Blue skies with a few picturesque clouds set the scene for an Earth Day celebration at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Families spent Sunday afternoon wandering through the gardens, listening to music and learning a thing or two about improving their carbon footprint.
"We are trying to energize the Birmingham community to do your part," said Andrew Krebbs, director of marketing and membership for the gardens. "It doesn't take a lot to change the world. You can start by turning off the lights when you leave a room."
About 1,500 people fought major traffic on U.S. 280 and through Mountain Brook to attend the event. It featured 41 different organizations available with information booths and other activities. The nearby Birmingham Zoo offered free admission, which, combined with the Earth Day celebration, backed up traffic for miles.
"I would say both of us are benefiting from opening our doors on the same day," Krebbs said. Attendance at the gardens was up from last year's celebration.
Activities for children included making natural bird feeders from pine cones and peanut butter and using flowers and vegetables as natural dyes for artwork.
The Redmont School had a booth with activities for children, such as making art from vegetables and flowers. Emily Wolfe, enrollment and marketing manager for the school, said the Earth Day celebration was a good fit for the school and a chance for children to create art in a different way.
"We integrate art in every subject," she said. "Art is not a separate subject."
Declan Yearwood of Sustain Building Group introduced himself as a green builder. He was volunteering with the Green Resource Center for Alabama. The group, located in Homewood, has become a resource center for people who want to know about better environmental practices, and what they can find locally, in terms of groups and businesses, to put those in place....
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