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Back to nature



Do you have a sense of adventure? Do you love being outdoors? Are you looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day? Well, look no more. Get outside with your family and friends and enjoy fun activities at the brand new Earth Day Family Fun Fair in West Des Moines.


Earth Day Family Fun Fair will be held on April 23 at the West Des Moines City Hall pond.

“It’s important to celebrate Earth Day because it’s a great way to bring people together outside to learn more about the Earth,” said Jodie Weeks, West Des Moines Parks and Recreation supervisor. “The Earth Day Family Fun Fair is a new event for us.”

A variety of businesses and sponsors will be on hand to help make the Earth Day Family Fun Fair special. Participants are also encouraged to try canoeing, kayaking or fishing on the City Hall pond (weather permitting). Earth themed arts and crafts will be available as well as games.

Prep Iowa

“This event will be educational and fun for the family with activities for all ages… from the arts and to canoeing,” Weeks said.

REI of West Des Moines will be in on hand at the event to teach a backpacking basics class from 10:30–11:15 a.m., which includes an overview of planning, preparation and gear. CanoesREI and Polk County Conservation will also be leading a seed bombing activity for kids. For those unfamiliar with the term, seed bombing is a technique of introducing vegetation to land by throwing or dropping compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation (seed balls).

The Iowa Environmental Council will also be at the Earth Day Family Fun Fair with an educational display booth with handouts and fliers for the public. Kids will be able to make turtles out of egg cartons, a Lorax paper plate craft, an Earth handprint craft and binoculars made out of toilet paper roles, which can be used for the scavenger hunt.

Best of all, there is no charge.

“This event is free, and participants may come and go as they please,” Weeks said.Fishing 2 “Nothing special is needed. Remember to dress accordingly to the weather.”

In case of inclement weather, the arts and crafts, seed bombing, backpacking class and display booths will be moved indoors to the West Des Moines City Hall Council chambers.

Additionally, John Olds, the Urban Forestry supervisor with West Des Moines Parks and Recreation, will be available to discuss tree-related issues, including threats from insects and diseases, species selection, planting tips and tree maintenance. An Arbor Day recognition will also be held with tree planting and free bare root seedlings.

In addition, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Trees For Kids Program is providing 200 bare root seedlings free of charge that will be distributed at the event.

“The biggest takeaway is to simply get outside and enjoy nature through the participation of the outdoor recreation activities like canoeing, kayaking and fishing with your families,” said Weeks. CV


Earth Day Family Fun Fair

April 23, 9 a.m. – noon

West Des Moines City Hall City Hall pond, 4200 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines


Note: Iowa residents and nonresidents 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license while fishing and have paid all applicable fees.


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