With COVID-19 concerns keeping us indoors, we find ourselves in a strange place on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day. But that’s all more the reason to celebrate Mother Earth and all she does for us.
How will you celebrate? Here are some ideas, including activities for kids, digital Earth Day events, videos, social distancing hikes and more!
Below you’ll find suggestions for activities that will help Mother Earth feel the love.
Find a digital Earth Day event
Visit the official Earth Day website, where you can filter for events that match your interests or use the map to find an event being staged near you. You’ll find everything from Artists for the Earth events to virtual social media environmental awareness events.
Take a social-distancing walk in the woods
In this unprecedented time, the solitude of nature can be a sanctuary. It is wonderful to hear of people spending more time acquainting themselves with the wild in their backyards. While many small local parks are closed to prevent crowds, you can still find natural areas that are open. For instance, the majority of the Florida Scenic Trail and most Wildlife Management Areas are available for enjoyment. Please be judicious in planning a nature outing — make sure to stay local and practice social distancing.
Our friends at Florida Hikes! have put together a comprehensive list of Florida’s open or closed recreational natural areas that are perfect for an Earth Day visit. See the list here.
Download activities for the kids
Turn your backyard into an outdoor classroom with these fun and simple activities for children. Taken from our popular Wild About Wildflowers! Activity Guide, these activities are easily adaptable to a backyard setting. Activities are aligned with 3rd- and 4th-grade state standards, but are suitable — and fun! — for all ages and grade levels. They are sure to inspire and engage your young naturalist.
- Flower Dust (Examine the characteristics of different types of pollen.)
- Insect Evidence Survey (Look for signs of insect life on the plants in your yard.)
- The Perfect Fit (Observe how pollinators fit perfectly with certain flowers.)
- Seed Sort (Collect seeds and sort them by size, shape, design and dispersal method.)
- Wildflower Walkabout (Discover the wildflowers growing in your backyard or neighborhood.)
- Conduct a backyard bioblitz. (Make a list, draw or take a picture of as many plants and animals as you can find in your yard. Take it one step further and use field guides or the internet to try and identify what you found.)
If it’s raining and you can’t get outside, you can still explore nature with these indoor activities:
- Pass the Wildflowers, Please! (Create a menu of native plants that you can eat!)
- I’m a Traveling Wildflower Seed (Learn about the cool adaptations seeds use to travel far away.)
- Flung, Flown and Ferried (Test different seed dispersal adaptations by building your own.)
- Wildflower Crossword
- Wildflower Word Search
- Connect the Dots
Enjoy a video
Visit the Florida Wildflower Foundation YouTube channel to learn about wildflowers and their habitats. You can experience Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area’s 2020 spring wildflower bloom, learn how to put together a Pollinator Pot, and learn more about Florida’s wildflowers and how to establish a small wildflower garden from seed.
Here’s a list of some of our other favorite native ‘n’ natural videos.
Native Plants and Wildflowers
- Protecting Florida Wildflowers
- Florida Wildflowers: Wildlife Matters – Featuring Walter K. Taylor and Nancy Bissett
- Three Top Wildflowers
- Florida Native Plants: The Indestructible Coontie!
- Common Misconceptions about Florida Native Plants
- Fall in Love with Florida: Native Palms of the Scrub Habitat
Parks and Natural Areas
- Bonner Park, Tampa Bay
- How to do Florida State Parks
- The Real Florida playlist
- Dry Tortugas National Park
- Biscayne National Park
- Everglades National Park
- Landscaping with Florida Native Wildflowers: Wildlife Matters
- Florida Native Landscape Tour: Draught Tolerant, Low Maintenance Plants in a Coastal Yard!
- Overlooked Native Shrubs for South Florida Landscapes
- Unique Landscapes Using Florida Native Plants
- Creating a Backyard Habitat: Wildlife Matters
- Virtual Garden Tour #3 Dan Mackey of Coconut Creek Florida Native Plants and Trees
- Going Native in the Villages
Plan your wildflower garden
Now is the time to start mapping out your native wildflower garden, which will provide habitat for butterflies, birds and bees. Use these resources:
- Learn about great native landscape plants by purchasing the new book, Native Plants for Florida Gardens.
- Discover 20 Easy-to-Grow Wildflowers, the tried and true species of the native plant landscape world.
- Learn which species attract birds, native bees and butterflies.
- Look for plants from Florida Association of Native Nurseries members, many of which offer delivery or social-distancing pickup options.
- Learn how to establish a small gardens with seeds.
See more resources on our Grow page.