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Earth Day Festival 2013



ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 7, 2013 — Celebrate our natural world at the annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 21, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor. This free, family-friendly event features displays from 40 local environmental, non-profit, and governmental organizations; live animal demonstrations; hands-on activities; product and toy testing; live entertainment; green building and commuting technologies; energy topics; water awareness; sustainable agriculture; and more. 

The host site, the Leslie Science & Nature Center, is a beautiful setting that includes vast natural areas for visitors to explore. Stop by the registration table and pick up your passport to guide you through the Earth Day activities. Scan a QR code with your smartphone to carry the day’s schedule with you.  Details are posted at  

The festival Entertainment lineup includes the Brazilian samba band Vencedores (which means “victors” in Portuguese). Vencedores is comprised of U of M percussionists and will perform from 1-1:45 p.m.  Gemini, Ann Arbor’s own treasured musicians, twin brothers Sandor and Laszlo Slomovits, will perform from 2-3:00 p.m. The concert will feature Gemini's uncannily matched voices, their up-beat flair for sparking audience participation, a stage full of instruments and award-winning children’s songs and storytelling.  The earth–honoring All Species Parade will start from the entertainment stage at 3:15 p.m. and snake through the event.  Rap for Food is a group of talented rappers supporting art fused with local, sustainable food systems and youth gardening messages. They will deliver lively spoken word poetry about heath, local food access, and stewardship of the Earth at 3:30 p.m.

The Leslie Science & Nature Center will offer birds of prey orientations throughout the event. Meet these healthy, non-releasable birds up close, and discover what makes them hunters of the sky. Visit naturalists David Clipner and Brian Cressman in the Critter House, and meet some amazing animals during their engaging and dynamic animal presentations. Enjoy the facility upgrades and meet new inhabitants in the Critter House habitats.

Participants are encouraged to dress as a favorite species — so beware — visitors may find the Leslie grounds a home for costumed humans resembling bumble bees or bears! The All-species Parade will take place at 3:15 p.m., when children, dressed up as their favorite animal or plant - preen, frolic, and sway in an earth-honoring parade in celebration of Earth Day — a moment not to be missed! 

The Scrap Box will host a marvelous Earth Day crafting opportunity in the Nature House. Free face painting will be provided by Touchstone Cohousing, and an amazing Bountiful Bubbles station will feature bubble play and exploration, with spontaneous bubble storms and gigantic bubble demonstrations. Meet Dave Konkle, inventor of the wind powered Whirlydoodle, as he prepares applesauce in a solar cooker.

Tour the Project Grow Discovery Garden and Compost Education Center, or take a guided hike to Black Pond and check the water level in this Vernal Pond. The Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health will provide an opportunity to test toys and other home products for toxic chemicals, while the Leslie office staff will accept select toner cartridges and small electronics for recycling, as detailed on the website.

Earth Day admission is FREE due to generous sponsorship from the City of Ann Arbor, Clean Energy Coalition, the Leslie Science & Nature Center, Dollar Bill Copying, and NSF International.

Delicious on-site concessions and refreshments will be available from vendors including Pilar’s Tamales and Silvio’s Organic Pizza. In the true spirit of Earth Day, this year’s festival will again be a Zero Waste event, with help from Recycle Ann Arbor and their grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

The Earth Day event is planned by an umbrella organization: The Environmental Education Network of Washtenaw (EENOW).  EENOW includes The City of Ann Arbor, Ecology Center, Recycle Ann Arbor, Leslie Science & Nature Center, Clean Energy Coalition, NSF International, Washtenaw Community College, and the Scrap Box. These are the key organizers of the Earth Day Festival. Additionally, adult, student, and scout volunteers staff this beloved community event.  If you are an individual or group interested in volunteering, please sign up through the volunteer link at

The annual Earth Day Festival is an experience for community members, youth and their families to enjoy while discovering new ways to make Earth Day every day.  Carpool, catch the bus, ride your bike or walk. Strut, preen, and parade your favorite species! Celebrate the Earth - celebrate with us!

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