Earth Day 2021 - How To Maintain A Safe, Happy & Healthy Gathering
Earth Day is on Thursday, April 22. Just like millions of folks around the world, the staff here at Fit and Fun Playscapes is getting ready to show our support of the only planet (currently!) we call home.
However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we've had to adapt to the "new normal," which means following social distancing guidelines down to the county (or even town) level restrictions on public gatherings. The good news is that the CDC (Centers For Disease Control) is here to help!
The CDC's Readiness and Planning Tool provides "ways event planners and administrators can help protect staff, volunteers, and attendees and slow the spread of COVID-19. This tool includes the following:
• General Readiness Assessment
• Preparing for If Someone Gets Sick
• Daily/Weekly Readiness Assessment
• End-of-Day Actions and Resources
Please refer to the CDC's "Considerations for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings" document, updated 3/8/21, which is a comprehensive database of tips and protocols for ensuring safety for large events -- such as earth day activities may bring.
"This guidance is intended for those who are planning a large event, such as sporting events, concerts, festivals, conferences, parades, or weddings," the document states. "CDC also has resources for those attending large events and visiting with family and friends."
How To Have A Safer Large Gathering or Volunteer Event
The CDC offers alternatives for in-person large gatherings, in addition to general safety guidelines like wearing a mask, maintaining a distance of six feet from those you don't live with, and washing your hands.
Have A Virtual Gathering
One excellent alternative for in-person earth day 2021 events is to hold a virtual gathering. Virtual gatherings are excellent choices because they allow you to socialize with other people (which is, you know, good) while remaining in the comfort (and relative safety) of your own home. Earthday.org offers an awesome checklist on how to plan a virtual earth day gathering, which you can find by clicking HERE.
Hold An Outdoor Gathering
The CDC states that if you must have an in-person gathering for earth day 2021 (or any event, for that matter) gatherings held outdoors are safer than indoor gatherings. An outdoor gathering is theme-fitting for earth day, but do consult healthcare professionals before you opt for this option.
If an outdoor gathering is the option you choose, be sure that masks are required and are properly used at all times. In addition, six feet of distance should be maintained between individuals who do not live in the same household. If the event is a ticketed event, or there are vendors present, contactless payment methods should be used instead of cash.
The good news about an outdoor gathering is that it opens a brand new world of activities that fit the earth day theme. For instance, you can:
Planting trees is the perfect socially distant earth day activity, as it combines theme and safety all in one. It's also an earth day pastime -- when most people think of earth day, they think of planting trees! Talk to your local parks & recreation department to see where you can organize an event to plant trees and ask your local nurseries if they would be willing to donate saplings to the cause.
Go on a nature walk!
Nature walks are another earth day pastime and require little to no upfront cost. Simply gather a socially distanced group of individuals and head to your local nature preserve, forest, park, or wooded area and follow the trails! Nature walks are also an excellent activity for school-aged children.
Create a garden!
Creating a garden is an awesome activity for nearly everyone. It's an excellent at-school activity, as it maintains social distancing guidelines and gets kids outdoors and moving, and it's also a great community activity, as it allows safe and socially distant interaction between community members. Gardens also have a ton of variability -- you can plant a flower garden, a vegetable garden, an herb garden, an English garden, etc.!
Create outdoor activities!
The ability to paint fun outdoor games and activities have saved physical education, wellness and recess for schools and programs across the country. Volunteer groups are do-ers and COVID-19 wouldn't stop those really passionate about their endeavors. Painting stencils outside can be conducted adhering to all COVID-19 guidance and, once painted, most of them require little or no equipment.
What are you doing for Earth Day this year? Let us know!