PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Heights Public Library focused their Earth Day celebration, Saturday, around renowned artist Preston Jackson.

Preston’s ‘Shirley Armstrong’ sculpture was installed at the library in 2022.

Library director Shawn Edwards said the sculpture is an important environmental statement about a very vulnerable species, the sperm whale.

It’s filled with plastic bottles to show that plastic pollution is a silent killer.

Edwards said they wanted adults and children alike to realize how important it is to treat the environment with respect.

“Probably a lot more focus on it now because people are concerned about the environment and climate change, global warming,” Edwards said. “I think just because we’re having Earth Day doesn’t mean that Earth Day is not every day.”

According to Edwards, families showing up at the library to celebrate Earth Day tells him that people are concerned and willing to learn more.