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Parks & Recreation

Earth Week Celebration 

Summerland's 11th Annual Earth Week Celebration:
20+ Ideas for Earth Week 2020 

2020 marks the 50th anniversary of global Earth Day celebrations, and the 11th Annual Earth Week celebration in Summerland.

This year we are focusing on the importance of pollinators to our food systems and natural environment, but have included a number of other items on topics we think you’ll also enjoy and find interesting.

Our 14th annual Earth Day planting of native trees and shrubs will hopefully be rescheduled for the fall.

Although this year’s Earth Week activities cannot be in-person due to the COVID crisis, the District of Summerland is excited to share a variety of #EarthDayAtHome activities that residents can partake in on their own, at whatever time works best for you!

Watch Something

Building Climate Resilience in the Okanagan: A Homeowner’s Resource Guide – Webinar Series

This incredible local guide to building climate resilience in the Okanagan (available here) will be unpacked in a free webinar series. The first topic is Landscaping for Our Semi-Arid Climate – Wednesday April 29th 12-1pm. Register by emailing Shannon at sorebtech@shaw.ca

Free to Stream Films

Films for the Earth is one of the largest distributors of environmental documentaries. They offer a significant selection of films from around the world that you can watch online for free.

The Story of Stuff Project is a nonprofit group that educates people on how we make, use, and throw away 'stuff.' Their first film, 'The Story of Stuff,' has millions and views and was integral in growing the Zero Waste movement. Other video offerings delve into cosmetics, bottled water, cap & trade, and other relevant topics.

HOME is a documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and narrated by Glenn Close. Released in 2009, its message of the need for immediate environmental action is more relevant today than ever before.

https://www.pollinatorsunderpressure.org/ has two award-winning short films about pollinators and what we can do protect them, one of which is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Watch Nature – Live!

The links below have streams of hundreds of live nature cams from across the world - explore urban settings, oceans, aviaries, wildlife preserves, animal rescues, and scenes of nature. With thousands of streams to dig through, there's sure to be something of interest!

www.explore.org (note: you do not need to sign up to view – just click off of the signup window)

www.earthcam.com

Learn Something

Be a Citizen Scientist

Learn about our natural world and collect data for a citizen science project. Observe our natural world, take photos or enter information about what you see, and add to both your own and the scientific world’s understanding of nature in our community. Check out the Merlin Bird ID App or iNaturalist for places to start.

Get to Know our Pollinators!

Border Free Bees is an BC-based organization raising awareness of the plight of wild pollinators, empower communities to actively engage in solutions for habitat loss, and transform under-utilized urban sites into aesthetically pleasing and scientifically viable pollinator pastures. Check out their amazing resource page here: http://borderfreebees.com/resources/

Energy Leader Teaching Tools (for home schooling)

FortisBC’s Energy Leaders site contains 98 Free curriculum-connected lesson plans, handouts, and activities related to energy conservation, solutions, safety and literacy for grades K-12 that you can adapt to your own teaching requirements (this includes you, home-schooling parents!). Please feel free to share the link to Energy Leaders with other teachers, parents, and associates.

How Efficient is Your Vehicle?

While transit, walking, biking, or other active transportation is always better, many of us need a vehicle to get around. This easy to use online tool allows you to compare your vehicle emissions to other models: https://greenercars.org/greenercars-ratings

Make Something

Use What You Have! Summerland Students Share Their Ideas
Grade 11 and 12 Environmental Sciences students at Summerland Secondary have been asked to share their favourite Do-It-Yourself projects, with an environmental twist. Here are some of their amazing ideas for things you can do at home:

How to Make Your Own Compost Bin
Enviro Friendly Home Cleaners
Grow Your Veggie Scraps
Make a DIY Rain Barrel
Make a Greenhouse Yourself
Grow Your Own Sprouts
Make Home Air Freshener
T-Shirt Shopping Bag
How to Plant a Fruit Tree
Decorate Your Mirror
Apple Cider Vinegar Cleaner
DIY Bread Starter
How to Make an Raised Garden Bed

Some of these projects have more information throughout this page, so browse around for further details and even more fun ideas for Earth Week!

Build a Northern Flicker Bird House

Summerland Secondary student Koen made this video to show how to build a house for Northern Flickers out of firewood! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8tO2s1uZY0

Make Your Own Cleaners & Cosmetics

Cleaning products are often made with synthetic chemicals that can be hazardous to our health and our planet (as well as our bank account!). Try these easy recipes for making your own eco-friendly cleaners:

https://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/cleaning-products-tools/homemade-cleaners/
https://wellnessmama.com/6244/natural-cleaning/

Cosmetics are another product that often contains synthetic chemicals that harm our health and planet, and many are still tested on animals. These links have some ideas on recipes for making your own at home:

https://ecophiles.com/2019/02/02/natural-diy-cosmetics/
https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/how-to-make-diy-natural-make-up/

Start Backyard Composting

Reduce your waste to landfill and create a valuable resource for your garden! Backyard composting is easy to do, and simple to set up if you follow a few basic rules. Check out the links below to make a backyard composter that works well and doesn’t smell or attract pests.

https://www.rdos.bc.ca/public-works/solid-waste/composting-and-natural-yard-care/

http://www.safebee.com/home/how-compost-without-attracting-pests

https://greenactioncentre.ca/reduce-your-waste/pest-proofing-your-compost-bin/

Pollinator Recipes and Fun Activities for Kids

This link has it all! Kid-friendly activities, and yummy recipes to help us appreciate the hard work pollinators do to feed us.

https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week#pw-activities

Grow Something

Grow Veggies from Scraps

Did you know that many of the veggie “scraps” you throw away (or hopefully compost) could instead be used to grow a whole new vegetable?! Check out these links to learn how you can grow your own vegetables and reduce waste at the same time:

https://www.diyncrafts.com/4732/repurpose/25-foods-can-re-grow-kitchen-scraps
https://empressofdirt.net/regrow-vegetable-scraps/

Plant for Pollinators!

Pollinators, responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat, are in peril due to pesticides, disease, and loss of habitat. You can help save the bees. The solution is as simple as growing plants that bees need for food and creating places for them to live.

And remember – grow it, don’t mow it! Reducing the amount of mowing and seeding more areas with native wildflowers provides much needed habitat for pollinators, including Monarch butterflies and other pollinators in decline.

You can become a Bee Ambassador and join the movement to protect wild pollinators by creating a bee-friendly zone on your property. Below is a guide for the Thompson-Okanagan on selecting plants for pollinators, as well as information on how to sign up as a Bee Ambassador.

https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator.org/assets/generalFiles/Thompson_Okanagan.Plateau.2019.pdf

http://borderfreebees.com/become-a-bee-ambassador/?mc_cid=e7989eece6&mc_eid=2a0b36dfd3

Build Connections in Your Neighbourhood

Growing relationships within our communities is one of the best ways to save safe, be well, and develop the ability to bounce back from disasters. Simply put, strong neighbour connections = healthier and more resilient communities.

Check out this link for simple, practical things you can do to make your own street or apartment building more connected and resilient while staying safe:

https://resilientneighbourhoods.ca/neighbour-to-neighbour-activities-to-keep-building-those-resilience-muscles-while-physical-distancing/

Do Something

Complete a DIY Home Energy Audit

This great, local article series gives information about how to track and reduce your energy use at home

https://www.summerlandreview.com/opinion/dyer-use-your-covid-19-time-to-fight-climate-change/

https://www.summerlandreview.com/opinion/dyer-diy-energy-audit-with-solar-bonus-material/

https://www.summerlandreview.com/opinion/dyer-you-are-stuck-at-home-energy-audit/

Make Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Now is the perfect time to make your home or business more energy efficient, saving money and making the space more comfortable and healthy. Visit https://betterhomesbc.ca/ for free energy coaching services, getting-started guides, resources, and more to help get started.

If you’re making energy efficiency upgrades, from replacing an old furnace to improving your insulation, be sure to apply for financial support through FortisBC rebate programs.

And, if you’re income qualified, apply for a free energy evaluation and free installation of energy-savings products through the FortisBC Energy Conservation assistance Program. Although no one can come to your home right now, you can apply for the program and be near the top of list once the Covid crisis is over.

Make a New Daily Habit

Earth Day Canada’s Facebook and Instagram pages are adding a new suggestion each day in order to encourage as many people as possible to integrate climate action habits into their daily lives.

Share Something

“SHARE” Your Space with Pollinators

Share your outdoor spaces with pollinators, utilizing the resources linked above and below, and then add your space to the pollinator SHARE map: https://www.pollinator.org/SHARE

Make a Pledge

Earth Day and the message of environmental stewardship it represents has never been more pressing. We’re asking the entire Summerland community to send us their pledges of what they’ll be doing to preserve the Earth for future generations and ensure that the 100th Earth Day in 2070 is a cause for celebration, not regret. Send your pledge to climate.action@summerland.ca before April 30th and be entered to win great prizes from our local businesses.

Get Creative

Wrote a poem or song related to Earth Day? Made a video or created a piece of art? Have a great idea for an activity or resource that we didn’t feature here? Whatever it is, share it with climate.action@summerland.ca before April 30th and be entered to win great prizes from our amazing local businesses.