Earth Day celebrations in Eastern Iowa include a gender reveal party for a baby shark, live raptors, a film festival and more.
Cedar Rapids: EcoFest
On Saturday, local nonprofits and community groups will come together for EcoFest at NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids.
Held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event features vendors, tours of Mount Trashmore, a film festival, Eco Champ! Awards, live music, demonstrations and more. Find details and a schedule at ecofestcr.org.
Keynote speaker Stefanie Arne, host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, will present on saving endangered species and will give a children’s talk. A wildlife conservation professional, she has worked with and learned from biologists, conservation leaders, CEOs, farmers and fishermen in Africa, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the United States. She will appear at 11 a.m. on the NewBo Market yard and at 2 p.m. at CSPS, 1103 Third Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids.
Most EcoFest activities are free; however, the event “Stories in Recipes: Heirloom Vegetables and Heritage Breed” costs $15.50 and requires registration at mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Events.aspx. Sam Charles, chef-owner of Rodina, will be showcasing his favorite dish, a half-roasted chicken accompanied by seasonal vegetables, utilizing nearly 100 percent local ingredients found at New Pioneer Food Co-op.
Iowa City: Earth Fest
On April 27, the Iowa City Green Iowa AmeriCorps team and Iowa City Parks and Recreation will host Earth Fest from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 579 McCollister Blvd., Iowa City,
The family-friendly, free event will include indoor and outdoor activities related to the environment, animals and sustainability, including live music, raptors, fun activities, games, prizes and local environmental organizations, as well as a free sapling giveaway. Win prizes donated by the Iowa Children’s Museum, Iowa City Parks and Recreation, and city of Iowa City Recycling.
Marion: Earth Week Blitz
Marion-based Trees Forever takes place Saturday through April 27 with a slew of events. Highlights include adopting a tree for pollinators from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Monarch Zones, 4970 Lakeside Rd., Marion, and the open house on Tuesday of Trees Forever’s new location at 80 W. Eighth Ave., Marion. The event starts at 4 p.m. and includes a ribbon cutting, tree planting and tree giveaway, along with building tours and a kids’ scavenger hunt. For more information and a full schedule, go to www.TreesForever.org/EarthWeek.
Dubuque: Party for the Planet
In Dubuque, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will host a combined Earth Day, Endangered Species Day and World Ocean Day celebration on Saturday.
The Party for the Planet will be 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the River Museum campus, 350 E. Third St., Dubuque. Special activities include a presentation from KCRG-TV9 Meteorologist Kaj O’Mara, a gender reveal for the museum’s new Coral Catshark pup, keeper talks on endangered species at the Museum & Aquarium, discussions with local conservation leaders, eco-friendly crafts and activities and meet and greets with the mobile shark touch tank and live animal programs. Guests will receive saplings donated by Wagner Nursery while supplies last.
The event and all activities are included with general admission and free for members and children under 3. Several of the River Museum’s conservation partners will be on hand to discuss their own conservation methods in support of wildlife and environmental protection, including the Army Corps of Engineers, Iowa DNR, Mines of Spain Friends Group, Trees Forever Dubuque Chapter, Catfish Creek Watershed Authority, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, the Mississippi River Network and Dubuque Metro Area Solid Waste Agency.
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The celebration is one of several conservation events being planned by the Museum & Aquarium in April. Other events include Cocktails for Conservation, FrogWatch USA and Invasive Species Beatdown. More information on these events can be found at rivermuseum.com/events.