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Earth Fest brings climate activists and nature lovers together

Volunteers from Antler River Rally cleaned up more than a dozen bags worth of trash from Ann St. Park in London, Ont. on Apr. 20, 2024. (Source: Brent Lale/CTV News London) Volunteers from Antler River Rally cleaned up more than a dozen bags worth of trash from Ann St. Park in London, Ont. on Apr. 20, 2024. (Source: Brent Lale/CTV News London)
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It’s a day to celebrate all things nature.

Saturday morning kicked off with different community groups helping to clean up garbage in parks and along the banks of the Thames River.

The Antler River Rally (ARR) team pulled more than a dozen bags of trash from Ann St. Park.

“We had 45 people registered for our cleanup today, which is a great turnout,” said ARR volunteer Justin Sim.

“It's nice to see everyone clean up this river. It runs all the way through the city and it's kind of the lifeblood of the city. So it's nice to have that cleaned up and clean up the watershed as well”

After the cleanup, various teams headed into downtown for the third annual Earth Fest.

The event at Citi Plaza had over 3,000 visitors and more than 100 exhibits in 2023, and expanded this year.

“It's a celebration of all the work that people have been doing and the action is happening,” said Mary-Ann Hodge, a co-organizer of Earth Fest and co-founder of Climate Action London.

“There are a lot of people who want to see more action on climate change and to help the environment but they don't always know what to do. So we are here to celebrate all the actions and all the activities that people do but also to connect people. It's actually also a great networking spot for all the environmental groups just to see what everyone is doing."

Among those in attendance were Jaclyn Winter and her daughters Charleigh, and Harper.

Jaclyn Winter, right, and her daughters Harper and Charleigh pose with their new Tulip Tree at Earth Fest in downtown London, Ont. on Apr 20, 2024. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)They were taking advantage of the free tree program.

 “It's kind of like a new family tradition,” said Winter. 

“We love nature, and we are always outside with the kids. We picked out a tree that's going to bring butterflies to the yard so the kids can experience butterflies."

Earth Fest also featured speakers, live music, kids' activities and exhibits.

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