The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) work together to celebrate Earth Day which is celebrated on April 22. The 2021 theme is "Restore Our Earth". Governments, non-governmental organizations, and businesses around the world are examining natural processes, plus new, and existing green technologies to help restore the world’s resources, improve farming practices, rebuild soils, restore native flora and wildlife, and improve water quality around the world (all over the earth).
Due to this year’s challenges with COVID-19, the Constitution Hall celebration will be held virtually. Pre-recorded sessions will be posted to the web page the week of April 22, 2021. The Earth Day awards ceremony will include the winners of the 2021 annual Poster Contest and Environmental Service Project awards, and will be posted on website.
What is the history of Earth Day?
Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis — oil spills, smog, and rivers so polluted they caught fire.
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental issues and demand change for our planet going forward. The goal of Earth Day is to raise awareness for climate change, protecting the worlds resources, and environment. Earth Day is one of the largest civic events that takes place throughout the world.
In the spirit of promoting Earth Day, we urge you to participate in events and celebrate at home. Consider the following, to create a more sustainable Michigan, and contribute to a healthier and cleaner planet:
- Participate in a Earth Day 2021 Clean Up!
- Return single-use bags to grocery stores for them to recycle.
- Recycle the plastics you no longer need or find additional uses for containers.
- Donate unwanted items of clothing instead of throwing them away.
- Plant trees, native wildflower seeds, put in a rain or butterfly garden.
- Eat more vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Ride a bike, take a hike, go canoeing, or kayaking.
2021 Contest Information
The Earth Day Poster Contest is for students in Kindergarten – 5th grade. Their submitted posters are judged based on the "Restore Our Earth" theme and should include plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. The artwork can be drawn by hand or digitally created. Each school hosts its own contest for the students and submits the top three posters for each grade. The Earth Day Poster Contest committee selects the top two first and second place winners from each grade.
The Environmental Service Award (ESA) competition is for students in 6th - 8th and 9th - 12th grade categories. Schools are invited to nominate a student, or group of students, to be recognized for completion of a school-sanctioned, environment-based project, that has tangible results. The project must incorporate the "Restore Our Earth" theme and provide a benefit for plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. Schools confirm the validity of each project and outcome. The Earth Day ESA committee selects the top two projects from each category.
The deadline for both contests to submit entries is March 5, 2021. The winners from both contests will be notified by March 26, and their work will be posted on the Earth Day web page.
The Earth Day Poster Contest included students in kindergarten through fifth grades. Posters were judged based on use of a theme that included plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. The artwork was drawn by hand or digitally created. Each school hosted its own contest and submitted the top three posters for each grade.
For the Environmental Service Award, schools were invited to nominate a student or group of students, to be recognized for completion of a school-sanctioned, environment-based project, that had tangible results. The project must have shown to provided a benefit for plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. Schools confirmed the validity of each project and outcome. Winners will be posted on this page as soon as they are available. Environmental Service Award Competition Winners
Students formed a group called Taking Environmental Action (TEA). Their goal was to reduce the number of plastic bottles thrown away at Kearsley Community Schools. TEA organized drives at both schools to promote a culture of recycling, first within their own school district, and eventually to affect change in the greater Flint community.
Emeline Hanna produced and narrated a film for the 2020 Thunder Bay International Film Festival Student Film Competition, titled “Microplastics: The Looming Crisis”. The film details her team’s microplastics discoveries and a need to change behavior to protect the Great Lakes.
EGLE's Earth Day Video Playlist
At the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development we continue to identify ways to celebrate Earth Day, we invite you to join in with your own sustainable activities.