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How to celebrate Earth Day in Indianapolis

A variety of organizations and businesses are showcasing ways you can show up to help nurture, support and protect Mother Earth this year.
Credit: dimazel - stock.adobe.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Earth Day is celebrating its 51st year today! All across the city, there are ways you can get involved to celebrate or protect our Earth. 

Here is a list of resources to help you get started. 

1. Take a walk in the park - and help clean it up while you’re there

Did you know there are 212 parks in Indianapolis, not to mention different trails around the city? 

IndyParks is encouraging folks to help clean up one of them up in honor of Earth Day. 

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful will be supplying bags and gloves to volunteers who don’t have their own.

You can get those supplies at the following parks: 

Bethel Park, Broad Ripple Park, Brookside Park, Christian Park, Eagle Creek Park, Ellenberger Park, Frederick Douglass Park, Garfield Park, Holliday Park, Indy Island Aquatic Center, Indy World Sports Park, Krannert Park, Kuntz Soccer Stadium, Municipal Gardens, Perry Park, Pride Park, Rhodius Park, Southeast Park, Thatcher Park, Washington Park, Watkins Park, Windsor Village Park

You’re also encouraged to post a photo on social media with the tag @IndyParksRed and @kibiorg.

For more information on how to get involved year round, go to www.kibi.org.

Credit: Steve Sett
Credit: Steve Sett

2. Explore Indiana’s natural beauty 

Visit Indy has an Indiana State Nature Passport that includes almost 60 outdoor locations to explore. 

The program is free to sign up. All you need to do is check in to one of the passport locations, and you can earn prizes. 

You can also qualify for a grand prize giveaway and specific drawings throughout the year. 

This program is free, but property entrance fees apply when you visit.

More than a hundred bald eagles were counted at Barr Lake State Park in just five minutes Monday morning, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. (Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

3. Plant something yourself 

Check local plant stores to see if they are offering Earth Day sales that will help you get a head start on the balcony garden or plant-filled home you’ve been dreaming about.

Snakeroot Botanicals in Fountain Square is offering a 50% off Earth Day sale to help you get a jumpstart on your spring garden. 

You can also go online to purchase a Midwest Pollinator Pack. It's a collection of seeds that will grow into flowers native to Indiana and the Midwest region. Those pollinators will help support local butterfly and bee populations. 

If you’re worried about a random bout of snow ruining your freshly planted flowers, learn more about how to protect them from Pat Sullivan.

Tomato plants grow well even in dry conditions.

4. Start composting to support local gardens 

Composting Green with Indy is a year-round compost pickup service dedicated to residential areas and commercial businesses. 

With every scheduled pickup date, Green with Indy will haul your food waste to GreenCycle of Indiana. It is then turned into a rich soil for Indianapolis to utilize in growing local and wholesome garden table vegetables.

On their website, you can sign up for residential or commercial services

Daisies – human composting

5. Swap your monthly food subscription box for one that will 

Misfit Market and Imperfect Foods are subscription boxes that help cut down on food waste, lower food costs and save time at the grocery store to boot. 

It's similar to HelloFresh or Blue Apron. The programs let you choose produce that might not be aesthetic enough to serve at a grocery store, but is still perfectly fine to eat! 

Both services deliver to Indianapolis! 

Walmart executives say customers didn't realize stores sold organic items. So they rebranded everything with purple labels and dedicated an entire wall of the fresh produce section to organic.

6.  Donate to the White River Alliance 2021 Spring Gift Match

Support the creation resources, educational programs and partnerships that promote, protect and enhance the biological, chemical and physical integrity of the White River ecosystem by donating to the White River Alliance 2021 Spring Match Gift.

Coca-Cola Consolidated of Greater Indy has made a commitment to match all donations dollar for dollar received between World Water Day and Earth Day 2021! 

In addition, anyone making a donation of $150 or more will receive a coupon for free rain barrel, also sponsored by Coca-Cola!

White River


7. Sign up to host or lead a local action campaign

Consider hosting a local Clear Choices Clean Water action campaign in your neighborhood or among your colleagues at work. 

This program allows you to set up a customized pollution prevention or water conservation goal and have your own group webpage to track progress toward your specific goal! 

Action pledge topics range from native plants, to pet poo, to fertilizer use, to storm drain adoption and more! Check it out here.

Credit: WTHR
The White River Light Station is a lighthouse on Lake Michigan near the city of Whitehall, Michigan.

8. Get educated about coal ash ponds in Indiana

What happens when contaminants from coal plants get into a community's water, and into your body?  

Journalists with Indiana Public Broadcasting have been reporting on this topic for years. 

On Wednesday, April 28, you can get a virtual screening of their project “In the Water." 

It's an investigative documentary about Indiana’s coal ash ponds, and they are hosting a live discussion panel following the screening.

Discussion will include how to find out whether you live near one of Indiana’s many coal ash facilities, and what to do about it if you do. 

Coal ash (file photo)

9. Involve the kids this weekend at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum is joining organizations around the world in celebration of the 51st anniversary of Earth Day this weekend, Saturday April 24. 

Children and families may participate in special hands-on activities and visit a Sustainability Showcase of local organizations promoting their environmental work and responses to climate change.

Activities include building your own nature journal, creating ball seeds with local wildflower seed and challenging your friends to a carbon footprint sorting game. 

Credit: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis/Kim Harms
Bucky at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.