by Jennifer Smarr

War, social turmoil, and environmental catastrophes in the 1960s catalyzed large groups of people, termed “hippies,” to call for action. They envisioned a world of peace, a world of love regardless of ethnicity and cultural background, and a world in which humans maintained a symbiotic relationship with Earth. Of this movement, Earth Day was born on April 22nd, 1970. Although it began as a grassroots movement, Earth Day is now a global celebration that aims to bring awareness to environmental issues and foster appreciation for our home planet. You can learn more about Earth Day by exploring the Louisiana Library Connection database World Book Online! Your Rapides Parish Library will be observing Earth Day throughout April with various programs intended to emphasize environmental topics in a fun, creative way.

Enjoy the outdoors, and Louisiana’s richly diverse culture at the Friends of the Rapides Library sponsored French Heritage Festival that will take place at the Kent Plantation House on April 9th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Louisiana’s Spring temperatures are perfect for a day of egg-pacque competitions, Cajun food, Cajun music, dance instruction, bourrée, and more.

Children will utilize STEM concepts on April 1st at Westside Regional Library while building a terrarium during the Children’s STEM class. On Earth Day, April 22nd, they will enjoy a fun Children’s Earth Day Craft at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch. Grownups can encourage them to delve deeper by visiting Scienceflix with your library card online; there are fourteen Earth Science units to interactively explore!

Teens will re-think recycling by crafting cute upcycled garden planters on April 22nd at Westside Regional Library. They can, then, discover more crafty upcycling projects by checking out ebooks like Modern Upcycling by Susanna Zacke or The Upcycled T-Shirt by Janelle Montilone on the Hoopla streaming service. 

Adults will receive in-depth information about planting a garden on April 5th and animal science on April 19th at Westside Regional Library during the CenlaSTEM sponsored Lifelong Learner speaking series. Engaging related reads are just a few steps away in our adult non-fiction collection at each branch location!

Additional Earth appreciation activities intended for all age groups include a DIY decorative flowerpot craft at Johnson Branch on National Gardening Day, April 14th, Earth Day conservation packets at Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch on the 22nd, and an Earth Day Book Swap at the Alfred Boyce Wettermark Branch!

Whether you’re an old “hippie” or an Earth appreciating kid, we hope that you will take the time to increase your awareness of our home, Earth, with RPL this month! And, of course, always strive for peace and love! For more information on all programs hosted by Rapides Parish Library, be sure to visit the event calendar at

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