2024 Earth Day activities for kids include planting, gardening, South Shore residents clean up area

Karen Jordan Image
Monday, April 22, 2024
Chicago celebrates Earth Day with gardening, neighborhood cleanup
Chicago 2024 Earth Day activities for kids included planting and gardening. Meanwhile, South Shore residents cleaned up their neighorhood streets.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's Earth Day 2024, and people in the Chicago area and across the country people are getting outside and getting involved to clean up and protect our planet.

With garden tools nearly as big as they are, preschoolers at Building Blocks Learning Academy in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood took turns turning soil. Then they planted flowers and other seeds and topped them off with water.

"Because that helps the earth," said 6-year-old Michael Washington.

It's become an annual tradition an activity that the academy's owner said is perfect for Earth Day.

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"Our little children are able to understand the importance of healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, saving the Earth, and they go back and tell their family members don't litter, we want a happy Earth," said owner Michelle Redd.

They also spent part of the morning cleaning up trash from a nearby lot and showing off their Earth Day artwork, five-year-old Zamora Ross's favorite activity.

Redd said the youngsters are becoming ambassadors for the environment.

"The same way they're planting, we're planting seeds in them to talk about preserving the Earth," Redd said.

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From future environmental activists to the activists of now, South Shore residents have taken it upon themselves to organize a neighborhood cleanup to beautify their community.

"We've all seen each other doing the same things, so like minds. We all came together," said Shanna Landheart.

Landheart lives at 77th and Essex, and helped organize the block-by-block cleanup. Some of the supplies were provided by the office of 7th Ward Alderman Greg Mitchell, but they say more can be done to keep their neighborhood clean and safe.

"To me, it just looks like neglect when you come outside," Landheart said. "It's not an individual issue; it's we're being neglected when it's a crisis like this, of garbage."

A spokesperson for Ald. Mitchell said he has met with residents and supports their efforts to keep their neighborhoods clean. In the meantime, Landheart and her fellow residents may organize block cleanups once a month.