Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22, but Billings-area organizations are celebrating over the next week with a variety of events.
On Saturday, April 19, the Audubon Conservation Education Center, 7026 S. Billings Blvd., is holding a day of restoration work from 9:30 a.m to noon to honor the 44th anniversary of Earth Day.
Volunteers will help plant willows around three ponds, pick up trash and care for the center’s tree and shrub nursery.
There will be games and activities for children, including face painting. The center will raffle off a children’s bicycle, binoculars and bird feeders. Raffle tickets are available for $2 at the event.
Volunteers will be rewarded with a free barbecue lunch donated by the Good Earth Market at noon. You can join in for an hour or the whole day. Volunteers are encouraged to bring water, work gloves and their families. There is no fee for participation in the event, which takes place rain or shine.
Good Earth Market is pairing up with the Downtown Billings Association to host a celebration in the Good Earth Market parking lot on Tuesday, April 22.
Live music will be provided by musician Jake Goldberg from 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., but the celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All are welcome and the admission is free.
The B Bar Ranch is returning this year to to sell their grilled organic, local burgers and dogs, accompanied by salad, chips and drinks from Good Earth Market. A vegetarian chili will also be available.
Local producers will share information about everything from gardening, sustainability and recycling.
Red Rover Bicycle Collective will be on hand to do free bike inspections. The artwork for our Earth Day promotions, by local artist Sarah Morris, will auctioned off in a silent auction on Earth Day and t-shirts will be available with the artwork.
Gregory Lynch will demonstrate on solar cooking. Sanctuary Spa and Salon will be teaching the community how to protect our local, clean waters in conjunction with the Clark Fork Coalition.
A free workshop will be available to the community hosted by master Gardener Sharon Wetsch at 6 p.m.
Barjon’s Books will host a Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau program, titled “The Green Man in Art, Architecture and Literature: An Ancient Archetype in a New Ecological Era,” with Kristen Prinzing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22. The program will be held in the activity area in the north end of the store at 223 N. 29th St.
The presentation is free and open to the public. Partial funding for the Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This program explores the Green Man of myth, folklore and legend. The Green Man can be found in many areas of contemporary and historical experience — from ecological thought to religious practice and symbolism, and from cultural practice to art, architecture and music.
Also on April 22, Rocky Mountain College will host a free screening at 7 p.m. in the Fortin Education Center auditorium of ”National Geographic’s American Serengeti.” The 2010 film is presented by the Montana Wilderness Association — Eastern Wildlands Chapter and focuses on a visit to northeast Montana’s grassland prairie. It describes the ambitious project to restore a thriving 3-million-acre wildlife reserve so that vast herds of American wildlife may again roam the plains as they did just 200 years ago.
At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, Rocky hosts Matt Schatzke presenting “Garden Recycling: Home Composting 101” in classroom B216 attached to the back of the library. His lecture covers the surprising benefits of composting and the basics of how to compost, including overviews of the science behind composting and various methods for the home composter.
On Saturday, April 26, the RMC Environmental Club invites the community to a Climate Change Rally from noon to 1 p.m. on the Yellowstone County Courthouse lawn downtown.