Greenlaker Earth Day 2020

April 15, 2020 9:16pm
Enjoy nature closer to home like this tree in Woodland Park. Photo by Erica Grivas

This year is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and with the current climate conditions we need its spotlight more than ever. There are lots of ways to make the most of Earth Day – at home and around Green Lake. All of these are easily done while maintaining a safe distance from other people all the while helping our environment. Here are a few we rounded up that you can do on the actual Earth Day, April 22, or any day.

Join the Naturalist Challenge:
In addition to Earth Day festivities, the Woodland Park Zoo is sponsoring a Naturalist Challenge for the weekend of April 24-27. You download an app and record the species of flora and fauna you find. 

Get up close to nature:
Take a self-guided tour of Green Lake’s amazing trees, from birches to larches. Your choice to hug them or just smile politiely. Here’s a handy map: 

Whether you join the challenge above or not, see how many animals you can spot – some of the species commonly seen are toads, turtles, ducks, herons, cormorants, loons, bats, rats, squirrels, hawks, eagles and osprey.

Try some forest-bathing, reported to lower blood pressure, stress, and boost immunity – pick a quiet spot, like the woods above Lower Woodland, turn off your devices, and turn on your senses. Be still or walk very slowly. 

Grab a sketch pad or a journal and practice mindful observation of the doodling or the writing kind while inhaling some immune-boosting bacteria. You can easily do this from your front yard or in quieter areas of the park.

Try these Earth-saving steps at home:
In the kitchen:  Look into reducing your waste output – save food scraps for compost or the yard waste bin, use reusable bins, towels, sponges, and wrappers instead of plastics and paper towels, buy in bulk where possible to decrease packaging. Grab reusable cups, straws, and containers for your to-go lattes/smoothies and muffins. 

In the yard: Start a compost pile, grow your own organic veggies, mulch every bed, plant pollinator-friendly plants, swap out lawn for other plantings or permeable paving, consider a rain garden, use organic additives rather than synthetic.