Swaner EcoCenter wishes the community a ‘Happy Earth Day’ | ParkRecord.com

Swaner EcoCenter wishes the community a ‘Happy Earth Day’

The “Natures Ninjas” exhibit, which features a three-banded Brazilian armadillo, will be open during the Swaner EcoCenter’s Earth Day celebration.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

Earth Day at the Swaner EcoCenter
3:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22
Swaner EcoCenter, 1258 Center Drive at Kimball Junction
Free
swanerecocenter.org

The Swaner EcoCenter wants to wish Park City a happy Earth Day.

To do this, the nonprofit that is dedicated to “preserve, educate and nurture” will throw a party from 3:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22, to continue the vision of the late Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin Democrat who, along with others, founded the annual celebration as a way to raise awareness about environmental protection.

This year’s celebration will feature EcoCenter collaborations with seven other organizations, such as EATS Park City and the Kimball Art Center, said visitor experience coordinator Hunter Klingensmith.

“We want to take this time to give people a chance to learn about other organizations that are doing good things for the Earth,” Klingensmith said. “We want to give people the opportunity to get involved with what those organizations do.”

We want to make sure everyone knows how important it is to care for the Earth and keep it healthy…” Hunter Klingensmith, Swaner EcoCenter visitor experience coordinator

EATS Park City, a local nonprofit that promotes healthy eating to students, will be on hand from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

“They’ll bring their blender bikes,” Klingensmith said. “Riders can use the pedals on the stationary bicycles to power a blender that creates smoothies.”

Summit Community Power Works, which is part of Utah Clean Energy, an umbrella organization that promotes sustainable energy across the state, will come armed with data..

“They’ll have information about how people can be more energy efficient in their homes and how to participate in their programs,” Klingensmith said.

The Natural History Museum of Utah will be on hand to introduce people to the Wasatch City Nature Challenge, according to Klingensmith.

“The City Nature Challenge is a four-day, countrywide citizens science project where people are challenged to record as many natural and native species they see in a certain area onto the iNaturalist app,” she said. “Staff from the museum will take people out onto the preserve and teach people how to use the app.”

The goal of the City Nature Challenge is to see which community in the country can collect the most ecological data, Klingensmith said.

“The Swaner EcoCenter will host a City Nature Challenge the following weekend,” she said. “We’ll take people out to the ponds on the preserve, and track as many lifeforms as we can here. It’s a fun way for people to get involved in seeing what is in their communities and local areas.”

Speaking of community involvement, the Kimball Art Center will partner with Recycle Utah and help attendees make armor out of recycled materials, Klingensmith said.

Recycle Utah will provide all the materials, including cardboard, plastic and paper, she said.

“This project is inspired by the ‘Nature’s Ninjas’ exhibit that is currently open at the Swaner EcoCenter,” Klingensmith said. “The exhibit shows the different ways animals protect themselves from predators.”

Summit Community Garden’s kiosk will feature information about their garden and their various programs, including the upcoming summer camps, according to Klingensmith.

Lastly, the Leonardo Museum from Salt Lake City will lead two activities, she said.

One will be the construction of a paper cup wind turbine, and the other will be a recycled-materials mosaic.

While the EcoCenter won’t lead any guided tours on the preserve the day of the party, volunteers will direct people to the Wetlands Discovery Trail, Klingensmith said.

The trail, which is approximately a half a mile long, is located just south of the EcoCenter, she said.

“We will send people out with a guide packet that has information about different areas along the trail,” Klingensmith said.

Organizations that will participate in Earth Day at the Swaner EcoCenter

• EATS Park City
• Summit County Powerworks
• Natural History Museum of Utah
• Kimball Art Center
• Recycle Utah
• Summit Community Gardens
• Leonardo Museum

In addition to the guide packet, the EcoCenter will provide a limited amount of nature backpacks that can be checked out.

“They will be filled with equipment and nature journals that people can write in while they are out on the trail,” Klingensmith said.

The Earth Day celebration will take place inside and out on EcoCenter’s back deck, but Klingensmith has a Plan B for inclement weather.

“We’ll pack everything inside and spread the activities out in the exhibit hall and in our Naturalist room,” she said.

This year’s Earth Day celebration will also take place at a later time than in the past to accommodate local students’ schedules, Klingensmith said.

“School gets out right around the time the event starts, so we hope kids and their parents will be able to come and spend time with us into the evening,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone knows how important it is to care for the Earth and keep it healthy.”