Experience Earth Day at the 2nd Largest Celebration in the Country

St. Louis Earth Day

by Jeanette Reynolds,
Programs and Communication Director,
St. Louis Earth Day

Be part of a community tradition at the 25th anniversary of the St. Louis Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 27th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Muny Grounds of Forest Park. Enjoy three stages of entertainment, learn about sustainable products and services offered by local businesses, meet area non-profits that share the mission of Earth Day, and participate in a variety of hands-on educational activities.

At 12 p.m., join the Honorable Mayor Francis G. Slay at the USAgain Main Stage for the opening ceremony, when Earth Day Action Grants will be awarded to successful projects. The Festival officially kicks off with the All Species Parade and all are welcome to join this costume pedestrian parade through the event grounds, led by the Joia World Percussion Ensemble.

Before the Festival opens, make your way to the Community Stage area to enjoy free activities from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. including yoga, face painting and henna, or make a mask in preparation for the All Species Parade. Yoga will also be offered at 3 p.m. by Registered Yoga Teacher Rebekah Jarchow of LotusEaterYoga, bring a mat or blanket and meet at the information booth to participate.

A themed-neighborhood booth layout makes it easy to navigate the Festival and experience all the celebration has to offer. Visitors can explore the following neighborhoods: Alternative Transportation and Fuels; Arts and Crafts; the Earth Day Café; Energy and Green Building; the Farmers Market; Home and Pets; Nature, Recreation and Wildlife; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; and, Wellness and Spirituality. Visitors are also invited to reflect upon their experiences and connect with the Earth at the Peace Garden, where activities will take place throughout the day.

Environmental Education Exhibitors are scattered throughout the grounds with a wide range of hands-on activities for kids and adults. Visitors can engage with ecosystem models, role-playing games, or create something beautiful with ‘trash.’ “Play Your Art Out” all day with the St. Louis Teachers’ Recycle Center at the Eco-Art area, and the Ameren exhibit provides interactive ways to learn about energy efficiency and conservation.

More special programming includes the Green Strum Project and new dog-washing demonstrations. Believing that music and sustainability go hand in hand, Green Strum teaches how to make music out of anything. Join Green Strum master builders for hourly demonstrations on recycled instrument building and get a chance to win a cigar-box guitar! Laclede Gas and Better Life are teaming up to perform dog-washing demonstrations. See a natural gas-powered instant hot water heater in action as 12 lucky dogs are lathered with Better Life’s pooch-friendly shampoos. Visit www.stlouisearthday.org for more details and to register your dog.

Two stages feature local music all day beginning at 11 a.m., including funk and soul, folk and bluegrass, swing, and more – presented in partnership with 88.1 KDHX and The Folk School of St. Louis, a service of KDHX. At the Community Stage pavilion, experience Circus Flora and meet the birds of the World Bird Sanctuary.

At the Festival, you’ll find uniquely diverse cuisine ranging from organic vegetarian jambalaya and BBQ pork bao to kambucha and a hummus bar. Seven Green Dining Alliance members will be showcasing their certified sustainable food. Visit the booths of Atomic Cowboy, The Dam, Foundation Grounds, Lulu’s Local Eatery, Pi Pizzeria, Onesto and Urban Eats Café to show your support. Schlafly Beer will be serving Organic Pale Ale and other favorites. Beer will be served in a Schlafly/St. Louis Earth Day souvenir cup that is both reusable and recyclable (while supplies lasts); bring your cup back for a discounted refill.

St. Louis Earth Day encourages visitors to use low-impact methods of transportation and offers prizes to those achieving the “Earth Day Challenge” – rewarding those who travel by bus, bike or Metro and bring their own water bottle and reusable shopping bag. Metro is “Your Official Ride to Earth Day” and the Forest Park/DeBaliviere Metrolink station is only a half-mile from the Festival, with a free shuttle service connecting riders to the Muny Grounds. Trailnet will be offering free bike valet parking in two locations at the Festival.

A collection event for hard-to-recycle items returns to the Festival for a fourth year, including the DEA Medication Take-Back Initiative. The Recycling Extravaganza will take place in the parking lot of the St. Louis Community College Forest Park campus off Oakland Avenue 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full list of acceptable items, including everything from mattresses and carpet to “anything with a cord,” is updated regularly online so you can plan your spring-cleaning accordingly. Catch a free ride to the Festival on a shuttle powered by biodiesel or clean-burning Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), provided by the City of St. Louis, Lambert International Airport and Super Park.

Pre-order a rain barrel and DIY spout converter kit from RainReserve, a Missouri company, and pick it up at the Recycling Extravaganza on April 27 for all proceeds to benefit St. Louis Earth Day. Visit www.stlouisearthday.org for more details and to start your home rainwater management this spring.

For a second year, we’re kicking off the celebration early with Earth Day Eve on Saturday, April 26th – a family-friendly evening with food and music in the Earth Day Café area of the Festival grounds 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the corner of McKinley and Theatre Drives. All are welcome and a donation of $5 is suggested to support St. Louis Earth Day. New this year is the VIP experience for $35, which includes entry, food and drinks.

St. Louis Earth Day is a non-profit 501c3 organization whose mission is to make every day earth day by cultivating environmental stewardship and engaging individuals, governments, businesses, schools and the non-profit sector in celebration, education and action to support a healthy and sustainable future.

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is grateful for the support and partnership of many local businesses, companies and organizations. This event is presented by Ameren and Metro Transit, and sponsored in part by Chipotle Mexican Grill, The City of St. Louis, KPLR 11/Fox 2, Missouri American Water, Missouri Department of Conservation, USAgain and Schlafly Beer. For detailed information and a complete list of sponsors, or to volunteer, visit www.stlouisearthday.org.