event is available on neighborhood streets or the adjoining lot at Palm Beach Day Academy. For more information, please visit www.ansg.org or call 561-832-5328.
ABOUT THE EVENT:
“A Partnership for Art, Science and the Natural World”
Saturday, April 22, 2017
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Artist Talk and Tour with The Lost Bird Project and Rare Species Conservatory Foundation.
2 to 3:15 p.m. Panel Presentations and Q&A
3 to 5 p.m. Interactive Learning Stations and Garden Tours
Light refreshments will be provided throughout the afternoon.
ABOUT THE PANELISTS: 2 to 3:15 p.m. — Panel Presentations and Q&A
Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens: Roger Ward, President and CEO − moderator
Artist/exhibitor Todd McGrain, The Lost Bird Project, panelist
“Earth Day is a reminder that every day is Earth Day for as Alan Watts said, ‘We don’t come into this world, we come out of it, like a wave from the ocean.’” – Todd McGrain
The historic Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Inc. is a nonprofit foundation established in 1977 by the prominent sculptor Ann Weaver Norton (1905-1982). The two-acre sanctuary is comprised of rare palm and sculpture gardens, Ann Norton’s historic home and exhibition galleries, and Norton’s own Wyeth-designed artist studio. Located at 2051 South Flagler Drive in the historic El Cid neighborhood of West Palm Beach, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery and garden exhibition talks are available on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. For information, please visit www.ansg.org or call 561-832-5328.
Artist Todd McGrain heads “The Lost Bird Project,” a sculpture project currently on exhibit at ANSG through June 25 which artfully recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing North American birds that have been driven out of existence.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center: Jack E. Lighton, President and CEO, panelist
“We are humbled to celebrate Earth Day with environmental and cultural leaders from across Palm Beach County at one of the area’s most unique cultural destinations, the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden. Art is the medium by which all of our organizations can more effectively communicate our missions. Thoughtful conversations in a stunning garden setting while surrounded by world class works of art is the perfect way to spend Earth Day.” – Jack Lighton
Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a non-profit sea turtle hospital that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The center features an on-site campus hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, a pier that hosts world-class fishing and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 300,000 visitors each year. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.
Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery CenterTM: Sarah H. Marmion, Manager, panelist
“Manatee Lagoon is part of FPL’s commitment to make our communities a better place to live and raise a family. We live in a special place. Earth Day gives us another opportunity to recognize how lucky we are and continue working shoulder to shoulder with community partners in hopes of inspiring the next generation of nature lovers, scientists and artists.” — Sarah H. Marmion
Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center™ offers visitors engaging opportunities to learn about the threatened and unique Florida manatee and the Lake Worth Lagoon ecosystem it inhabits. The center hosts field trips for science programs, offering site-based enrichment and educational activities. Visitors will also understand the role power plants play in supporting the species. The warm-water outflows from the adjacent FPL Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center attract hundreds of manatees each year during cold winter months. The waterfront facility provides opportunities for the public to learn more about these marine mammals and what is needed to protect their environment. The 16,000-sq.-ft. center offers free admission, two levels of exhibit and meeting space, a boardwalk to observe manatees in the Lagoon, picnic area, pavilion and gift shop. Manatee Lagoon hosts myriad educational and recreational activities from yoga and art classes to a Junior Aqua Lab and an environmental lecture series. For more information, go to VisitManateeLagoon.com.
South Florida Science Center and Aquarium: Lew Crampton, President and CEO, panelist
“Earth Day is an important milestone, but every day should be Earth Day when it comes to reminding ourselves that we all live on a fragile planet needing constant care and affection. We are fortunate to live in Palm Beach, but even here we face threats to our economy and lifestyle from rising sea levels. This is our environment and we all have a responsibility to protect it for ourselves and for future generations.” – Lew Crampton
The mission of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is to “open every mind to science” and the indoor/outdoor venue features more than 50 hands-on educational exhibits, a 10,000-gallon fresh and salt water aquarium- featuring both local and exotic marine life, a digital planetarium, conservation research station, Florida exhibit hall, Pre-K focused “Discovery Center,” an interactive Everglades exhibit and an 18-hole Conservation Course – an outdoor putting course with science-focused education stations. Located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach, the SFSCA is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 561-832-1988 or visit www.sfsciencecenter.org.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Artist Talk and Tour with The Lost Bird Project and Rare Species Conservatory Foundation.
The Rare Species Conservatory Foundation: Paul R. Reillo, Ph.D., President and Co-Director, Tropical Conservation Institute, Florida International University
Simply stated, we can either invest in wildlife’s future now, or build monuments to the species we choose to ignore.
The synergies between the Lost Bird Project, Todd’s installation at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens and RSCF’s intensive efforts to save North America’s most endangered bird, the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, are striking. RSCF’s 30-acre wildlife Conservatory is located just 20 minutes’ drive west of the Garden, and houses the largest and only reproducing group of Florida Grasshopper Sparrows in captivity. We celebrated the first captive breeding pair last year, and now have 19 sparrows in our care. Captive breeding − wildlife conservation’s last resort − has become the only hope to avert extinction as the wild sparrow population plummets. The Kissimmee Prairie Preserve − home to Todd’s wonderful memorial to the Carolina Parakeet, and once a Florida Grasshopper Sparrow stronghold − now has but a single Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. Similarly, the Avon Park Reserve has, at most, two birds. Sadly, even the Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area − the last, significant bastion for sparrows in the wild (with hundreds of birds a decade ago) − is predicted to hold no more than 25 this year. Extinction is imminent, and we predict the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow will disappear completely from Florida’s dry prairie within the next few years. – Dr. Paul R. Reillo
RSCF is an international wildlife-conservation NGO based in Loxahatchee, Fla., and is working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Florida and other conservation partners to save North America’s most endangered bird, the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savanarrum floridanus), along with many other critical species. Florida’s last, and one of the U.S.’s most significant and recent, avian extinctions was the Dusky Seaside Sparrow, sibling to the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. The Dusky Seaside Sparrow, another tiny Florida endemic from Cape Canaveral, disappeared 30 years ago. For more information, visit www.rarespecies.org
The Lost Bird Project: Artist/exhibitor Todd McGrain
“Along with immortalizing the birds, I hope that the sculptures convince all of us to recognize our duty to prevent further unnecessary extinction. If we don’t preserve life, we will only be left with memories and memorials. When a species of bird leaves the earth forever, it is often all too quietly. Since Ann Norton’s garden was originally designed to be a sanctuary for migrating birds, with everything from vegetation to architectural design taken into account, it only seemed natural to have The Lost Birds nest here for a while.” – Todd McGrain
A sculptor for more than 25 years, McGrain has received a number of grants and awards, including the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. His permanent sculpture installations can be viewed at such prestigious venues as the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; and the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY, among others. For the past 10 years, McGrain has been directing his strengths as a sculptor toward “The Lost Bird Project “ – and has immortalized North American birds that have been driven out of existence with striking bronze sculptures of the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk and the Heath Hen.
I pledge to protect our earth by including at least 3 of the sustainability tips below into my daily routine in order to make a positive impact on our environment:
Ditch the plastic: Forgo single-use bottled water; buy a fun reusable water-bottle and BYOW (bring your own water.)
Pick it up: On your morning walk, consider picking up litter or beach trash, recycle it when possible, or consider making a found art piece.
Bring the bag: Reduce plastic or paper bag consumption when shopping by bringing reusable bags to the grocery and convenience stores. Leave the bags tucked into your car so you don’t forget them.
Say no to straws: One of the top 10 items found on the beach is the single-use plastic straw. Skip the straw or ask for paper straws the next time you order a beverage.
What goes up must come down: Forgo balloon and sky lantern releases as these items are very often mistaken by wildlife as food, causing significant harm to the environment and wildlife.
Which endangered species or habitat is your favorite? Learn about them and find ways to preserve them, because when they’re gone, they’re gone.
Collect rain water and use to water your plants.
Plant the Planet, but don’t use pesticides which may endanger plants, birds, animals and other wildlife. Carefully read the label before you buy.
Recycle and repurpose as much stuff as possible! Don’t toss furniture, sports equipment, household items or clothing you don’t need anymore. Donate it!
Create a garden based on the native flora and fauna of South Florida. Your garden can replicate a coastal community and consist of sea grape, sea oak, cabbage palm, sea lavender, Florida rosemary, and other endemic species. This garden will attract local wildlife – including bees and butterflies.
The Links at Boynton Beach, 8020 Jog Rd, Boynton Beach, FL 33472
Celebrate Earth Day at one of Boynton Beach’s hidden treasures, the Links of Boynton Beach, on Saturday, April 22, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Featuring live music by the Fabulons, fun children’s activities and nature tours of the certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Food will be available for purchase. Sign language interpreters will also be on-site interpreting the concert performance and assisting throughout the event.
For additional information, please call 561-742-6642 or follow us on Facebook (boyntonbeachrecandparks) and Twitter (@boyntonbeachrec).
Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, FL 33177
During Party for the Planet, held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22 & 23, Zoo Miami guests will enjoy a tree and plant show and sale by the Tropical Tree Society, plus “green” activities and entertainment for the family. Even our animals will be joining the fun with enrichment items made in our new Animal Fun Factory from recycled and natural materials.
Below is the schedule for the weekend’s animal enrichment:
April 22 & 23
11 a.m. Black bear 11:30 a.m. Orangutan/white-cheeked gibbons 12 p.m. Sloth bear 1 p.m. Lions 1:45 p.m. Chimpanzee 2:15 p.m. African elephants 2:30 a.m. Saki & golden lion tamarins – Flooded Forest aviary 2:45 p.m. Black rhino 3 p.m. Giraffe
Guests can come in FREE of charge on these days when they turn in a cellphone as part of our ECO-CELL phone recycling program. These donated cell phones will help gorillas by hopefully reducing the need for coltan – a mineral extracted in the deep forests of Congo in Central Africa, home to the world’s endangered lowland gorillas. Fueled by the worldwide cell phone boom, Congo’s out-of-control coltan mining business has in recent years led to a dramatic reduction of animal habitat and the rampant slaughter of great apes for the illegal bush-meat trade.
In the spirit of going green and saving green, Zoo Miami is also offering $5 off admission on these days in exchange for guests bringing in one gently used basketball, soccer ball, football, muffin tin or basket. This offer is limited to one item per person, and cannot be combined with offer promotional offers. These items will be reused for even more enrichment items for our animals!
This year, we are also partnering with the Ramos Boys, who are challenging fellow Miami students to help save the Everglades! Participants are being offered free admission on Saturday, April 22, as an incentive for meeting certain donation marks! Find out more at www.donate.zoomiami.org/ramosboys.
On Sunday, April 23, the Florida Youth Orchestra will be performing “Where the Wild Things Area” at the Sami Family Amphitheater.
Members and children under the age of 2 enter free to Zoo Miami. Parking is also free. Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami FL, 33177. Save time, buy your tickets online at shop.zoomiami.org. More information on Party for the Planet is available at www.zoomiami.org.