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About Sickkids
About SickKids

April 22, 2010

SickKids celebrates Earth Day

It's easy being green. Just ask Rana Alhegagi, 9, a patient at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She was the lucky child chosen to take part in a tree-planting ceremony to commemorate Earth Day's 40th Anniversary earlier this afternoon. "Going green is fun," says Alhegagi. "I've never planted a tree before. I'm so excited."

The tree planting was just part of SickKids' fun-filled Earth Day agenda.

The day began early for Hospital staff who swapped four wheels for two and rode their bike into work – many had their photos snapped by members of SickKids' Green Team who were on the lookout for people doing "acts of green" throughout the day.

The action quickly moved to the Atrium where people walked through five educational booths detailing the ways SickKids is getting even greener. Info included the Hospital’s waste diversion and energy conservation initiatives as well as details about the new LEED-certified Research & Learning Tower (the groundbreaking of which happens on May 4).

Other booths were stockpiled with tips on how people can green their daily routines. Kids even got in on the action with a booth full of information about green, doable-at-home craft projects (tested yesterday at a special pre-Earth Day celebration in Marnie's Lounge and the Bear Theatre). Kids also received eco-themed colouring books (printed on recycled paper, of course).

But that wasn't all. The Women's Auxiliary filled an entire corner of the Atrium with used books they were selling – many were donated by SickKids staff throughout the day. Near the Terrace Café’s entrance, Plant Operations collected used clothing, electronics and household batteries. The first 250 donors received a seedling to plant in their own yard.

Patients and staff were even treated to a very special meet and greet with two Canadian Olympians - Chandra Crawford, a gold medal winning cross-country skier, and Devon Kershaw. During their visit, Crawford and Kershaw toured SickKids, signed autographs and chatted with patients about their future goals and dreams.

Their day wrapped up at the tree planting ceremony where they helped Alhegagi and Jeff Mainland, the Vice-President of Corporate Strategy & Performance at SickKids, plant SickKids' latest tree.

"It's so great to be here to celebrate Earth Day with SickKids," says Crawford. "The place was buzzing. It's been very exciting."