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Earth Day

EGLE staff talks to kids and adults at display table for Earth Day
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Earth Day

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) celebrates Earth Day every year in April. Government, non-government 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.

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, protect the world's resources, and environment. Earth Day is one of the largest civic events that takes place throughout the world.

Planet Earth viewed from space

Learn how YOU can make a difference EVERY day in protecting Michigan's environment.

Earth Day 2022 Webinar on Working Together to Address Climate Change

Watch the 2022 recording:

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) celebrates Earth Day every year in April. Government, non-government 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. 

Our student-focused Earth Day webinar focused on how EGLE is addressing the challenges of climate change in Michigan. Watch the recording to learn directly from EGLE staff about what is happening at the state, community, and individual levels to address this challenge.

EGLE's Earth Day webinar content can support the achievement of learning targets in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) when used in conjunction with the recommended pre- and post-webinar activities we've developed for classroom teachers.

2022 Poster Contest Winners

The Earth Day Poster Contest included students in kindergarten through fifth grades. Posters were judged based on 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 from each grade.

 

Kindergarten Poster Winners

Kindergarten Poster Winners

1st Grade Poster Winners

1st Grade Poster Winners

2nd Grade Poster Winners

2nd Grade Poster Winners

3rd Grade Poster Winners

3rd Grade Poster Winners

4th Grade Poster Winners

4th Grade Poster Winners

5th Grade Poster Winners

5th Grade Poster Winners

2022 Environmental Service Award Competition Winners

We continue to celebrate sustainable messages with the winners of the 2021 Poster Contest and Environmental Service Project Awards.

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 provide a benefit for plants, wildlife, or ecosystems native to Michigan. Schools confirmed the validity of each project and outcome. 

Careerline Tech Center School, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District

Juniors and Seniors in Careerline Tech Center’s Environmental Field Studies program created a project after doing a study about plastic pollution on Ottawa County beaches. The students went to lakes and collected samples of plastic pollution on six beaches. After analyzing their data, they concluded that the main contaminants were microplastics and single-use plastics. The students’ research project was showcased in a local newspaper, the Holland Sentinel. Members from the Outdoor Discovery Center, the Allegan Conservation District, and Ottawa County Parks and Recreation came together to mentor students in brainstorming solutions to problematic plastic. Inspired by the experience of cleaning up beaches, students designed and installed recycling units, called Beach Buddy stations, for plastics at four different shore locations. Students received grants from the EPA Trash Free Waters program and the Inland Seas Education Association’s Great Lakes Watershed Field Course program. The grants provide funds for students to build and install Beach Buddy Stations.

 The project helps to:

  • Educate the public about plastic pollution
  • Empower citizens to clean up the lakeshore
  • Recycle plastic materials Prevent plastic from getting into the lakes

West Side Christian School, Grand Rapids

West Side Christian Middle School Creation Care (Green Team), grades 6-8, is a volunteer student group dedicated to improving sustainable practices through advocacy, awareness, and action. The group started five years ago. Each year, new students take the lead to set school-wide goals to improve the school community’s recycling efforts, which features a school-wide uniform recycling sort system, with colored-coded containers in each classroom. Students noticed that organic material (banana peels, apple cores, etc.) from lunches eaten in students’ classrooms ended up in the trash bin.  Students wanted to put food waste to good use by creating compost to add to the school garden. In Spring 2021, students researched and initiated a school-wide composting initiative.  Students worked with school administration and the facility manager to research project methods, setup a collection system, and composting area on school grounds. 

The project helps to:

  • Reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills
  • Produce compost that is used in school gardens
  • Teach excellent social, life, and work skills
  • Enhance inclusivity, all students work together on the project, including those with special needs

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.