People & Places

Having a ball at EcoFest in Cedar Rapids

Milkweed seed ball making among the activities at annual event

Seven-year-old Layla Breitbach of Marion recieves instructions on making milkweed seed balls from a member of Monarchs of Eastern Iowa during EcoFest at NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapid on Saturday April 22, 2017. Last year the group gave over 50,000 of the balls, made from milkweed seeds, compost and clay, to RAGBRAI riders to distribute along the roadside. Monarch catepillars only eat milkweed. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Seven-year-old Layla Breitbach of Marion recieves instructions on making milkweed seed balls from a member of Monarchs of Eastern Iowa during EcoFest at NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapid on Saturday April 22, 2017. Last year the group gave over 50,000 of the balls, made from milkweed seeds, compost and clay, to RAGBRAI riders to distribute along the roadside. Monarch catepillars only eat milkweed. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Founded in 1970, Earth Day is an international holiday celebrated across more than 100 countries to demonstrate support for the environment.

EcoFest has taken place every Earth Day since 2010 in the NewBo neighborhood of Cedar Rapids.

The festival returned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with dozens of organizations on hand to help promote green living and love for the environment, including Indian Creek Nature Center, National Center for Science Education, Sierra Club, Trees Forever and Linn County Conservation.

Among the activities was a station where members of the public could help Monarchs of Eastern Iowa make milkweed seed balls. Last year, the group gave more than 50,000 balls, made using milkweed seeds, compost and clay, to RAGBRAI riders to distribute along the roadside. Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed and thus the effort supports the monarch population.

For more information about EcoFest, including how to become a sponsor of the 2018 event, go to ecofestcr.org or search EcoFest CR on Facebook.

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