The Homewood Science Center celebrated Earth Day with the Nordson Green Earth Foundation on Saturday, April 22. Nordson junior board members highlighted how every action, big or small, can make a difference in protecting and preserving the planet.
Families and attendees who came to the event learned how people worldwide could and have come together to clean up parks and beaches and plant trees.
In boosting tree and green space equity for Chicagoland areas and communities, Nordson Green Earth Foundation’s program centered on and discussed the importance and benefits of native plants, pollinators, tree equity and the organization’s role in advocacy.
The benefits of native plants naturally grown in specific regions are that they acclimate to their local environments, making them resilient and requiring less water and maintenance than non-native plants, according to the presenters.
They also provide essential habitats for local wildlife, including pollinators like butterflies and bees; without native plants, pollinators would struggle to find food and shelter. Many fruits and vegetables we eat would only exist because of pollinators. Many pollinators are in decline due to habitat loss and pesticide usage, so planting more native plants in our gardens and parks to provide habitat and food for these essential creatures provides benefits.
“I have always been interested in trees and plant life, and learning how many redline areas within Chicago encouraged me, even more to get interested,” said Nikhil Raichand, a junior board member.
The Nordson Green Earth Foundation’s mission is working towards funding tree-planting projects in communities that do not have access to tree equity, the concept that everyone should have access to the benefits of trees, regardless of where they live. Benefits include cleaner air and water, reduced energy costs and improved mental and physical health.
Alexander Patris recently joined the organization’s junior board and added, “I have always been interested in nature and environmental sciences.” “Learning the Miwakiky method (method and process of particular soil and planting proves to be competitive growth where trees grow faster, and dramatically reduces the time it takes for trees to grow.) but also the benefits of learning and knowing our forests native plants, pollinators, helps further our goal upkeeping for communities.”
Additionally, attendees received small plant cups with wildflower seeds to plant, handouts on properly planting your flowers were available, and an activity table for younger children to color and draw.
Homewood Science Center’s Executive Director Edie Dobrez said the event is part of a series that helps the community regularly have fun and learn science.
“STEM Saturdays is an excellent way for families to be further involved in inspiring scientific wonder, land learning,” she said. “It also services opportunities for organizations like Nordson Green Earth Foundation’s youth members to participate and make a difference.”