Join in the celebration of Earth Day with the annual Green Gary celebration on Saturday, April 29, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education and at Marquette Park in Gary, Indiana. This free event features lots of fun and family-friendly activities.
This year’s theme is how to enjoy outdoor recreation while staying safe. Activities, information, and hikes will spotlight recreational opportunities in the national lakeshore and surrounding communities. The event kicks off in the Douglas Center auditorium with a program on native bees and bee keeping by Annette Hanson at 10:30 a.m. At the Marquette Park Lagoon, enjoy a kayaking and boat safety demonstration at 10:30 a.m. by the Northwest Indiana Paddlers Association. Also at Marquette Park, staff from the Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will present live animal programs at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Bring your bike to the Douglas Center at 12:30 p.m. for a biking safety presentation followed by a bike ride to West Beach. At 1:00 p.m. enjoy a talk on African Americans in the field of botany by long-time park ranger Henry Jones and Lloyd Fisher. Throughout the day, stop by the “Bugging Out” display with insect guy Jim Louderman of the Chicago Field Museum. Jim will have some creepy, crawly insects on-hand (literally). Guided hikes through Miller Woods will also be offered at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Learn how resource managers are fighting fire with fire. Meet some of the National Lakeshore’s Wildland Fire Team and learn how they use fire to improve the park and protect surrounding communities. Also, take the time to let your children build a fort or climb a tree at the Douglas Center’s outdoor Nature Play Zone. Kids of all ages should ask for a Junior Ranger Activity Booklet so they can earn their very own Junior Ranger badge during Green Gary.
Green Gary is presented by a partnership of more than 20 organizations including the National Park Service, the Gary Parks Department and the Gary Department of Green Urbanism/MS4. The Douglas Center is located at 100 North Lake Street in the Miller section of Gary, Indiana. For more information on this program and others, contact Kip Walton at 219-395-1858 or by email at: Kipton_Walton@nps.gov.