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Happy Earth Day!


Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement.

On April 22,1970, more than 20 million Americans took to streets, parks and college campuses in massive coast-to-coast rallies to protest against the deterioration of the environment.  Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife realized they shared common values.

Fast forward 52 years and Earth Day is now a global event each year, with an estimated 1 billion people in 192 countries taking part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

As you’d probably expect, we’ll have a full weekend of Earth Day activities to enjoy on Sanibel Island.

At the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Friday, April 22nd, families can enjoy a free, fun-filled day:

9:00 am:  Ranger-led hike down Indigo Trail *

10:00 am & 1:00 pm:  Nature Sketching with local artist; participants receive a free journal.

(Pre-registration is required for all Earth Day tours at the J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR Eventbrite page. Spots are limited to 10 individuals per tour, which will start at the flagpole.)

10 am – 2 pm (on-going):  Earth Day Scavenger Hunt; participants receive a spoonbill key tag prize.

10 am – 2 pm (on-going):  Recycled jellyfish craft on the patio.

* Indigo Trail is open to hike for free from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

And don’t forget about the 33rd Annual “Ding” Darling Day on Sunday, April 24, which migrates to Lakes Park in Fort Myers this year.

The free Conservation Carnival celebration, to be held from 10:00 am – 2pm, will include tours of the new WoW mobile nature experience, carnival games, prizes, Earth Day crafts, a dunk tank, artist-in-residence programs, guided bilingual birding walks, a biking tour, snow cones, and educational interactions with other local conservation organizations.

Ding Darling is located at 1 Wildlife Drive on Sanibel Island.  Lakes Park is located at 7330 Gladiolus Drive in Fort Myers.  For more information, visit or call 239-472-1100.

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