DETROIT - The Leslie Science and Nature Center celebrates Earth Day with free, family-friendly events and activities Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
There will be 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 Center incorporates natural areas for visitors to explore. Stop by the registration table and pick up a 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 www.a2earthday.org .
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 p.m. The concert will feature Gemini's 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 Center will offer birds of prey orientations throughout the event. Meet 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 amazing animals during their animal presentations.
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.
The Scrap Box will host an Earth Day crafting opportunity in the Nature House. Free face painting will be provided by Touchstone Cohousing, and a 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.
Concessions and refreshments will be available from vendors. In the 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.
Leslie Science and Nature Center is at 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor.
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