Inside the Outdoors to celebrate Earth Day with interactive community events

Volunteers for Inside the Outdoors cleanup event

Every day, Inside the Outdoors, a program administered by the Orange County Department of Education, embraces the spirit of Earth Day through its dedication to environmental education and action. 

As April 22 approaches, the global observance of Earth Day presents an opportunity not just for reflection but for active engagement in nurturing and safeguarding the planet. 

The Inside the Outdoors — often referred to as ITO — staff aims to empower communities with the knowledge and tools necessary to become stewards of the environment through a series of events throughout the month. Each opportunity is designed to foster environmental awareness and action. 

Eco Challenge logo

This April, ITO invites educators to take part in the free EcoChallenge program, designed in partnership with Orange County Waste & Recycling for grades K-12. Now in its third year, the program equips local teachers with comprehensive resources designed to enrich classroom learning while promoting waste diversion and recycling efforts. With lesson plans, student activities and family involvement opportunities, the program fosters a culture of environmental responsibility from an early age. 

Teachers who register and implement the challenge this month with their students will automatically be entered into raffles for giveaways from the Los Angeles Angels and Anaheim Ducks. The first drawing is on April 12. Prizes include autographed memorabilia such as jerseys, baseballs, hockey pucks and hats. For more information, visit the EcoChallenge webpage. 

Here is a list of events that the Inside the Outdoors will be leading and participating in to celebrate Earth Day: 

Earth Day event at Coronet Park on April 20
Inside the Outdoors, in collaboration with the city of Westminster, the Municipal Water District of Orange County, and other partners, will host an Earth Day event at Coronet Park located on 15251 Coronet Ave. Activities include tree planting and beautification efforts to enhance the park’s environment.

Anaheim Union High School District’s STEAM-A-PALOOZA event on April 20
The annual event is a district-wide open house that showcases students, each campus’ respective career technical education pathway and STEAM-related activities. The community is invited to this free event at Loara High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 20. The ITO team will host a booth with some animal ambassadors.

Carver Elementary School’s STEAM night on April 24
ITO joins partnering organizations such as the Santa Ana Zoo, Aquarium of the Pacific and OC Parks to engage the Carver Elementary School community in a STEAM night. Through interactive activities, participants will learn about safeguarding ocean and land habitats.

OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors has been a leader in hands-on science and social science programs since 1974. The mission of the program is to empower students, teachers, parents and the community to explore natural areas and expand their knowledge, understanding and stewardship of the environment. To learn more about Inside the Outdoors, visit the ITO website.