The Florida Department of Environmental Protection celebrates 2014 Earth Day throughout the next week with a roster of environmentally conscious activities in state parks and aquatic preserves throughout the state.
Residents and visitors alike will have opportunities to volunteer, learn and enjoy the diverse ecosystems that make up the natural beauty and wonder of Florida.
Established in 1970, April 22 will mark the 44th annual Earth Day, which began as a time reflect the critical role the ecosystem plays in our lives.
Weeklong Earth Day events range from beach cleanup efforts to local festivals for all interested in recognizing, protecting and advocating for our most valuable asset — Florida’s environment.
Parks and aquatic preserves statewide will provide activities beginning this weekend through April 27, as a way to extend the original objectives of Earth Day — as well as offering a little something for everyone.
For those wanting to get their hands dirty, the following volunteer events provide the best chance:
- Stuart – Exotic Plant Removal Project at Jonathan Dickson State Park – April 19
- Charlotte – Oyster-Mat Making at Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves – April 26
- Fort Pierce – Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park – April 26
- Leesburg – Earth Day Work Day 2014 at Lake Griffin State Park – April 26
- Fort Myers – Wet or Dry Cache in Trash Out at Lovers Key State Park – April 27
For those interested in learning more about Florida’s unique ecosystems:
- Lake City – Earth Day Volunteer Photo Scavenger Hunt at O’Leno State Park – April 19
- Tallahassee – Earth Day Hike at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park – April 22
- Crystal River – Earth Day Eco-Archeo Kayaking at Crystal River Preserve State Park – April 22
- Chiefland – Earth Day Scavenger Hunt at Manatee Springs State Park – April 26
For those looking to meet other environmental enthusiasts to celebrate Earth Day in one of our award-winning state parks:
- Deland – Earth Day Celebration at Hontoon Island State Park – April 19
- Wakulla – Wakulla Wildlife Festival at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park – April 19
- Ocala – Earth Day Marion County Springs Fest at Silver Springs State Park – April 26
- Osprey – 25th Annual Earth Day Festival at Oscar Scherer State Park – April 27
The popularity of Earth Day began with participants and celebrants in about two thousand colleges and universities, nearly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More than four decades later, Earth Day has grown into a global phenomenon representing the struggle for a clean environment as the world’s climate changes with increasing urgency, and its influence is being felt every day.