Wekiwa Springs State Park honors Earth Day with natural elements program

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Wekiwa Springs State Park honors Earth Day with its program “The Elements of Earth Day” on Saturday, April 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., which will allow guests to explore the four natural elements in four different hands-on activities.

“The Elements of Earth Day” is one of a multitude of happenings the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is having at its state parks and aquatic preserves in honor of Earth Day.

Florida’s state parks and aquatic preserves are having festivals, guided hikes, litter cleanups and informational sessions. Such happenings will focus on volunteerism, environmental education and recreation in Florida’s ecosystems.

Celebrated since 1970, Earth Day has encouraged environmental conservation and protection for 47 years.

“Whether it’s exploring a nature trail or getting your hands dirty at a cleanup event, I encourage all Florida residents to spend Earth Day outdoors,” DEP Interim Secretary Ryan Matthews was quoted as saying in a press release. “Florida state parks and aquatic preserves are offering a variety of special events to celebrate the state’s unique ecosystems and natural beauty, and recognize the importance of protecting our natural resources for future generations.”

Here is the schedule for “The Elements of Earth Day”:

Water: Enviroscape
8:30-9:30 a.m. on the concession deck
Everyone lives in a watershed. Visitors can learn about point and non-point sources of pollution to the watershed through exploring a visual and tactile model.

Air: Puff Mobile-The Power of Air
10:30-11:30 a.m., playground area
Guests will explore the power of air first hand with this STEM-based activity. They will build their own mini wind-powered vehicle and then go head to head in racing against other participants.

Fire: Prescribed Burning: The Basics
12:30-1:30 p.m., Lower Zone 2 parking area
Participants can discover the basic principles of prescribed burning and how this process protects natural resources. Participants can put on some fire gear, learn the tools of the trade and see a demonstration of “Fire on the Ground.”

Earth: Litter We Know
2:30-3:30 p.m., picnic area
On this short walk, visitors will pick up litter that will be used to design their own anti-litter awareness collage.

Additional information

  • Participants are advised to bring a camera, bug spray, sunscreen, a hat for sun protection, hydration liquids, and a lunch or snacks.
  • Since all activities will take place in an outdoor setting, participants are asked to dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Maps are available at the ranger station upon arrival for activity locations in the park.

Essential eligibility criteria
In order to participate in “The Elements of Earth Day,” one:

  • Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instructions independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for 30-60 minutes in an open area.
  • Must have the ability to traverse uneven terrain for short distances independently or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Must have the ability to sit or stand for a period of 60 minutes independently or with the assistance of a companion.

For more information on Earth Day events from the Florida DEP, click here.