Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with online events and activities designed to keep you safe but also help the Earth.  

By Cheyann Neades
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It’s a big year for Earth Day, marking a half-century of work in raising awareness about the need for environmental change. With COVID-19 preventing most large gatherings, Earth Day (April 22) is going digital for the first time.

Here are some of the ways Midwest organizations are encouraging people to participate in Earth Day 2020. Don’t see one near you? Check events listed on Earth Day’s worldwide map, search for “Earth Day” and the name of your community, or just adapt one of the activities below for your own area.

On April 22, honor #IowaVirtualEarthDay by watching livestreams of the rally on social media. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., some of the state’s conservation groups will host climate activists and speakers to inform Iowans how to #ActOnClimate.

Learn more about this year’s Earth Day with a video from Madison’s climate action team. Find more Earth Day photos and information on their website.

Beginning April 22, view the Columbia Earth Day Coalition’s virtual art show focusing on climate change. Learn more about sustainability with educational videos and workshops on their Facebook page. And join the Plant a Seed, Grow a Garden #EarthDayAtHome contest.

Fixin’ Food for the 50th, Vermillion, South Dakota

The nonprofit Greening Vermillion is sharing recipes, resources, and videos on their Facebook page over the course of the week.

Damon Farber’s EarthDay 2020 Instagram Challenge, Minneapolis

Landscape architects with Damon Farbor are posting daily on Instagram encouraging followers to participate in climate action activities.

Virtual Weed Wrangle, Hamilton County, Indiana

Remove invasive plants from your yard and share a photo on the Indiana Invasive Plant Advisory Committee Facebook page along with your own page to encourage others to take part in the challenge. Use the hashtags #WeedWrangleIndiana and #hcinvasives.

Celebrate Earth Week through Keep Akron Beautiful’s Facebook page. Follow along with their posts for resources and activities to learn more about doing your part in protecting the environment.

The Watkins Museum of History and its community partners will a post series of videos on Facebook sharing the history and meaning of Earth Day, along with suggested activities for the family.

If you’re out on a trail or park (and following social distancing, of course), collect 50 pieces of trash and snap a photo to post with the hashtags #TrashTag, #hrwc and #50/50. For more, sign the Huron River Watershed Council’s Plastic Pledge.

While journeying outside for fresh air, you can collect litter along the way. Take photos of your finds, check them off the Nature of the North BINGO card and post the finished card and pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #EarthDayBingo.

For more information, visit earthday.org.