Earth Day is celebrated each April. Here at Lee Richardson Zoo, we host our biggest educational event of the year in celebration of this important day. In 2020, Earth Day is celebrating its 50th anniversary! In honor of this momentous occasion, let’s make the upcoming Earth Day a yearlong celebration!

The Earth Day Network is ramping up to Earth Day 2020 by taking the lead as a presenting partner for National Cleanup Day. National Cleanup Day took place on Sept. 21 but remember we can make Earth Day happen every day. Picking up a few pieces of litter each day to properly dispose of or recycle can have a significant positive impact on wildlife and wild places.

At a glance, it might seem like the most remote habitats are free of pollution, but if we look closer, we find man-made items littered in every landscape. Our strong Kansas wind can move waste we produce locally to the next town or even state. From there, the litter can move again, caught up under a car or pushed by heavy rains. What if we stopped the litter before it even leaves Kansas? If everyone in Garden City worked to pick up litter every day, we could reduce the impact of litter globally. What a difference removing one piece of trash could make!

If you wish you could have participated in National Cleanup Day, don’t worry. The Earth Day Network is leading The Great Global Cleanup in April 2020. This drive to reduce pollution and inspire communities to reduce their waste production is an ongoing effort. To find out more about The Great Global Cleanup, or to register for the event, visit

If you are interested in discovering more ways to help protect our planet, join us at our Party for the Planet next year on April 24. This festival-style event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Community members and schools are welcome to join us to explore the different community exhibitors and zoo discovery tables. This fun-filled and hands-on event is geared for third and fourth graders but is fun for all ages.

We ask that school groups attending the event pre-register by emailing As a unique opportunity for school groups, Lee Richardson Zoo is excited to host a special guest performer each year. This stage performance combines art and science themes into an engaging program that will inspire students to act to help the Earth every day. The free show has limited seating and is filled on a first-come-first-served basis as a part of pre-registering your group. Don’t miss out on this extra-special activity at Lee Richardson Zoo’s Party for the Planet.

We look forward to sharing more Earth Day actions with our community leading up to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Hopefully, you will also join us for the big event on April 24th!


Catie Policastro is the conservation education specialist at Lee Richardson Zoo.