News release: Earth Day resources for home learning; watch Wednesday livestream


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April 20, 2020
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer,, 517-388-3135

To mark Earth Day, students can learn about
environment, climate online and outdoors

EGLE livestream Wednesday will call students to action, recognize
our poster and service award winners

With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) says now is an opportune time to teach children about the environment, Great Lakes, climate and energy using online resources.

Earth Day was founded 50 years ago and has grown into a worldwide movement that is a call to action in support of the environment and sustainability policies.

To mark the anniversary, EGLE is hosting a livestream event from 10-10:30 a.m. Wednesday with EGLE Director Liesl Clark and EGLE Office of Climate and Energy Adviser Brandy Brown, who will both talk about ways Michigan students can take steps to help protect the Earth. They also will recognize EGLE’s student poster and school service award winners. Join the livestream here.

“Michigan has been a leader in environmental protection since the first Earth Day 50 years ago and today our goal is to be a leader in climate action, as well,” said Liesl Clark, EGLE director. “Climate change affects our environment and lakes, public health and quality of life, and even infrastructure. Its impacts can be felt in your backyard and across the state, which is an important lesson for future generations to learn.”

Since 2004, EGLE, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) have hosted the annual Earth Day Celebration in Lansing. This year, our celebration will be virtual and there are many resources to support learning about the environment, climate and energy:

  • EGLE’s Environmental Education webpage has environmental education resources, student online activities and teacher resources for all grades, including professional development, scholarships and funding opportunities.
  • Get lost in EGLE’s EnviroMinute videos on YouTube. Topics include composting, geology, e. Coli, recycling, invasive species, sustainability and much more all told in a quick, fun and informative way for all age groups.
  • If you want a deeper dive into environmental issues, check out EGLE’s Shoreline Stewards videos, presentations, lectures and tutorials as well as our Brownfield Flips series.
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order allows for outdoor activity so long as proper social distancing from those outside of a household is followed. Explore the backyard, take a nature hike or visit a nearby park to experience nature up close.
  • The Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum offers lessons on air and water quality, ecosystems, climate change and energy resources.
  • Learn about recycling best practices from Paper MacKay, Nyla P. Lastic and the rest of the Recycling Raccoon Squad.
  • The DNR offers Natural and Historical Education Resources for Home at Home. There, you’ll find nature lessons, virtual field trips, ways to explore and engage with nature and lessons for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers lesson plans, teacher guides and environmental resources for educators in areas such as climate change, energy, air, water and waste.
  • Energy Kids by the U.S. Energy Information Administration has explainers about energy, ways to save energy, guides for teachers as well as energy-themed games and activities.

Be sure to see the original illustrations that have been chosen for top honors in EGLE’s Earth Day 2020 Poster Contest winners. First place awards went to:

  • Kindergarten: Onour Davis, Sharp Park Academy, Jackson.
  • First Grade: Juliana Gjokaj, Monfort Elementary, Shelby Township.
  • Second Grade: Eli Oquist, Jenison International Academy, Jenison.
  • Third Grade: Yajur Kandagatla, Vera Ralya Elementary, Haslett.
  • Fourth Grade: Lucia Hall, Sharp Park Elementary, Jackson.
  • Fifth Grade: Ashrah Kelly, Waterloo Elementary, Monroe.

Also, see what Kearsley Community High and Armstrong Middle school in Flint, and Alpena High School did to win the Environmental Service Award Competition.