April 24, 2019
This year is the 50th celebration of Earth Day. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, Department of Natural Resources, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will be hosting the event on Wednesday April 24, at Constitution Hall in Lansing. As part of the Earth Day festivities, the departments will also participate in a "Take Your Child to Work Day," which will allow the children of staff members the opportunity to understand what their parents do at work and the get the opportunity to engage in the celebration of the Earth Day activities. School children from around the state will be attending with the event to interact with professionals from these departments, engage in conversations about the environment, and experience the passion that drives the departments' staff who dedicate their careers to protecting the environment, its natural resources, and the agricultural richness of Michigan.
Last year, the Earth Day celebration drew over 2,000 students and teachers and featured 47 exhibitors. This year, it is estimated the turnout will be similar. This year, 52 exhibits will be featured that include: learning about mosquitoes and bugs, studying our carbon footprints, the importance of floodplains and wetlands, composting and recycling, Michigan wildlife, invasive species, septic systems, energy use, agriculture and food, and much more. Ogemaw Heights High School will demonstrate underwater robotics. Participants will see an electric bus that does not contribute to air pollution.
The "main stage" attractions will include the East Oakview Choristers from Northview Public Schools in Grand Rapids, Happendance, Michigan State University Accafellas, and the Hubbardston Irish Dance Troupe.
Each year, the three departments located in Constitution Hall also facilitate an annual Earth Day Poster Contest. Students from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade from schools across Michigan are invited to submit a poster centered around the Earth Day theme. The poster contest allows the school children to express their ideas of Earth Day, the environment, and their understanding of the interconnectivity of the world. A panel of judges select first and second place winners and honorable mentions from each grade. The first and second place winners for each grade level, their families, and teachers will be honored during the opening ceremony at the Earth Day celebration. The posters form the backdrop of the entertainment stage and many more posters adorn the windows in the Atrium of Constitution Hall. Winning posters can be viewed online at DEQ-Earth Day.