Connect with the environment with the 11th Annual Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration featuring exhibitors, entertainment and activities on April 16 at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Rd., Valparaiso. The event is free and open to the public. The event takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST).

The event has drawn more than 3,000 visitors in the past and the first 300 families will receive a complimentary reusable bag.

Bring along the family to enjoy live animal shows with Silly Safaris at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. "Something Pinterseting" will offer hands-on activities from the ReUz Room in Hammond; the do-it-yourself projects are at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Additional activities and exhibits include a school rain barrel design contest, birdhouse building, Dumpster Drummers and an alternate fuel vehicle display.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County hosts this year's event where attendees are encouraged to bring used eyeglasses, hearing aids and bicycles to be recycled and given to people in need.

Artworks from recycled materials will be on display as part of the Re-Think Art Competition and Exhibit. Recycleman will be on hand at the event helping others learn how they can become "green" superheroes.

Kathy Sipple, founder of, an online community, and the host of the award-winning podcast 219 GreenConnect will present "What is a timebank?" and show residents how to get involved at 9:30 a.m. on stage. A timebank is a network of people that have agreed to earn and spend hours to meet the needs of friends, neighbors and the larger community. Participants contribute or "bank" hours, presenting their offerings and talents for other members to request.

Learn more by visiting or calling 219-465-3819.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life by providing service and educational programs which help residents reduce, reuse and recycle.

The 2016 Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration is supported by the following sponsors: NIPSCO, Metro Recycling, NWI Clean Air, Duneland 28, Pratt Industries, Fronius USA LLC, Porter County Expo, Republic Services, Tradebe Environmental Services, and many others.