Earth Day 2020

A sign celebrates Earth Day 2020 at Blalock Park in Venice.

VENICE — Earth Day won’t be one of large gatherings for its 50th year. Instead, it’ll be one where looking out a window or going for a bicycle ride might be the best want to celebrate it.

Earth Day, which is today, was set to have the them of Climate Action for 2020 with large national and worldwide gatherings — along with some in local parks and schools.

“Unfortunately, as a result of the coronavirus situation now threatening much of the planet, a special recognition event initially scheduled at West Blalock Park has been canceled,” organizer Lamont Andrews said. “Setbacks such as this should not deter us from losing sight of our concern for helping to improve the environment ...the message board at the park always has suggestions on various ways to conserve our natural resources.”

Sarasota Military Academy received an opportunity in 2020 to participate in a virtual “Earth Day” celebration through Encounter Edu and Kate Brooks’ Last Animal Foundation.

“As we are practicing safe, social distancing and empowering our cadets and staff through virtual, online schooling, we know that members of our SMA family are missing out on big, important moments. Our Academy always looks forward to our Earth Day celebrations, and we knew we needed to find a way to make it a bit extra special this year, as we celebrate from our homes around the region,” SMA Executive Director Christina Bowman said. “When Dr. Todd Brown approached us with the incredible opportunity to become involved with Encounter Edu; to offer our cadets the chance of a lifetime and to participate in the Earth Day live lessons, we knew this was the perfect way to celebrate throughout an unprecedented time.”

SMA cadets will watch watch “The Last Animals” then take part in two livestreamed panels with experts from around the world.

The conversations, hosted by youth activist Bella Lack starts at 10 a.m. today.

“Throughout our academy, the SMA Earth Day Celebration is part of our unique curriculum that seems to inspire and ignite passion for each cadet and staff member. While we are supporting our staff and cadets through this time of virtual schooling, we did not want to lose the opportunity to engage and participate in Earth Day, especially with the 50th year anniversary happening this year,” said Brown, Sarasota Military Academy outreach director. “We decided to look for creative, educational opportunities that would align with our previous celebrations, our current curriculum and our goals for the future, and this is an ideal way to observe, recognize and celebrate Earth Day.”

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