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6 free events for youth, families on Earth Day in Metro Vancouver

Just a few of the free things your family can do to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday in the Lower Mainland.

With Earth Day upon us on Saturday, our theme for Metro Vancouver's special weekend edition is ‘We are all wildlife’.

While it highlights serious issues — like the threat of to our iconic southern resident killer whales, or a look at microplastics from our clothing in the world’s oceans — it’s not all doom. It's also about hope and includes ways for people to take action at a neighbourhood, community and family level.

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One way to engage is is by getting your entire family involved. Here are just a few of the free things your family can do to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday in the Lower Mainland:

Vancouver Earth Day parade

This annual youth-led celebration has live music, activities and art-making. Parade starts 1 p.m. at Commercial-Broadway Station; festival at Grandview Park until 5 p.m. Organized by Windermere High School’s Youth for Climate Justice Now. More information is available here.

Surrey Party for the Planet

Billed as “B.C.'s largest Earth Day celebration,” this festival is at Surrey City Hall Plaza (13450 104th Ave.) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can meet animals, see a bird of prey demonstration, or watch acrobats and musicians. More information is available here.

Richmond Earth Day Youth Summit

This annual event is by and for youth in high school and elementary grades "that promotes environmental awareness and action." It will be held at Hugh Boyd Secondary School (9200 No. 1 Rd.) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features inspiring youth keynote speakers David Isaac (First Nation Renewable Energy Lab), and Abhayjeet Singh Sachal, a TEDx Talk speaker leading Seaquam Secondary School's environmental club, who traveled to the Arctic with Students On Ice. More information is available here.

Wreck Beach cleanup

The Pacific Spirit Park shoreline is an important ecosystem at the entrance to the Fraser River. Surfrider Foundation’s cleanup volunteers will meet at 11 a.m. at the top of stairs to Wreck Beach, UBC (trail six, Northwest Marine Drive near University Boulevard). Bring gloves and closed-toe shoes. More information is available here.

Stanley Park celebration

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Stanley Park Ecology Society invites familes to enjoy “hands-on ecology,” help restore and conserve local nature, and visit a great blue heron colony. Starts at Nature House on Lost Lagoon (712 Lost Lagoon Path). More information is available here.

UBC seed library launch

"Seed lending libraries allow anyone to 'borrow' seeds free of charge," UBC explains. "Our seeds come from the UBC Farm, West Coast Seeds, and the BC Eco Seed Co-op."

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, at Wesbrook Community Centre (3335 Webber Lane), UBC invites anyone interested to a family-friendly celebration — and even help "get your garden started."

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