KALAMAZOO EARTH DAY 2022
THIS YEAR WE'RE TAKING ACTION ALL APRIL AND YOU'RE INVITED!
Sharing Through Action
The Kalamazoo Earth Day Committee is excited to present our calendar of activities for April 2022. Our theme this year: "Sharing Through Action," is a call back to the first Earth Day (1970) and represents what we are encouraging for Kalamazoo. The first Earth Day grabbed the American imagination so strongly because it was about communities coming together to clean up neighborhoods, plant trees and flowers, and advocate for a cleaner and healthier environment for all.
This April we encourage you to join the individuals, organizations, and businesses doing the work of making Kalamazoo a better place for everyone. Follow along here or at the Kalamazoo Earth Day website to learn more about the events or to participate. Each event host has been asked to help with other events on the calendar to create new, and to strengthen existing, relationships and to show that there is more that unites people working for a better Kalamazoo than there is that separates us.
By sharing the load and taking action together as a community we will make Kalamazoo a place where all can enjoy a healthful, supportive, beautiful, and sustainable environment.
Calendar of Events
This year, Earth Month has been dedicated to inspiring Kalamazoo residents to share in the project of creating a more sustainable, healthful, and equitable community. Together, we have already had an impact, but the month is not over. We're excited to announce the last, but certainly not least of the opportunities to get involved. Many of us began our journey into gardening during the last couple years. The Edison Neighborhood Association and El Concilio Kzoo are cooperating to host an event that will make it easier for children to begin gardening as well. Families with children from 6 to 14 are invited to participate in this free, seed planting event. Every child who begins gardening is one more person who will better understand that our health depends on the health of the natural world.
There are two more opportunities to get involved in the important work of reducing the environmental and health effects of garbage in our community. The Kalamazoo Sunrise Rotary Club is committed to meaningful action. The club hosted a cleanup of a section of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail at the beginning of the month and
WEEKLY 5 ACTIVITIES (PART 2)
collected a couple dozen bags of trash. Unfortunately, that wasn't all of it, but Rotary Sunrise isn't about to let the trash be the victor. Please join the Club at Fence and Garden to help out and thank the members for their commitment.
Some of the most common items we find when doing cleanups are packing materials and food and drink containers made of non-biodegradable foam. We don't find consumer electronics as often during cleanups , which is good because old mobile phones , modems, televisions , and the like are filled with toxic components. If you want to help remove foam and electronics from the waste stream, stop by this special drop-off recycling event organized by Sharon Dever, member of the Earth Day Committee, and supported by the City of Kalamazoo and Schupan.
If your choice of action is more along the lines of showing appreciation for others, we have a couple events that may be perfect. The Westminster Presbyterian Church is hosting its annual juried art festival that highlights the Earth. Stop in and see what some talented artists have on display. The public is invited to join a celebration at the Kalamazoo Nature Center in honoring Tom Small and his ongoing lifetime of work in defense of native plants , healthy ecosystems, and sustainable living. If you haven't taken the time to stop by his yard, it is worth checking out. His decades of hard work has transformed an ecologically desolate city lot into a healthy ecosystem dominated by native plants. It says a lot about Tom, that when you walk by his yard, you'll notice that he has a trail winding between the plants that he invites the public to use. Some of you may even remember that Tom organized the Kalamazoo Earth Festivals in the 1990s. A lifelong advocate for nature and educator about living sustainably, Tom is a deserving recipient of this award and of our appreciation.
Please keep sharing your skills, knowledge, and time with those who are taking action to create the world we want to live in, and remember: Every Day is Earth Day.
*NOTE: The Tom Small appreciation event is also an opportunity to support scholarships that empower financially disadvantaged children to attend summer camps at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Use the following link to learn more or to donate in advance. https://naturecenter.org/support/celebrateandsupport/
WEEK 5 ACTIVITIES (PART 1)
We're starting off the last week of the month with the Vine Neighborhood Association project to Reforest the Vine. Help plant a tree and show your commitment to help create a better world. "Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking." Quote from Wangari Maathai, founder of the The Green Belt Movement, and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
You can even make it a day of action by heading over to Mayors' Riverfront Park a little later in the day to join the Bee Joyful Shop community clean up. We love how the Bee Joyful Shop is dedicated to promoting sustainable lifestyles through example and education. A few days after the cleanup, the shop is hosting another upcycled craft activity. This time it's making bottle bird feeders. This fun, all-ages project supports wildlife and prevents more single-use plastic from ending up on our streets and waterways.
WEEK 4 ACTIVITIES
Only a couple weeks to go until the end of Earth Month 2022, and the residents of Kalamazoo are hard at work making our community a more sustainable and healthful place for all of our neighbors. Check out all of the opportunities to get involved with this week. If you're interested in fossil-fuel free transportation, Mode Shift and Open Roads are hosting trail clean ups and social bike rides and Kalamazoo Electric Vehicle Association's will host an event at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. You can help do something about the city's serious trash problem by joining a clean up led by the Vine, Edison, or Oakwood Neighborhood Associations. If you want to do something to promote the reforestation and ecosystem health of the county, volunteer to help the Kalamazoo Conservation District distribute tree seedlings (registration information below) or join the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy for a volunteer workday at Bow in the Clouds Preserve.
If you want to help beautiful things grow, take part in Bee Joyful Shop's weekly craft activity (this time it's making seed bombs--so much fun) or join SW Michigan Democratic Socialists of America to do a spring garden prep at the Mothers of Hope garden. And if you're interested in learning more about what young people are doing to save the planet and want to participate from home, register (details below) to join the online film screening and discussion of "Youth v Gov", hosted by Hope for Creation. We hope to see you several times this week as we share in the actions that make our community a beautiful, healthy, and sustainable place for all.
***NOTE: To sign up for the Kalamazoo Conservation District seedling distribution contact Elizabeth Rochow, District Manager, at 269-775-3368 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy - Volunteer Work Day at Bow In The Clouds: Please reserve your space by filling out the form on our website (https://swmlc.org/volunteer-workday-bow-in-the-clouds/) or by calling the office at 269-324-1600.
Use the following link to register for the Youth v Gov., screening and discussion.
For the Open Roads Social Bike Ride: Will meet at Maple Hill Trail. *Each vehicle will need a $5 day pass or $25 season pass to Markin Glen Parks* https://www.openroadsbike.org/earth-day-mountain-bike-ride.html
WEEK 3 ACTIVITIES
We're a week and a half into Earth Month 2022 and Kalamazoo is getting active! Community groups and volunteers with the Earth Day Festival have already held three trash cleanups, four arts & crafts events, and six events about food, culture, and community. Whew. There is a lot going on and Kalamazoo cares about a healthy and sustainable society for all.
This week we have the pleasure of inviting you to join us at several events that offer some new opportunities to get involved, have fun, and learn of ways to help move us into a more sustainable society.
This evening (Monday, 4/11), the Earth Day Committee is inviting you to join us at the Kalamazoo Nature Center (at the barn in the children's camp area) to help us put together garden kits (seeds, seed starter disks, small containers, plant markers, and instructions). We'll be assembling over 1000 of these for distribution to school children throughout the county.
On Wednesday (4/13), stop by the Bee Joyful Zero Waste Shop on the Kalamazoo Mall to make an upcycled Sun Catcher. This is a fun eco-friendly craft and that will be appreciated by Earth lovers of all ages.
Saturday (4/16) is a full day of fun, Earth-friendly, community-building activities. Begin your day at Start Here Coffee (1415 Fulford St) for a free seed swap event. This is a mask-required event and there is no obligation to bring anything. Just take what you need to get your garden started this year. If you would like to bring seeds, starts, or garden gear in good condition to give away, it will be an appreciated addition. After you get your seeds and starts home and planted, it'll be just about time to head out to Riverfront Stadium for an Easter egg hunt hosted by the Children's Nature Playscape and Parks and Recreation of the City of Kalamazoo.
Don't forget, get your entries for the Nature Photo Contest hosted by the Humans of Kalamazoo are due by Sunday (4/17). To submit those photos, just post them on Facebook tagged as #KzooEarthPhotoContest or send them as a message to @HumansOfKzoo on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you soon. Every day is Earth Day!
WEEK 2 ACTIVITIES
Week 2 of Kalamazoo Earth Month is here! Join us to help make Kalamazoo a healthier and more sustainable community. Take part in Earth-friendly crafts, learn about traditional foodways that offer lessons in sustainability, build resilient community through cultural conversations, help clean up some of the plastics and other non-biodegradable waste that contaminate our land and water, or join some young activists campaigning to save a livable future for all of us. Bee Joyful Shop, Kalamazoo Conservation District, ValleyHUB KVCC, Kalamazoo Public Library,Charlie's P.L.A.C.E, Sunrise Kalamazoo.
**NOTE: Please register ahead of time for the Kalamazoo Conservation District South County Trash Bash on Saturday April 9th. Follow the link below to register:
WEEK 1 ACTIVITIES
Week 1 of Earth Month presented by the Kalamazoo Earth Day Committee.
We're starting with a nice variety of activities and we look forward to seeing you soon. The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo is promoting appreciation for the planet with the April Art Hop, Kalamazoo Humans is running a nature-themed photography contest, and Kalamazoo's Rotary Club is cleaning up a section of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. Please look here for detailed event listings.
To join the Rotarians, just show up at Fence and Garden (1003 Staples Ave) at 9:00 am on Saturday, 4/2.
Your photo can be submitted by posting with the hashtag #KzooEarthPhotoContest on Facebook or by sending them to the Humans of Kalamazoo Facebook page.