Friday, April 21, 2017

Like the earth itself, Earth Day is older than you may think

Earth Day is upon us once more,  and there are plenty of activities to help mark the occasion, all over the world.
Celebrate Earth Day through stewardship at Burnaby Lake.

I've mentioned in previous posts that I spent my first Earth Day in Belize. There were a lot of firsts, on that trip: first international travel trip outside of Canada and the USA, the first time I ever paddled a sea kayak, my first time in a cave, my first time seeing wild parrots, and a few others.

I'd never even heard of Earth Day before that. It had been around for 21 years at that point but I'd never heard of it.

It's grown even more since then, spreading around the world with events aimed at celebrating it, creating awareness about the earth and conservation, and participating in events that help the earth.

There are numerous national, regional, and local events that take place during the weekend closest to April 22. Ranging from national organizations like the Nature Conservancy,  to smaller local groups like the Burns Bog Society and everything in-between plan events that take place over the weekend.

This year, it falls on a Saturday, and locally in Vancouver, there are several events set for both Saturday and Sunday.

Obviously it's possible to go to every event, but it's certainly doable to go to one event each day.

Highlighted here are a couple of local events taking place in B.C.'s Lower Mainland this weekend.

Earth Day Paddle, Richmond, B.C.

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the B.C. chapter of the Nature Conservancy will host its first ever paddling event to mark the day. NCC’s West Coast Stewardship Team invites you to join them for a paddle out to Swishwash Island at the mouth of the Fraser River, for a day of exploring, learning and land stewardship. It's just a fifteen-minute paddle to the island. The will be spent day touring the island by foot and by boat, while tackling stewardship tasks such as cataloging plant species, pulling invasive weeds and cleaning up the shoreline. It may not be too late to get involved, but you'll have to hurry. Pre-registration is preferred to just showing up. Contact info is available through the link above.

Burns Bog Earth Day Pilgrimage

This takes place Sunday afternoon, in the Delta Nature Reserve, B.C. (just outside Vancouver). It's going to involve an easy walk through the wetland, and some music performed by special guests. Performers will sing, drum, and dance as we walk through the reserve. You don't need to register in advance, just show up. Details are available at the society's website and Facebook page.

A nature tour through Burns Bog from two years ago.

Burnaby Lake Association Weedbusters

While not specifically aimed at Earth Day, what better way to celebrate than by helping make a difference with some hands-on stewardship. The BLA will be removing invasive species (non-native plants that have become established and replaced native species) around Burnaby Lake. They'll provide gloves, tools, and snacks. Dress for the weather and be prepared to work off-trail in the woods. It's for all ages, it runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Again, info is available at the link above.

Those are just a few examples of events going on in and around Vancouver for Earth Day 2017. There are many others, including a parade, other stewardship events, and outdoor photography courses/workshops. If you Google "earth day events in Metro Vancouver" you'll get plenty from which to choose.

Just pick one - and enjoy the day.