The Shedd Aquarium is playing host to what they hope is one part of a record breaking Earth Day celebration. On Sunday, Aprill 22, starting at 9 a.m., the lawns in front of the Shedd will be open for picnickers as part of Picnic for the Planet, a nationwide celebration put together by The Nature Conservancy. The picnic is slated to go for 24-hours. And by Monday, the Conservancy and its partners hope to set a record for the number of picnickers in a 24-hour period.
Bring your food, buy healthy snacks and learn a bit about the how food choices benefit the planet from Right Bite, the Shedd's sustainable seafood education program. Picnickers will also have the opportunity to meet and greet some of the aquarium's animal residents, learn more about Shedd's and the Conservancy's Great Lakes initiatives, take a tour of Shedd's gorgeous, chemical-free outdoor gardens and participate in hourly Q&A chats with conservation staff throughout the day.
Leading up to Earth Day, the Shedd has events planned for every day of the week.
On Tuesday, April 17 at 10 a.m., members of Shedd's staff along with local school children will join the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for some aquatic artistry with rain barrels. Aquarium guests will be able to observe and learn more about this easily-adaptable, at-home method for maintaining a more sustainable landscape as kids channel their inner Picasso with the splash of a paintbrush.
On Wednesday, April 18, the Shedd kicks off its annual Adopt-a-Beach season, with a group clean-up of 12th Street Beach. Volunteers equipped with tools will groom the beach for items not collected during regular cleanings. Experts from Shedd's Great Lakes conservation team will be on hand to guide volunteers throughout the event and discuss the importance of keeping the surrounding areas of Lake Michigan clean.
Since 2010, Adopt-a-Beach events helped Shedd collect more than 1,000 pounds of debris, involving over 1,000 volunteers! Check Shedd's website for regular updates about each event.
On Friday night, April 20, families can spend a night with the fishes. Bring your sleeping bag and your flashlights and immerse yourself in the underwater world with special experiences, games and hands-on, Earth Day-themed activities. A continental breakfast follows in the morning.
Clamoring to hit the beach? Show some love to the sandy shores you adore by participating in 2012's first Adopt-a-Beach Event on Wednesday, April 18 at noon at 12th Street Beach. The cleanup is the official kick-off of Shedd's annual Adopt-A-Beach season, which hosts clean-up events every month during Chicago's popular beach season.
A schedule of events is below:
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District rain barrel painting event
Tuesday, April 17; 10 a.m.
Location: Shedd Aquarium's North Terrace
Wednesday, April 18; noon
12th Street Beach
1200 S. Lynn White Dr. - On Museum Campus
PARKING: Pay and Display parking is available in front of the beach house at 12th Street Beach. Metered parking is available on Solidarity Drive.
To register, call (312) 692-2739 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishes for Fishes Family Sleepover
Friday, April 20; 6:30 p.m. - Saturday, April 21; 9 a.m.
Overnight option: $75 per person; $65 for Shedd members
Evening-only option (ends at 10 p.m.): $35 per person; $25 for Shedd members
To register, call (312) 692-3333 or e-mail email@example.com.
Picnic for the Planet
Sunday, April 22; 9 a.m.
FREE with regular admission to Shedd