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Celebrate Earth Day 2014 at Central Florida parks

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Earth Day celebrations in Central Florida parks invite everyone to explore, enjoy and protect our natural environment. First celebrated in 1970 when Senator Gaylord Nelson founded April 22nd as the official Earth Day, the designation is recognized worldwide as a call to learn about, seek solutions and act upon the planet's problems of air, water and soil pollution.

Since the official Earth Day falls midweek, celebrations have been moved to the weekend to allow for more participation. The following are some of the events scheduled to take place around the Orlando area.

Hontoon Island State Park - April 19, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. there will be live music by The James Brothers, crafts and games for children, ranger led nature hike on the island, live native animal exhibits from the Central Florida Zoo, a naturalist from Lyonia Preserve, an archeologist from The Florida Public Archeology Network and more. The Blue Heron River Cruise will offer a 4:00 p.m. one hour cruise to the first 49 people to sign up (a suggested donation of $10.00). The event is free and more information can be found on the state park website.

Lake Eola Park - April 19, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. there will be many activities centered around sustainable living and ecological education. Central Florida Earth Day is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, smoke-free event presented by Vegetarians of Central Florida and held annually for the past nine years. There is a full schedule of environmental speakers, musical acts, cooking demonstrations, children's activities and yoga instruction. Vendors and educational booths will line the sidewalks with food and information. Learn how to make paper mushrooms to be part of the Doug Rhodehamel mushrooms art installation. For more information about this free event visit the Vegetarians of Central Florida website.

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