Regina residents took time to appreciate the planet on Friday, as part of Earth Day celebrations.

It has become an annual tradition for the Saskatchewan Youth Visual Arts Project to present their awards on Earth Day.

Alyssa Magnusson, a grade 12 student at Lebodus High School, was awarded first prize for her artwork, titled “Relief.” She says the piece was inspired by the wheat field that is her backyard de ella and aimed to remind people that “we are a part of nature.”

“Our prairies are a big part of what Saskatchewan is,” said Magnusson. “It’s home for me. It’s where I go to feel comfortable, it’s where I go to relax and take a breath of fresh air.”

Although not an official holiday, Earth Day is an opportunity for people to go out of their way to connect with the planet and remind themselves of the impact humans have on it – both good and bad.

To help visualize the impact, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum opened a new exhibit: Home: Life in the Anthropocene. Visitors of the gallery are plunged into a deeper understanding of how Saskatchewan is connected to global climate issues.

“We want people to realize, ‘we’re dealing with some really challenging things,’” said the museum’s curator of human ecology, Glenn Sutter. “But there’s room for optimism because we’re creative as a species.”

“Hopefully we can find a way to live well in this new epic.”

The City of Regina used Earth Day to reiterate its Energy and Sustainability Framework. The framework is set to turn Regina into a net-zero community by the year 2050.

It includes the generation of renewable energy, retrofitting buildings to make them more efficient, switching the city fleet to net-zero emission vehicles and promoting the use of active or public transportation.

“Investing in the planet is what the framework is all about,” said Greg Kuntz, Regina’s manager of energy & sustainability solutions. “But it’s also about investing in our city and our economic prosperity and our environmental prosperity.”

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