2023 Earth Day is Celebrated All Month at the Library

Thursday, April 6, 2023
Earth Day graphic

The Library is excited to offer resources and a month of activities in commemoration of Earth Day 2023 on Saturday, April 22.

Since April 1970, Americans have used the occasion to raise awareness and inspire action aimed at protecting and saving Earth’s natural resources. In 1990, Earth Day went global.

Now, according to EarthDay.org, "Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes."

Book & Film Suggestions


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Events & Activities

Family Video Vault: March of the Penguins

Saturday, April 8, 2023, 2-4 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. | Durwood Film Vault

Heartland’s Future: How Can We Live Together on a Changing Planet?

Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
Southeast Branch | 6242 Swope Pkwy.
A group of German students share an innovative mobile exhibition about climate change with Kansas City! Visitors can interact with the exhibition, participate in meaningful discussions, and learn about the impact of climate change on their community and the world at large. 

Climate Change Discussion

Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 4-5 p.m.
Southeast Branch | 6242 Swope Pkwy.
Engage with new perspectives and explore ways to address the issue of climate change. We will explore thought-provoking solutions, practical actions, and the latest research.

Heartland’s Future: How Can We Live Together on a Changing Planet?

Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Trails West Branch | 11401 E. 23rd St., Independence
The student-produced museum on wheels moves from the Southeast Branch to Trails West, offering the same insights into climate change and its impact.

Family Film Vault: The Lorax (2012)

Saturday, April 15, 2023, 2-4 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. | Durwood Film Vault

American Wild Ensemble Presents: Owl at Home

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 1:30-3 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. | Helzberg Auditorium
A trio of musicians from the American Wild Ensemble presents a new musical adaptation of Arnold Lobel's Owl at Home by composer John Liberatore (professor of composition at the University of Notre Dame). Enjoy the quirky domestic adventures of the charming Owl, all set to colorful and enchanting music and narrated by the composer himself.

Sunday Cinema: Silent Running

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 2-4 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. | Durwood Film Vault

Homeschool Hangout at Central: Arts and Crafts

Thursday, April 20, 2023, 1-3 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. | 2nd Floor
Make a collective collage of the earth, creating a giant globe for a Library wall. Also, craft with discarded books and make a button, sticker, or poster to take with you.

Friday Night Family Fun, Spring: Earth Day

Friday, April 21, 2023 | 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Plaza Branch | 4801 Main St.
Learn to start plants and make kites with recycled materials. Also, make a seed bomb.

Bookmobile at Native Plant Event with Department of Conservation

Saturday, April 22, 2023 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center | 4750 Troost Ave.
The Bookmobile staff will provide free book giveaways, activities, and information about Library services.

Party for the Planet

Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kansas City Zoo | 6800 Zoo Dr.
With zoo admission, learn about conservation, pollinators, and the migration path of monarch butterflies by visiting booths from local organizations. Learn how to attract pollinators to your garden by taking home a native plant seed packet to plant in your garden. Library staff will hand out the Library’s native plants coloring book and seed library bookmarks.

Taking It to the Streets: Rethinking Mobility in America’s Cities

Thursday, April 27, 2023 | 6-7 p.m.
Plaza Branch | 4801 Main St.
In the latest installment of the Library’s Making a Great City series, University of Virginia transit historian Peter Norton examines the need to revise our concept of city streets. They’re now so car- and speed-centric that they deter walking even where it would be a practical (and more affordable and sustainable) mode of everyday mobility.  

Bookmobile at Nature Club/Green Works

Saturday, April 29, 2023 | 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center | 4750 Troost Ave.
The Bookmobile will give away books, sign you up for a library card, and offer other activities. Green Works in Kansas City provides nature discovery for underserved youths in grades 4-7.

Family Video Vault Presents: Wall-E

Saturday, April 29, 2023 | 2-4 p.m.
Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. | Durwood Film Vault

Missouri Native Plants Coloring Book

A big part of the Library’s mission is putting knowledge in the hands of patrons, regardless of the size of those hands. The Missouri Native Plants coloring book, available for free at all 10 Library locations or via download, does just that.

three coloring books stacked on table with crayons and markers
open coloring book with crayons

The plants, insects, and birds featured in the book’s 17 pages live in or drop by the prairie garden on the Central Library’s Rooftop Terrace, a favorite local destination since its opening in 2004. Clare Hollander, the Central Library’s youth services manager, says that the book is for her youngest patrons, but she certainly doesn’t exclude older people who are interested in being able to discern a foxglove beardtongue from a meadow rough blazing star.

The beauty of the rooftop prairie changes with the seasons. "Something’s almost always blooming," Hollander says, "But if you don’t know what you’re looking at, in the offseason it can look like a bunch of weeds when it’s really a bunch of native plants that have gone to seed."

If visitors know they’re not looking at a “bunch of weeds” but a native habitat critical to the entire biosphere, they’re more likely to pay attention when that bit of earth and its inhabitants are threatened.

Hollander and  Emily Altman co-created the coloring book and this scavenger hunt for younger patrons. Altman is a computer lab associate at the Central Library and an award-winning illustrator. Missouri Native Plants is the Library’s latest coloring book, with the others focusing on women’s history.