Learn, plant, recycle at annual Earth Day celebration Saturday

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The third annual Flathead Earth Day Celebration is set for Saturday, April 22 at the Whitefish Middle School.

Events will take place on the lawn at the school, or inside in the event of rain, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More than 40 booths hosted by local conservation organizations and green businesses will feature a different hands-on activity or craft focused on one of four Earth Day pillars — Grow It, Fix It, Save It, and Live It. Attendees will be able to plant their own seeds, create repurposed art and toys, visit with live raptors, identify local wildlife and plants, learn about local fish and rivers, sort out how to recycle and help paint a community recycle bin, master how to Leave No Trace, meet Woodsy the Owl and Gracie the “Bark Ranger,” see aquaponics and solar power in action, and discover opportunities to keep celebrating Earth Day all year long.

Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycle for the bike rodeo obstacle course to practice important safety skills. There will be free bike safety checks and tire fills available for bicyclists of all ages.

Participants that complete activities at 10 or more booths with their Earth Day Punch Card will receive a complimentary coffee or treat from Montana Coffee Traders.

The event also includes live music, guest speakers, and interactive presentations at the Earth Day stage. Events include music by Here to Make Friends at 11 a.m., a welcome by Glacier National Park at noon, wild bird show by Wild Wings Recover Center at 1 p.m., meet Glacier Park’s “Bark Ranger” Gracie at 1:30 p.m., and Climate Smart Glacier Country hands out its Climate Smart Champion awards at 2 p.m.

Local food trucks will be serving food during the event.

E-waste recycling will be collected at the event. E-waste includes computers, flat screen monitors, printers, laptops, servers, cell phones, flat screen televisions, stereos, VCRs, and similar electronics. Old tube CRT televisions or monitors cannot be recycled at the event.

The festival is made possible by Citizens for a Better Flathead, Glacier National Park Lodges, Montana Coffee Traders, and Valley Recycling. For more information, visit Citizens for a Better Flathead’s Facebook page or www.flatheadcitizens.org.

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