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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with these virtual events

Environmentally conscious organizations are celebrating Earth Day virtually.

Earth Day is traditionally commemorated with tree giveaways, plantings and park dedications. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and coronavirus isn’t putting a damper on the celebration. To conform to social distancing guidelines, area organizations have turned to virtual activities. Here’s what we found.

A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay in Crystal River in Citrus County.

Earth Day with Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium offers a number of virtual activities to celebrate Earth Day. Find information at seewinter.com.

  • This portion features the debut of new Hope’s Homeschool Activities. Click here. Free. 9 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Wednesday also features the debut of part six on a virtual field trip to study dolphins. Click here. Free. 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Take a look at the differences between land and sea turtles and their habitats. Click here. Free. 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Watch the airing of Manatees: Conserving a Marine Mammal, a portion of the PBS Emmy Award-winning series Changing Seas. Click here. Free. 6 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Join Clearwater Marine Aquarium at facebook.com/SeeWinter/ for live educational videos at 11:30 a.m. daily. Free. (727) 441-1790.
A coyote in Hernando Couty.

Earth Day with the Pinellas County Extension Service

Join the Pinellas County Extension Service for a week of programming including:

  • Featured Creature: Coyotes: Join Natural Resource Agent, Lara Milligan as she kicks off her Wildlife of Florida Webinar Series with a presentation about coyotes. Click here. Free. 2-3 p.m. Monday.
  • Landscaping for Wildlife: Urban Horticulture Agent Theresa Badurek shares tips on turning your yard into a wildlife habitat. Click here. Free. Noon-1 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Earth Day 4-H Youth Summit: Teens from Florida and Puerto Rico (via online platform) gather to identify solutions to environmental problems facing Florida and Puerto Rico and develop an Action Plan to address the current issues. Guest speakers, a Climate Challenge “Trivia game” and world issue challenges follow. Register by clicking here to get a Zoom group number. Free. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday.
  • Sea Grant Ask an Expert: A conversation and question-and-answer session with UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County Urban Sustainability and Sea Grant Agents Ramona Madhosingh-Hector and Libby Carnahan. Register here. Free. 10-11 a.m. Thursday.
  • This or That: Introduces families to some of Florida’s easily mistaken species. Learn how to quickly tell two similar plants or animals apart. Click here. Free. 2-3 p.m. Friday.
Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life at the center of the park. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

Earth Day with Disney

Disney combines the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the 25th anniversary of the Disney Conservation Fund. Beginning Monday, Disney Channel will feature interstitials showcasing animal care and wildlife conservation efforts led by cast members at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. In the previously filmed videos, hosts Christian J. Simon and Ava Kolker meet elephants, tigers and gorillas and learn about the importance of protecting wildlife. A 10-minute compilation of the videos can be viewed on the DisneyNow app.

Also, find updates on some of the newest residents of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Earth Week-themed recipes at DisneyMagicMoments.com and on the Disney Parks Blog.

A diamondback terrapin in the touch tank.

Tampa Bay Watch

  • Bay Grasses in Classes: Recorded video highlighting how Tampa Bay Watch’s Bay Grasses in Classes students build wetland plant nurseries and help restore coastal habitats. Find it here. Free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday. (727) 867-8166.
  • Terrapin Talk: Tune in to Tampa Bay Watch’s Facebook Live question-and-answer event to learn about their animal ambassador “Palm,” an Ornate Diamondback Terrapin. Find out what makes these turtles so unique and adaptable for estuary life. Find it at facebook.com/tampabaywatch. Free. 2-3 p.m. Thursday. (727) 867-8166.

Other activities include:

Ringling Museum Virtual Garden Tour

Join horticulturist Kai Sacco for a tour of the Mable Ringling Rose Garden and surrounding areas. Click here. Free. Anytime Monday-Friday.

ZooTampa Videos

ZooTampa offers videos of actual animal medical treatments, rescue efforts and comical activities. Check them out at facebook.com/pg/ZooTampa/. Free. Anytime Monday-Friday.

22 Days of Earth Day

The Friends of Oscar Scherer Park have offered 22 days of ideas for how you can help save our planet. Catch the final installments at facebook.com/FriendsofOscarSchererPark/. Free. Anytime Monday-Wednesday.

Sea-Span

The Florida Aquarium has launched its first ever SEA-SPAN Facebook Live “to keep kids learning and adults entertained during these difficult times.” The first video featured their famous lemurs, Lulu, Remy and Annie. Go to facebook.com/floridaaquarium/ at 10 a.m. daily. The aquarium will also post the SEA-SPAN sessions on its website and on YouTube so the shows can be watched on demand. Free. 10 a.m. Monday-Friday. (813) 273-4000.

World Creativity and Innovation Week: Florida Urban Ecosystem - Garden Style!

World Creativity and Innovation Week encourages people to use new ideas, make new decisions and take new steps towards making the world, and your place in it, better through creativity. In celebration of Earth Day, this portion features "Plants, their benefits and the development of a mini-ecosystem in an urban environment that leads to the successful implementation of native plants in the institution’s landscaping.” Registration required here. The registration page provides Zoom information. Free. 4-4:45 p.m. Monday.

Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water.

Virtual Water Education

In recognition of Earth Day and April being Water Conservation Month, the Southwest Florida Water Management District has a variety of free online resources. Educators and students can go to watermatters.org/education to access activity sheets, virtual watershed excursions, water education videos and student workbooks. Kids can calculate how much water you use in your home and help you devise ways to reduce consumption. Free. Anytime Tuesday-Friday.

Earth Day Climate Preservation Webinar

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the CLEO Institute holds a virtual climate presentation in collaboration with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools STEAM Department. This webinar will cover the science, impacts and solutions to the climate crisis and include a question-and-answer portion. To get a Zoom address, sign up here. Free. 8:55 a.m. Wednesday.

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