Earth Day in Your Neighborhood


A Guide for Kids From 2 to 122

Because it's fun and it is good for the environment and the neighborhood

Because parties are fun, they are an easy way to learn things. An Earth Day can be a party that reminds us of what we know about living gently on the Earth and show us new things to do. People feel better after sharing a good time together. They talk and get new ideas to help the Earth. Then they have a good reason to act on what they learned. Just as the Fourth of July reminds us to love our country, Earth Day reminds us to love and care for the Earth and our fellow creatures. If every neighborhood lived in har-mony with nature, most of our environmental problems would be gone.
A stronger feeling of friendship on the block will make people feel better about their block. Stronger friendships on the block mean that people will look out for each other better. More people out doing things on the block can help reduce crime because people who want to steal don't want to be seen. There may be people who need help on your block. But if no one knows them, then no one can help. Your Earth Day will help people get to know each other.
No experience is necessary to put on a successful Earth Day. An Earth Day on the block is not much more involved than a block party with a theme. Just count the houses on your block or a small group of blocks. Then print up a flyer announcing a meeting where you can talk about how to do it. Be sure to invite the kids. This event could be a turning point for a young environmentalist. If you are a kid, try to get an adult to help you.
  Imagine some tables set up in the street or in one of the yards like a picnic. Some of the tables might have
displays and information on various environmental issues. (see, Resources Section) Neighbors would gather to eat and talk about the environment. After eating, people would head off to various places on the block to plant gardens or trees or pick up trash. Or the work part could come first and then afterward everyone could eat and talk about what they accomplished.

If you are a Young Earth Day Organizer, Here is How You Can Make an Earth Day on your Block Happen.

  First think about what you want to do.
  Do you want to make people aware of an endangered species or local species with an All Species Parade?  

Do you want to plant trees or a garden?


  Do you want to help neighbors save energy in their homes or yards?

How about putting on a play?

Do you want to set up a
compost demonstration?

Do you want to tell people about
household hazardous wastes?

These are just some of the possibilities for you to consider. You may have your own ideas. Or. . .

If you can't think of anything to do, start talking to other people. Do they have any good ideas?


  List all the ideas that you and your neighbors have come up with, and choose the ones you would like to do.

Then find an adult helper. It could be a relative or a neighbor. An adult can help you get things done like talking with sponsors or the city traffic department. You will needs an adult to sign the forms if you want to block off the street. Cities often provide barricades for blocking off streets but they usually require you to leave a deposit that is refunded when you bring them back.
Make a flyer about your ideas and pass them out to all the people in the area of your Earth Day. In the flyer, ask people to call or come to a meeting to give their ideas on how to make your Earth Day better.
Choose a date when the most people can attend. Earth Day is every day so your Earth Day celebration can be any day you choose. You never know what the weather will do anytime, so plan a rain date. At the meeting, figure out how many jobs there are to be done. Ask for volunteers for each job. Keep all neighbors informed about your plans. If your Earth Day plans affect them they will want to know. (Sample flyer enclosed)

If you don't have money for flyers you may have to do some fundraising. This means asking others for the money you will need to do a specific job. Call the flyer printer and see how much they will charge. Then you can tell your funders exactly how much money you need. Remember to tell your funders why Earth Day is important and thank them for their help.

  Remember, Earth Day is a community event.  Lots of people need to PREPARE, help out, and the come. EVERYTHING SEEMS TO TAKE LONGER THAN YOU THINK. PLEASE START EARLY
  Where can You Get The Things You Need for Your Earth Day?
  Some hardware stores might have an insulation or weatherization display that you could use.

Conservation departments or departments of natural resources have posters on various topics. How to plant a tree or how to build a compost area or how to insulate an attic would all be good.


You could make up your own posters or displays by getting some big pieces of cardboard from a grocery store or recycling center and gluing on pictures from magazines to tell the story you wish. You can get brochures or fact sheets from government agencies. Turn them into displays by copying them onto cardboard. Use your pictures as needed.

  See if you can line up a speaker on an environmental topic. Try your city's environmental department, the state conservation or natural resources department, universities or university extension offices.

If you get stuck check out the forum on our web site. You can write your questions for others to read and make suggestions

  Please let us know if you are doing an Earth Day in your neighborhood. We are interested in how this idea works. You can tell us about your Earth Day by writing us or putting it on the forum on our web site listed below.

If you think this is a good idea and helped you do something good for the environment you may send us a small donation. Donations help us get this and other ideas to help the environment out to people who can use them. Thank you.

Heartland All Species Project
5644 Charlotte
Kansas City, MO 64110

  RESOURCES   Back to Text

To help you get the information you need to help your neighbors learn about the environment. You may be able to get some posters from the organizations below. But many times you may have to take the information from a brochure and turn it into a display by copying it on large pieces of cardboard and adding pictures.

NOTE: This resource list was designed for use in the Greater Kansas City area. If you live outside this area you will have to look up some of the state or local resources for your own area.

You are your most important resource. Your caring about the Earth, plants, animals and other humans is very powerful in making changes. Your caring helps you find ways around obstacles. Always remember that you can make a difference.

A Friend
A friend who cares about things as you do can be a big help in organizing your Earth Day.

All Species Forum
Come visit us at the All Species Forum. A place to come and ask and answer questions, a place to tell others about your Earth Day, a place to meet others who care about the earth.--

Neighborhood Help
Talk to the people in your neighborhood organization if there is one. Call either the president or the person who works for your neighborhood. Tell them about your Earth Day ideas. Tell them that it will be like a block party with an Earth Day theme. Ask them if there is any way that they can help you.

To Block Off Your Street
To call the Public Works Department in Kansas City, Missouri, at 816-513-2682, for a permit so you can block off your street. . For other cities, look the Public Works department, listed under your city’s name in the blue pages of your telephone book.

Organizations That Have Environmental Information
The Missouri Department of Conservation has many pamphlets, posters and booklets on wildlife ecology. Some of the best booklets for supporting an All Species Parade from the Department's Conservation Education Series are about the ecology of forest and prairie regions. They are ECOLOGY OF MISSOURI FORESTS, PRAIRIE LIFE OF MISSOURI, and BIOGEOGRAPHY OF MISSOURI. Most of the Department’s materials are available to Missouri teachers free. Out of state there is a nominal fee. Contact the Missouri Department of Conservation, Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180. In Kansas City you can go to their office at 8616 E 63rd in the Brywood Shopping Center and see what they have. Their phone is 816-356-2280.

Bridging the Gap has pamphlets on various topics. They have a ecology-wise shopping guide, Environmental Excellence Campaign Pledges for individuals who want to make a difference, a household hazardous waste brochure, a MO-KAN Buy Recycled Directory and a pamphlet called Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. You can reach them by writing Bridging the Gap, Box 10220, Kansas City, MO 64110 or calling 816-561-1087. Web site

Cave Springs Interpretive Center has some nice posters showing various aspects of the environment. They can be borrowed for use in your Earth Day. Cave Springs Interpretive Center can be contacted at 8701 East Gregory, Kansas City, MO 64133 or you can call them at 816-358-CAVE. Web site

The Composters Learning Package - This three-part package was produced with the help of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. It contains an 18" by 18" full color poster, a 23-page study guide with four independent lessons, illustrations and references, and a 22-page coloring book with a color cover. Package components available separately and in bulk. $12.00 + $3.00 postage. Available from Stan Slaughter’s All Species Music. See next item below.

This tape includes songs that a group could learn and sing at your Earth Day. Rot N' Roll - Titles include: I am an Animal, Inch by Inch (The Garden Song), The Composters, Put Me in the Compost Pile, The Landfill Blues, Garbage, The Garbage Blues, The Recycle Shuffle, I am Recycled, I'm from the Earth, Let's Go Up to the Forest. $10.00 + $3.00 postage. Order from Stan Slaughter’s All Species Music, 3517 Virginia, Kansas City, MO 64109.

Mid America Regional Council has various pieces of information on environmental topics. They have information on air quality, water quality, household hazardous wastes, recycling sites, including motor oil, green purchasing, waste reduction and they have an on line newsletter on their web site. You can contact them by writing Mid America Regional Council, 300 Rivergate Center, 600 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64105 or calling 816-474-4240. Web site

Missouri Department of Natural Resources has information on preserving our natural resources including recycling, household hazardous wastes, composting, recycling and ground water. You can contact them by writing Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Box 176, Technical Assistance Program, Jefferson City, MO 64102 or by calling 1-800-361-4827. A listing of their publications can be found on their web site at\deq\tap\hometap.htm

The Region 7, US Environmental Protection Agency has information on many topics on environmental issues. We recommend that you check them out. Also, the EPA sponsors the President's Environmental Youth Awards for individual and group environmental projects. If you would like to enter your Earth Day on Your Block, ask them to send you an entry form. You can contact them at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 905 North 5th Street, Kansas City, KS 66101. The phone is 913-551-7003 or 1-800-223-0425.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service offices in the Kansas City area listed by counties. Find the county that you live in and contact them for information on conservation, soil, water, plants and wetlands.

  Cass County
Douglas County
Johnson County
Platt County
Shawnee County
Clay County
Jackson County
Leavenworth County
Ray County
Wyandotte County

University of Missouri Extension offices are at 1507 South Noland Road, Independence, MO 64055, 816-252-5051 and 2700 East 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64127, 816-482-5850. Web site

Kansas State Research and Extension has information on horticulture, agriculture, family and consumer services and home energy conservation. You can contact them at Kansas State Research and Extension, Courthouse Annex, 9400 State, Kansas City, KS 66112 or by calling 913-299-9300. Web site (Search by county.)

Kansas Wildlife and Parks has items that you can check out for your Earth Day and has information on wildlife, threatened and endangered species and planting for wildlife. Kansas Wildlife and Parks can be contacted at 14639 W 95th Street, Lenexa, KS 66215 or by calling 913-894-9113 Extension 13.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse has information on home energy conservation, alternative fuels, electric cars and many other energy saving ideas. You may contact them at Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse, Box 3048, Merrifield VA 22116, or phone them at 1-800-363-3732. Web site

Earth Day Web Sites
Earth Day Network
San Diego Earth Times and Earth Day
New York Earth Day Links
Earth Day 2000
Let Earth Speak, Earth Day Activity
The Wilderness Society's The Earth Day '97 Site

Other Informational Web Sites
Sierra Club, Kansas Chapter
Sierra Club, Missouri Chapter,

The Sierra Club is the largest grassroots national environmental organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and enjoying the environment on Earth.

Green Teacher Activities

Rocky Mountain Institute’s mission is to foster the efficient and sustainable use of resources as a path to global security and helps individuals and the private sector to practice new solutions to old problems. Information on energy saving appliances.

A Basic Call to Consciousness - The Iroquois address to the Western World (, a very interesting philosophy on nature.

Heartwood, Dedicated to preserving the central US hardwood forests.

World Resources Institute,, Information on environmental subjects.

Econet Environmental Headlines

For Giant Puppet Building and Theater Information
Brother Bread Sister Puppet, an 80-minute video of the 1988 Bread and Puppet Domestic Resurrection Circus showing pageantry created with giant puppets. Contact Jeff Farber Productions, PO Box 889, Montpelier VT 05602, 802-229-1145.

68 Ways to Make Really Big Puppets by Sara Peattie & The Puppeteers Cooperative. "Ten pages of ideas and designs for giant birds, beasts, monsters and people." Available for $4.00 post paid from Bread and Puppet Press, RD 2, Box 153, Glover, VT 05839

Engineers of the Imagination by Tony Coult and Baz Kershaw, Reprinted 1990 by Methune Drama, London. Distributed in the US by HEB Inc., 361 Hanover St., Portsmouth, NH 03801 The work of The Welfare State, a theater company founded in the 60s in Britain. It contains 272 pages of descriptions, photos and drawings that show all aspects of pageant production. Very creative and inspiring work.

Heartland All Species Project
5644 Charlotte
Kansas City, MO 64110

Written by Marty Kraft; illustrations by Les Cline (c) 1997 Heartland All species Project

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