Happy Anniversary, Earth Day … and DEC!
This April 22 marks Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and ours too. There are a number of ways to celebrate Earth Day even with physical distancing guidelines in effect.
Start by looking at our curated list, Caregiver Resources While at Home: Surviving at Home with Youth. This page has DEC-created lesson plans, DEC YouTube links, Tips to Help Caregivers Transition to Remote Learning, Professional Development Opportunities for Educators, loads of online resources from places around the state and the world (NY Botanical Garden, National Wildlife Federation, American Museum of Natural History, the Wild Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and WXXI, Greater Rochester’s PBS channel). There are two databases of community science projects and what community science is, along with a long list of live animal cams to visit and Zoos and Centers offering Facebook content weekly or daily.
On the international level, Earthy Day Network has provided resources that allow you to take action while social distancing. For example, they have created the Earth Challenge 2020, a community science app for iPhone and Android that allows users to track plastic pollution and local air quality. By taking photos in your neighborhood, you provide important information on pollution issues in your area. Another feature is “Create Your Own Act of Green”. In this section, you can report family or class activities you do to help the Earth. Your local actions are combined with hundreds of efforts by others around the world which add up to big impacts on the Earth. Visit the Earth Day Network’s Take Action page for details on these actions and more to help the planet this Earth Day.
Earth Day 2020 Climate Training
Projects WET and WILD have partnered with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to provide a free online professional development opportunity for teachers and educators. Visit Project WET’s Home and Distance Learning webpage to register. This self-paced training includes information on climate, global warming, biodiversity and more. After completing the course, participants will have access to two activities each from WET and WILD as well as Earth Day resources from NWF. This opportunity is available, for free, through June 2020.
Additional fun ideas for celebrating Earth Day while responsibly social distancing:
- Start a nature journal. With spring in full swing, flowers are blooming; birds are returning; and many mammals are emerging from their winter hideouts. Look out the window, spend some time in your backyard, or take a walk around the block. Pay attention to what you see and record your observations in a nature journal. Look back on old entries from time to time – you’ll be amazed how quickly things change.
- Get the kids involved. Make a toad abode, participate in a Google Earth scavenger hunt, or take a finger safari. DEC’s education experts have put together a great list of fun, engaging activities to get your kids involved with Earth Day. Check out their list of quick family activities.
- Make a resolution. What more can you do to protect Earth? Whether it’s starting to recycle or aiming for a zero-waste household, every step toward a greener earth is worthy of celebration. And there’s no better day to start an Earth-friendly habit than on Earth Day!
Photo: Environmental Action Coalition poster for inaugural Earth Day – Environmental Action Coalition records; Manuscripts and Archives Division