Saturday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine; ride CAT buses for free
For immediate release—April 12, 2013
Education, Science, Entertainment, Features editors
Contact: email@example.com  919.707.9837
Sixth Annual Planet Earth Celebration Encourages Social and Environmental Sustainability
Museum’s new wing, Nature Research Center, turns one-year old
RALEIGH — The sixth annual Planet Earth Celebration at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will be held Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The free public event will take place in and around the main Museum (11 W. Jones St.) and the Museum’s new wing, the Nature Research Center (121 W. Jones St.).
As North Carolina’s largest sustainability festival, the Planet Earth Celebration encourages visitors to learn about green living and sustainability in fun, creative and educational ways, and to celebrate the rich natural world we live in and learn how to keep it vibrant. Exhibitors and vendors will provide expert advice about organic farming, “going green” at home, conserving water and energy, green landscaping, healthy community building, e-cycling and many other sustainability-related topics.
While at the event, you’ll learn how to create eco-friendly solutions for local environmental challenges. Shop with a conscience for eco-smart products at vendors like Sugar Magnolia, Jinja Fair Trade and the Beehive Collective. Help build a “trash to treasure” sculpture hosted by Keep NC Beautiful, enjoy delicious local eats from various food trucks and jam with a drum circle led by One Tribe from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Feel free to bring your own drum or hula hoop. Visitors can also test their knowledge at the Wheel of Environmental Knowledge and win a reusable water bottle.
Our KidZone encourages outdoor play, complete with hopscotch, sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, sack races, jump ropes and more. “Milkweed for Monarchs” is an exciting craft activity for the whole family. Start by making a recycled pot out of newspaper and plant a milkweed seed. Mature milkweed plants will attract monarch butterflies, whose populations are declining in large part to reduced numbers of milkweed plants in the United States and Canada. There will also be a few freebies until they run out. The North Carolina Consumers Council will give away free reusable bags, and Evergreen Packaging will hand out tree seedlings. For the little ones, Meet the Animals in Windows on the World will feature many protected animals at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Urban Tumbleweed Bowling, with an enormous up-cycled plastic bag tumbleweed, will take place on the Daily Planet Plaza.
Nature Research Center Turns One-Year Old!
A 24-hour grand opening one year ago, April 20, introduced the Museum’s new wing to the people of North Carolina and the world with many programs that were streamed to India, Africa and the Philippines. To mark the one-year anniversary of the Nature Research Center (NRC), there will be a cake cutting at noon outside on the Daily Planet Plaza with cake for up to 70 people. The public is certainly invited to take part in the celebration. For those interested in the many green features of the NRC, there will be a station detailing all of the cool aspects of the NRC, from LED lights from CREE, a green roof to reduce runoff, water collection in cisterns for flushing toilets, occupancy sensors, and photovoltaic panels. Jenny Profet from the Museum’s Exhibits division will give a talk at 11 a.m. in the SECU Daily Planet called, “Building a Greener Future.”
The keynote speaker for this year’s Planet Earth Celebration is local Naturalist and Author, Tom Earnhardt, who will talk about conservation, and green living and read excerpts from his new book, “Crossroads of the Natural World.” He’ll give two talks at 1pm and 3pm inside the SECU Daily Planet. Copies of Earnhardt’s book are available for sale and signing.
To encourage the reduction of our carbon footprint, April 20 is also a Fare-Free day city-wide, courtesy of Capital Area Transit. For more information about Planet Earth Celebration or green-living workshops, e-mail Bonnie Eamick at firstname.lastname@example.org  or call 919.707.9890.
There is a small fee for these workshops and pre-registration is required. See descriptions below.
The Backyard Beekeeper
Time: 10-11a.m. Cost $10
If you have ever dreamed of keeping honeybees or you simply find them fascinating, then this class is for you. We will explore the biology and management of a backyard hive and see an active honeybee hive. Additionally we'll learn about an interesting, low-cost approach to keeping backyard bees and where to obtain honeybees, equipment and advice. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Backyard Composting: Bins, Piles & Beyond!
Time: 10-11:30 a.m. Cost: $5
The Compost Doctor is In! Compost can help heal the soil, but you need the right prescription. Learn how to mix yard debris, food scraps and other organic wastes into a combination that's good for your garden. Participants will leave with instructions for making healthy compost at home, plus a bag of finished compost to jump-start your home pile.
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Cost: $5
This workshop will provide the participant with ideas on how to incorporate native plants in urban yards, resources for native plants to use, and an opportunity to look at ways to incorporate native plants in your yard. Please come prepared to discuss some small plot in your yard that you are thinking about incorporating native plants, pay attention to the amount of sun the area gets, the type of soil, and the moisture content of the area.
Downtown Tree Trek
Time: 1-2 p.m. Cost: $5
Did you know that the timing of tree leafing, flowering, and fruiting can tell us a lot about our changing climate? Scientists need YOUR help to document seasonal changes in trees, so don your citizen scientist cap as we visit several downtown trees to collect and submit vital scientific data. Ages 12 and up.
Lost Ladybugs of Raleigh
Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Cost: $5
Become a citizen scientist and join us for an outdoor ladybug hunt! Our native ladybugs may be at risk due to the import of non-native species in our country, so scientists need YOUR help to look for, photograph, and submit reports of ladybugs you see. We'll visit several sites around the Museum to document and report the biodiversity of downtown Raleigh's ladybugs!
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W. Jones St.) and its new wing, the Nature Research Center (121 W. Jones St.) in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of North Carolina through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Hours: Mon.- Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the web at www.naturalsciences.org . The Museum is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John Skvarla., Secretary.