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Earth Day Festival in Bozeman to focus on wildlife and feature multiple types of events

The Earth Day festival in Bozeman is on Saturday, April 22 at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture.
The Earth Day festival in Bozeman is on Saturday, April 22 at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture.

The theme of this year’s Gallatin Valley Earth Day festival in Bozeman is celebrating and supporting wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem - the Last Best Wildlife Habitat in the Lower 48. Anne Ready is the festival's founder.

“Underlying all of this we really just want people to become more aware as I did after I moved here of the uniqueness and specialness of this place for wildlife and for the greater Yellowstone ecosystem and really appreciate it and love it,” she said.

The Gallatin Valley Earth Day festival started in 2019 at the Bozeman Public Library. The festival has grown from a one-day event into producing workshops and programming in the months leading up to Earth Day.

Last year the Earth Day event had more than 1000 attendees. This will be the festival's second year at the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture.

“On the Earth Day itself I think we’re going to have about 40 exhibitors all the way from composting to wildlife organizations to the MSU students bringing their solar car again,” Ready said.

Earth Day talks run from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and cover topics like landscaping for birds, living in bear country, and bison, among others.

“It’s going to be a talk about bison by Dr. Jim Bailey who is an authority on bison, retired professor from Colorado State. The title of the talk is ‘After 85 years of frustration can we return public wild bison to the CMR (Charles Russell National Wildlife) refuge?’” Ready said.

The non-profit Mountain Time Arts will have a booth at the Emerson where attendees can make an art project that the audience will use to participate in the unveiling of a new public artwork that evening.

“Revitalize Relatives” will be installed along the railing of the pedestrian bridge over Bozeman Creek that leads to city hall. A release says the installation will encourage the community to reflect upon Indigenous history of land and water in the area. A ceremony will be held at the city hall parking lot at 5 p.m. with guest speakers including MTA Executive Director, Francesca Pine-Rodriguez, Artists Ben Pease and Jim Madden, Mayor Cyndy Andrus and Marsha Small.

The Gallatin Valley Earth day festival goes into the evening hours on Saturday with a variety show at 7:30 p.m. that will feature live music and a game about wildlife crossings.

A full lineup of events can be found here.

Olivia Weitz covers Bozeman and surrounding communities in Southwest Montana for Yellowstone Public Radio. She has reported for Northwest News Network and Boise State Public Radio and previously worked at a daily print newspaper. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom Story Workshop.