The 25th Annual Earth Day Omaha, the city’s largest ecological showcase and celebration; will take place Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Elmwood Park. The free event features exhibit booths, children’s activities, demonstrations by local green organizations, plus live music from top local bands and food from area vendors. All activities are designed to educate and inspire attendees to live green and healthy at home and at work.
New this year is the partnership with Woodmen Of The World Insurance Society where they will “Light The Tower Green” April 18th in honor of Earth Day Omaha. Also, Gabrielle Gaines-Liwaru will offer a "recycled cardboard castle" construction activity in honor of her son, who was a passionate speaker about environmental issues affecting our community. Participants are encouraged to paint positive symbols or fun colors on the castle. After the event to castle will be taken down and recycled.
Paradigm Gardens along with The Nebraska Farmers Union will unite the local community and its’ introduction to the local food shed movement. This event targets local, sustainable businesses, producers and all other groups that work with the local food shed event is designed to bring together local food producers, food related non-profits, food reclamation organizations, educators, institutions and chefs. And most importantly, the local like-minded consumers of products and services of the local food shed.
From 11:00 am to 4:00 pm the Tree Climbing Planet and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum sponsored by Canfield’s Sporting Goods, Omaha Tree Service, Vermeer High Plains and Great Plains Nursery will offer a FREE tree climb on Nebraska’s State Champion swamp white oak. Participation is limited to those over 8 years old and requires signing damage waiver/photo release and selecting a 30 minute time block. Everyone receives a brief tutorial on climbing safety and proper use. No one descends from the tree unassisted.
A Health and Wellness area will run from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm featuring Omaha Tai Chi Association, Capoeira Angola, Yoga Rocks the Park, Raqs Awn Belly Dance, Warrior Fitness and Pranam Yoga Shala.
Starting at 11 a.m. local bands including Michael Murphy, African Culture Connection, Mariachi Las Cecilias, Felicia Webster, McCarthy Trenching , Dirty River Ramblers and DJEM will perform. As well as amazing speakers Stephen Osberg, Todd Swirczek, Pell Duvall, Patrick Leahy, Steve Rodie, Cecil Steward, Larry Hopp, Graham Jordison, Kenneth Winston, Don Wilhite. A complete schedule of bands, speakers and demonstrations can be viewed at http://earthdayomaha.org/schedule.
Friend of the Environment Awards, sponsored by Arbor Bank and Whole Foods Market, will be announced. The award honors one individual who has dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to protecting the environment or pursuing an environmental issue and one organization that has gone above and beyond their company mission to become a leader in environmental protection and awareness.
Cyclists are encouraged to “burn calories and not carbon” and ride their bike to Earth Day. The free bike parking lot is sponsored by Omaha Bikes, who will coordinate with ModeShift Omaha and the Community Bike Project. This volunteer-supported group will staff the bicycle parking lot, as well as offer tune-up and minor repair during the event. So get ready to “Dust Off Your Bike” and ride it to Earth Day! If biking is not your thing, there’s plenty of FREE parking in the UNO parking garage just north of the park.
Attendees also are encouraged to bring their electronics to be recycled by Goodwill. In years past, over 25,000 pounds of e-waste were collected keeping it out of area landfills. The e-waste will be collected at no charge with the exception of CRT type monitors and televisions. Those will incur a small fee based on size.
Earth Day Omaha is produced by the Earth Day Omaha Coalition a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to increasing public awareness of environmental issues through annual Earth Day events and activities. The Earth Day Omaha Coalition is affiliated with Earth Day Network, the international organization coordinating Earth Day events worldwide.