Earth Day Celebration at the Garden of the Gods

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COLORADO SPRINGS — On Saturday, Garden of the Gods was bustling with people gathering to celebrate the 25th annual Earth Day celebration. Even though it’s not Earth Day yet, they decided to celebrate a little earlier.

“I love the land. I can’t get enough,” Sheila-Esther Love said.

The event brought together local groups and people from the community for an educational and fun afternoon.

The Earth Day celebration was planned early to raise environmental awareness. Credit: Joe Swanson

“We’re raising awareness for Earth Day,” said organizer Bret Tennis. “The real Earth Day is April 22, but we celebrate it today.”

Tennis, who is also the operations administrator for the Garden of the Gods park, said part of the festivities included a bunch of different activities, all designed to help people learn more about our planet, including tables scientists, live animals and educational games.

Live animals included a black vulture, a bull snake, a western hog-nosed snake, a spotted salamander, and a scorpion. Credit: Rachel Saurer

Another element of the celebration was the cleaning up of the park.

“Part of this event, especially in the morning, is for volunteers and families to come and help clean up the park and get out there and do your part. It feels good to do something for Earth Day this way,” Tennis said.

The organizer said it was a day when taking care of our planet was even more important.

“There are a lot of improvements going on and a lot of really good things happening for the environment and it’s important to celebrate and recognize what we’ve done. And so I would like to bring awareness to that. But there is always more to do,” he said.

Science tables included fun activities like roasting marshmallows on mirrors. Credit: Joe Swanson

Some who attended the event said there was no better place to bring this awareness.

“It is… one of the most beautiful like the Garden [of] the gods and everything so amazing,” Love said.

And also a place to start the conversation early before Earth Day finally arrives.

“This is our land, this is our home, this is our planet. It’s our spaceship that we travel across the universe with and it’s important to celebrate the people who go out of their way to help protect the environment,” Tennis said.

Tennis said the best way to spend Earth Day is to get out into nature, whether that’s in an open space or in your own backyard.

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