Pinecrest Gardens will mark Earth Day on April 14 with a variety of activities in the Banyan Bowl and the meadow. Hundreds of school children are expected to participate in the celebration and talk about their Creative learning and Engagement Opportunities (CLEO) Institute projects dealing with climate change awareness and solar initiatives.
Pinecrest Gardens director Alana Perez said CLEO founder Caroline Lewis’ organization is posing the question: “What is climate change and what is my role.”
“She has all of the Pinecrest schools involved,” Perez said.“They are working on many different green projects based on climate change.”
Lewis formed CLEO in 2010 and found a headquarters at Pinecrest Gardens.
“The mayor of Pinecrest gave us office space and financial support if we could increase outreach for Pinecrest Gardens,” Lewis says. “We are making the Pinecrest Gardens Earth Day festival compelling.”
“They have been logging their green efforts throughout the year both as individual classrooms and as a school,” Lewis said. “They will present their findings during our Earth Day celebration. Small groups from each school will summarize everything.”
The groups also will talk about their experiments with the solar panels donated to the schools. Each school received from two to 10 panels based on the number of students attending the school.
“I really want the parents and the students and the teachers to come to Pinecrest Gardens,” Lewis said. “CLEO is going to take the whole meadow. We will have a solar celebration and the kids will build solar cookers.”
Along with the school based projects, Perez said Earth Day activities will include wild animal shows, an organic fashion show and concerts by groups from the Miami Youth Symphony.
“We are going to have arts and crafts for kids,” Perez said. “We will have children release lady bugs. The first 1,000 thousand people attending will get a Pinecrest pine, a seedling. It’s just a celebration of Mother Earth and a program to inform people about the things we can do to keep it healthy.
Earth Day would not be complete without the Farmer’s Market and Perez said the weekly market will take place as usual. She added that the market fits right in with its organic produce. “We’ll have folks who make their own candles and artisan bakers,” said Perez.
“We usually have lines waiting for the artisan bread bakers. They sell home grown, naturally created products. And the greater Miami Youth Symphony will finish the day.”
While the Earth Day festival takes over much of Pinecrest Gardens, the lower garden will remain open for those who want a quieter experience and a walk in a beautiful garden.