Earth Day isn’t just about recycling. It’s also a day to raise awareness and educate the world about the importance of taking care of the planet. EcoFest, which was held April 22 at the NewBo City Market in honor of Earth Day, included the involvement of the entire community.

Music, artwork, and eco-films, along with displays and activities highlighted the Earth Day celebration. Kids had the opportunity to plant seeds in a bio-degradable newspaper pouch and participate in button-making. Several other activities were also available including rock decorating, yard games, and a nature play area. Attendees were invited to join in and help make milkweed seed balls, which will be tossed into ditches long Iowa roadways to populate the monarch butterflies, and other pollinators, natural habitat.

Alliant Energy displayed their vision for cleaner energy, which included a mini city-scape and wind turbines. Other displays included the Indian Creek Nature Center, Master Gardeners, Green Iowa Americorps, the Linn County Conservation, Trees Forever, ISU Extension, Compost Ninja, Tanda Naturals, Prairiewoods Franciscan Spiritual Center, and many more.

Attendees learned gardening tips, as well as how to compost with a composting demonstration by Aaron Hanson. There were several walking tours, including an architectural tour, led by a Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street representative, which highlighted unique architectural features and history of the district. A Trees Forever staff member led a tree walk featuring trees that meet the needs of urban business and home owners. The eco-film festival, held at CSPS Hall, featured documentaries with eco-conscious themes.

In the words of one eco-conscious individual, “It’s good to see people gathering to take part in such an important event. However, in my opinion, the Earth should not be celebrated and taken care of just for one day, but every day.”