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Watch now: On Earth Day, Bloomington-Normal celebrates making a difference

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Earth Week messages are chalked on the quad and the bridge leading from Shroeder Plaza to the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University on Monday.

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Several organizations are sponsoring activities in connection with Earth Day.

NORMAL — Making a difference has always been a big part of Earth Day since it was first celebrated in 1970. This year, community organizations in Bloomington-Normal are providing several opportunities to make a difference and also learn.

The Ecology Action Center is involved in several Earth Day-related events, including one designed for fun.

“Earth Day Live” at 6 p.m. Thursday is in its second year, born out of necessity for a remote activity because of the COVID-19 pandemic, explained Michael Brown, EAC’s executive director.

“We think of it as a spoof of ‘Saturday Night Live,’” said Brown. “There is some humor and some education.”

“Earth Day Live” will be the kickoff event for the center’s 50th anniversary celebration. The organization started in 1971 as a one-day recycling drive that grew into much more.

There will be family-friendly skits and a musical performance by the Sarah Quah Band. You can watch online on Facebook or YouTube. The link will be on the center’s website, ecologyactioncenter.org.

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David Kopsell, Illinois State University professor of horticulture, describes plants growing in a portable vegetable garden on display Monday as part of Earth Week celebration on the ISU Quad. Different activities are taking place each day.

The website is also the place to sign up to participate in an event with a longer history, the annual Constitution Trail cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The cleanup will take place at three locations with volunteers at each site limited to 30. To register, go to ecologyactioncenter.org/event/earth-day-trail-clean-up/.

In addition, the EAC’s Tree Corps project will have another tree-planting day at the ParkLands Founndation’s Mohr Tract near Lexington. Two shifts are available for More Mohr Trees: 9 a.m. to noon Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Friday.

Watch now: These Central Illinois woods offer 'little jewels' in bloom

For more information go to ecologyactioncenter.org/bngreenevents/ and click on “More Mohr Trees.

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The Illinois State University Horticulture Center is seeking volunteers to help revitalize the prairie areas at the center on Raab Road from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.

“We have several areas that have been established in prairie or that we want to re-establish as prairie,” said the center’s director, Jessica Chambers.

“We live in the prairie state. It’s part of our heritage,” said Chambers. “You should know a little about prairies just like you should know a little about Lincoln and a little about Route 66. This is part of who we are.”

At one time tallgrass prairies covered about 22 million acres in Illinois. Today, about 3,500 acres of remnant prairie are left.

“It’s mostly gone … but I don’t think the story is done,” said Chambers.

Volunteers will be working in the Children’s Garden and also in an area near the new Prairie Pavilion gazebo.

To volunteer, sign up at http://bit.ly/3dOd1dM.

The ParkLands Foundation, which has preserves in McLean and Woodford counties is seeking teams and individuals to help remove invasive plants at several locations Thursday through Sunday.

Volunteers can pick a three-hour window. They will be paired with an experienced land steward for instruction and safety. To sign up, go to http://bit.ly/ParkLandsEarthDay.

Illinois State University has been celebrating Earth Week with various events on the Quad and elsewhere.

A crew from Fix It Friday will be at the ISU Bookstore in the Bone Student Center from 1 to 3 p.m. making free basic sewing repairs to clothing to keep them from winding up in a landfill. The event is in recognition f Earth Day and Fashion Revolution Week.


Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

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