Earth Day with Kids and Critters

Written by on April 22, 2013 No Comments

After 25 years working in an environmental program, I have to say that one of the best things I get to see is the annual celebration of Earth Day at my place of work in downtown Lansing.  For one day a year, we open the doors and allow kids to come inside to learn about what they can do for the environment. 

Entrance to my building, with cheery posters.

Entrance to my building, with cheery posters.

Around the atrium were posters kids made for Earth Day. 

Earth Day posters.

Earth Day posters.

Inside the building were dozens of booths where kids could interact with turtles, frogs, snakes, and other critters.  Most of the critters were live except this one.

Even Nemo showed up for Earth Day.

Even Nemo showed up for Earth Day.

In one of the conference rooms, kids got to touch a sea lamprey.  Some were more excited about this than others.

Kids reacting to a sea lamprey.

Kids reacting to a sea lamprey.

In another room, kids got to hold a parrot or two.

Boy with two parrots.

Boy with two parrots.

Docents from the Potter Park Zoo brought in a variety of critters, including a large snake that spent most of its time coiled around itself, and a tarantula that seemed content just to hang out on a lady’s hand.

Tarantula posing for a photo.

Tarantula posing for a photo.

The Potter Park people also brought a blue-tongued skink. I got to touch the skink.

Blue-tongue skink.

Blue-tongue skink.

Another nifty creature from Potter Park Zoo was a European eagle owl, which, the nice lady said, is the species of owl seen in Harry Potter movies.  Now, I spent 10 minutes trying to photograph this owl, and most of the time he avoided looking at me. 

Potter Park docent with her owl pal.

Potter Park docent with her owl pal.

Mostly, the owl looked out the window in the opposite direction.  This is the only moment he actually looked right at me.

Owl finally looking at me.

Owl finally looking at me.

The Zoo folks also brought a black chinchilla.  He had really soft fur. I wanted to take him home but the lady said no.

Black chinchilla.

Black chinchilla.

Okay, so I’m just like all the other kids that like to interact with critters.  But clearly, it’s one of the best things we do each year.  I mean, just look at the smiles. 

Girl with parrots.

Girl with parrots.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

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