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Earth Day events in Chicago and take a selfie for NASA

Actors Curtis Harris, Sydney Park and Amber Montana attend Nickelodeon Get Dirty Earth Day at LA Zoo March 9, 2014.
Actors Curtis Harris, Sydney Park and Amber Montana attend Nickelodeon Get Dirty Earth Day at LA Zoo March 9, 2014.Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Nickelodeon

Where are you on Earth right now? This year NASA encourages selfies in their worldwide invitation for those selfie photos individuals take.

The annual Earth Day event is celebrated April 22. In local communities around the globe, Earth Day events are held.

NASA is going to create an image of Earth from the ground up while they foster a collection of portraits of the people of Earth in this global selfie photo program for Earth Day. Once the pictures stream around the world on Earth Day, the individual pictures tagged #GlobalSelfie will be used to create a mosaic image of Earth – a new "Blue Marble" built bit by bit with individual photos.

Since 1970 Earth Day celebrations have continued to grow. Some of these events go for 7 continuous days constituting an entire Earth Week.

· The Adler Planetarium is hosting special family programs on April 22 with tips on ways to protect the environment and more, throughout the facility from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

· In the Chicago communities, the Chicago Park District along with Friends of the Parks, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and the Cook County Department of Environmental Control are planning and organizing Earth Days events for Saturday, April 26, from 9 a.m. – noon. Volunteers are encouraged to get out and clean and green their neighborhood parks and preserves.

· The Chicago Botanical Garden is holding a special Earth Day guided tour starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. Meet at the ‘What’s in Bloom’ cart in front of the Visitor Center and take a special guided walk through McDonald Woods. The walk is free and lasts approximately an hour.

· On Sunday April 27, the Brookfield Zoo will wrap up the week with an all day ‘Party for the Planet’. Activities include kite flying demonstrations, a free recycling event, entertainment, a tour of their eco expo and a special focus on African Painted Dogs.

What is Earth Day? It all began as a day of education about environmental issues. A democratic senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson announced the Earth Day concept at a conference in Seattle. It was the fall of 1969 and the entire nation was invited to get involved.

The History Channel states that “In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities.”

In honor of Earth Day, PBS will broadcast A Fierce Green Fire on Tuesday, April 22 at 9:00 pm. (Check local listings). This film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and won worldwide acclaim. It chronicles one of the largest movements of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st. Written, directed and produced by Academy Award-nominee Mark Kitchell, American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism from the 1960s – 2009 and connects the major causes of environmentalism, from conservation to climate change. Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones and Isabel Allende narrate this one-hour documentary.

Visit NASA for information on participating in the #GlobalSelfie. For other information on all these Earth Day events, check the websites above or visit EarthDay.org.