Learn how to save the planet — and have a little fun, too — at the 2019 Earth Day Event at the Ogden Nature Center.

The annual event will begin at 11 a.m. and continue through 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at the center, 966 W. 12th St.

Brandi Bosworth, public relations coordinator for the nature center, said the Earth Day celebration has been held there for about the last decade and a half.

“Our prior event had been the Summer Solstice Celebration, but that had started to get a little tired,” Bosworth said. “That one felt like a big party, and we wanted our events to meet our mission to unite people with nature and help them in their stewardship of the environment. Earth Day was a perfect fit to build an environmentally aware community.”

Saturday’s event will include environmental experts offering everything from “Composting,” “Beekeeping” and Ending Plastic Pollution” workshops to seed exchanges, “Species Invaders Challenge” and “Leave No Trace” discussions. Green gurus will be on hand to offer conservation help, and a water-wise perennial plant sale will be held.

Of course, that’s not to say the center’s annual Earth Day Event isn’t a great big ol’ party, too. Events on the fun side will include a solar telescope, storytelling, a climbing wall, nature crafts, a puppet-making workshop, face painting, live animal presentations, a children’s hour, and entertainment from the likes of the Celtic Beat Irish Dancers.

“Our tagline is ‘Come learn and play,’ Bosworth said. “It’s a perfect combination of serious topics like solar and recycling, and fun topics like stories and art. It’s just a really fun spring day.”

Earth Day is usually one of the two big Ogden Nature Center events of the year — the Halloween-themed “Creatures of the Night” being the other. Together, the two dates are the biggest public days for the center, according to Bosworth.

The center’s annual Earth Day Art Poster Contest will be on display in the L.S. Peery Education Building, and winners of the contest will be announced in a ceremony at 11 a.m. that day. Theme of this year’s event, which drew almost 600 entries, is “Earth’s Pollinators.”

The poster display will be on exhibit through the end of May.

Also on exhibit during the Earth Day event will be the 2019 Birdhouse Competition and Exhibit, with more than 150 birdhouses on display. Some of them will be for sale.

Center officials recently announced the winners in the annual birdhouse competition. Out of 109 entries received, more than 30 winners were awarded prizes in categories for children, young adults, groups, and adults.

Best-of-show was presented to Michael McAulife for his birdhouse titled “143.” The house was made from scrap redwood with carvings, entrances and other creative features.

Other top awards went to Rebecca Green of Ogden, Greg Shreve of Ogden, and Steve Hurd of Farr West.

Winners in the children’s category were Mia Travis of Syracuse, Araya Ornelous of Ogden, Savylle Barlow of Hooper, Emilia Jamieson of Washington Terrace, Eastan Trinnaman of Layton, and Jerzi Stapley of Ogden.

Young-adult category winners were Jackson Barber of Huntsville, Paige Cook of Ogden, Meleah Creager of Eden, Lily Weyland of West Haven, and Atziry Melgoza of Ogden.

Group award winners included Linda Zeveloff and Wayne Aprill of Ogden, Robert Hartman and Chris Harper of Kaysville, Fairfield Village Assisted Living in Layton, Weber County Elections Team in Ogden, and Vanessa McEntee and Colton Murphy of Salt Lake City.

Adult award winners were Toni Sorensen of South Weber, Jeff Bennett of Willard, Laurelai Bunker of Ogden, Elliot Hulet of St. George, and Karl Marriott of Ogden.

Special recognition awards went to Cheyenne and Heather Davis of Plain City, Lacie Verhaal of Huntsville, Claire Henderson of Kaysville, Larry Isom of South Weber, and Niki Barwick and Krystal Neumayer of Ogden.

The birdhouse show will continue on display through June 29 at the center, 966 W. 12th St.

Admission to the Ogden Nature Center’s Earth Day Event is $4 per person, and Bosworth said the event will be held “rain or shine.” Attendees are also encouraged to get into the spirit of Earth Day by using alternative transportation and carpooling for the event.

Bosworth said Earth Day is an integral part of the mission of the Ogden Nature Center.

“The earth is our greatest asset and resource,” she wrote in an email to the Standard-Examiner. “It provides for our mental and physical needs in every way. For sustenance, goods, recreation, happiness — it all comes from the earth. That’s why the Ogden Nature Center presents a huge Earth Day fair, to create a nature-minded community … a community that comes together to preserve, protect, love-up and give back to the earth.”

For more information on any of the center’s events, visit www.ogdennaturecenter.org or call 801-621-7595.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/MarkSaal.

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