Roaring River State Park will celebrate Earth Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. All community members are invited to attend the event, which will be held at the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center off of Highway F in the park.
"This will be a good opportunity for visitors to see things that we don't normally have on exhibit and do some things in the park that we don't ordinarily offer," said Tim Smith, park naturalist. "We will have fun activities, and visitors will learn how they can help protect the environment."
Community members who attend the event will have the opportunity to build birdhouses and nesting platforms that will be donated to residents in Joplin.
"This will help restore some of the wildlife that was impacted by the disasterous tornado that hit Joplin last May," said Smith. "We will be potting trees and shrubs to donate to the residents of Joplin as well."
Representatives of the Missouri Department of Conservation will be in attendance at the event to distribute additional trees. Visitors will be invited to take the trees home for planting in their yards or to pot and donate to the Joplin area.
Barry Electric Cooperative will offer an electric exhibit, which will provide information on energy efficiency, said Smith.
"We will show the video about the Roaring River spring and have other special exhibits and activities throughout the day," said Smith.
"We hope community members come out to learn how they can reduce their energy demands and electric bills," said Smith. "We also hope that they learn what we are doing as a state park to reduce our energy dependency. The exhibits will also offer information on recycling and other activities that can help wildlife and people in southwest Missouri who have been impacted by natural events."
Smokey Bear will make an appearance at the Earth Day celebration. Parents are invited to bring their cameras for photos with Smokey.
The event is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks. The Missouri Department of Conservation Forestry Division and the United States Forest Service will assist with the event.
For more information, call the nature center at 847-3742.