Earth Day celebrated at two area parks

Jacob Montaya with sons Isaac (left) and Zachary, attend festivities at Keizer Rapids Park.

RJ Navarro with Xochi and Miguel, along with pet Lalo, at Keizer Rapids Park.

Ella Haupt and Joey Askey help plant native plant species in rain garden at Keizer Rapids Park.

Sage Kiernan and Jadrian Teunissen plant native plants in rain garden.

A bird watching tour led by Salem Audubon Club included (from left) Marci Kraft, Cynthia Raczko, Carolyn Homan, Mike Unger (guide), Kristy Fisher, Steve Plekan, Chris Peterson and Dominic Valenti.

Messages to Earth Day events at Keizer Rapids Park were written in chalk on pathways.

Indy Gauthier held a baby goat at Marion County Environmental Services’ Earth Day held at Spong’s Landing Park.

Zeke Gilbert, 5, of Keizer gets his face painted at Spong’s Landing Park on Earth Day.

Arabell, Jeff and Desi Campbell, of Dallas, enjoy free ice cream on Earth Day at Spong’s Landing Park.

Organizers of Marion County’s Earth Day event at Spong’s Landing Park were (from left); Tom Kissinger, county parks supervisor, Yancee Gordon, communications coordinator and Dakota Tangredi, county sustainable materials specialist.

Memphis Quackenburch (rear) with Will Quackenbruch and Lucy Weyerhausen.

Earth Day 2023 was celebrated on Saturday, April 22 at two events—one at Keizer Rapids Park and one at Spong’s Landing Park.

Sponsored by the City of Keizer and its partners, the event at Keizer Rapids Park expected to more attendees than in recent years.

Activities included litter clean-up in the park, bird watching hikes led by the Salem Audubon Society, planting of native plants in the park’s rain garden as well as a number of seminars and demomstrations.

The city was joined by Willamette Riverkeeper, the Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association, Oregon State Parks, Marion Soil and Water Conservation, Cherriots and the Claggett Creek Watershed Council.

About a mile up river at Spong’s Landing Park (a county park off of Windsor Island Road), Marion County held an Earth Day event, including hands-on and participation stations.

Organizer Yancee Gordon, a communications coordinator, said the message of the Earth Day event is, “Love where you live; take care of where you live.”

“We start with the fun stuff,” Gordon said. “Face painting and baby goats, and hope the education follows.”