Mermaids walk Crandon Park Beach promenade, volunteers work bay and beach clean-up, while the band plays on at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center’s “EarthStravaganza!”

Environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s long, productive life is testament to the idea that one individual can make a big difference in this world.

From the preservation of the Everglades, to the founding of the Biscayne Nature Center, and countless projects in between to advance environmental and social justice causes, Marjory was a tireless crusader.

She is our guiding force and inspiration for “EarthStravaganza!” our Earth Day Celebration held on Saturday, April 20, that encouraged children, adults, and families to take action to protect, preserve and celebrate our precious natural resources.

During the morning’s Youth Service Earth Fest, presented in partnership with Miami-Dade County Department of Parks Recreation and Open Spaces, volunteers tackled a number of projects around the Biscayne Nature Center and Bear Cut Preserve.

Projects included beach clean-up, sand dune restoration, debris removal from mangroves, butterfly garden restoration, and rain barrel decoration.

In the afternoon the Festival Eco-Village opened for attendees to embark on nature tours in the Bear Cut Preserve, participate in free kayak clinics to navigate ocean waters, and learn how to help the environment from our partners’ educational exhibits.

Children enjoyed a variety of arts and crafts projects made from recycled and re-purposed materials, including popular toilet paper roll mermaids. The grand finale of the day was the Mermaid Parade, a fin-tastic celebration of healthy clean oceans along historic Crandon Park Beach Promenade.

The parade march was a colorful and harmonious rallying cry to take action to protect our oceans and its precious marine wildlife. Led by Queen Mermaid Alexa Holloway of Key Biscayne and King Neptune DJ Rabre Jr. from Miami EcoAdventures, the lively parade summoned beachgoers along Crandon Park Beach to enjoy the pageantry and take notice of the urgent need to save our seas.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center is grateful to the Key Biscayne Community Foundation for its support of “EarthStravaganza!”

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