Earth Day falls on April 22nd but we love to celebrate so much in Minnesota, we celebrate all month long and into May. I think our love of spring may be the reason the Twin Cities Metro does not skimp on Earth Day activities and events. While this is a chance to teach our children about good stewardship of our planet, it is also the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy the long-awaited spring. Between mid-April blizzards, flooding and Covid, we haven’t had great luck with Earth Day Family Events recently, but we are cautiously optimistic for 2021 and will keep adding events as they are announced. Although, we do expect that many will be finalized later than usual this year.
About Earth Day
Earth Day Network’s first Earth Day was in 1970 and has been celebrated for over half a century. Its continuing mission is “to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations.”
101 WAYS TO HELP THE EARTH WITH DR. SEUSS’S LORAX
Read, 101 Ways to Help the Earth with Dr. Seuss’s Lorax, a new book about saving the earth by local author, Miranda Paul. The book offers easy ideas kids can do to make eco-friendly choices and nurture nature.
DIY EARTH DAY HIKES, WALKS & HUNTS
For the family who wants to get out and move while enjoying nature, Hikes, Walks & Hunts will get your family exploring Minnesota’s great parks. While the social events have been cancelled, you are not without family options.
- Choose from over 400 Parks for a great family walk or hike.
- State Parks and National Parks are particularly great for hiking.
- Twin Cities Quests and Treasure Hunts for Families
EARTH DAY & ARBOR DAY FAMILY EVENTS & CELEBRATIONS
We have a sampling of Earth Day family events here as well as some Arbor Day events to get you out with your kids and celebrating our environment this month.
If you prefer to celebrate Earth Day at Home, Gianna has gathered 22 Ways to Create a Meaningful and Easy Earth Day or most of these 65+ Fun Nature Play Ideas for Kids can be done at home or on your own.
May 20, 2022 | Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington
Save the date for this annual event. More details TBA.
What We Are Watching From Past years:
We expect to see many of these annual events back in 2022. We’ll update as activities and events are announced:
2022 TBA | Wargo Nature Center, Lino Lakes
This annual event has included service projects, trivia, picnics, gardening seminars, naturalist programs, Earth Day games and activities. (April 17-23, 2021)
Local Mall Events
In past years, several local malls have offered eco-inspired events, including the Mall of America, Maplewood Mall and Northtown Mall in Blaine. These events tend to be free and drop-in and are usually held on a weekend.
Various parks in the Three Rivers district traditionally offer events and activities. We’ll be watching for hikes, celebrations and other family fun to list. Find a full list of Three Rivers Parks here.
TBA | Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Roseville
This annual event traditionally includes live music, storytelling, earth-friendly activities, crafts and tours. (April 24, 2021)
2022 TBA | Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield
In 2021, Wood Lake offered geocaching to a designated point in the park and encouraged participants to collect trash along the route. 2022’s events will be announced with the spring brochure. FREE. (April 24-25, 2021)
2022 TBA | Fridley
I believe 2021 was the first annual EcoDash. Let’s hope it comes back in 2022. Teams of up to 8 people, participated in an interactive, ecological-themed scavenger hunt through Fridley. $25/team. Look for registration beginning in March. (April 24-25, 2021)
2022 TBA | Carpenter Nature Center, Hastings
In 2021, young birders under age 18 could submit a list of all birds they could see or hear within sightline of their own rooftop or within the boundaries of the park or nature center of their choice. It may return to just Carpenter Nature Center, stay tuned. Prizes for all participants. (April 24-25, 2021)
2022 TBA | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska
The Landscape Arboretum offered a self-guided tree trek all through 2021. Visitors could learn more about trees on the arboretum grounds and follow clues to find Arb the Tree Gnome with a print-ahead set of clues. Visitors could also find crafts, coloring pages and a seedling tree for their own yard. $15 for adults 16+; FREE children 15 and under. (April 30, 2021)
2022 TBA | Round Lake Park & Staring Lake Park, Eden Prairie
Pick up a map at one or both parks to take a self-guided walk that showcases various tree species around the lakes. Participants will also receive seed packets to take home and plant. (May 1, 2021; 9am-11am)
IHOB offered a 3-month series of FREE Artful Advocates Workshops for Kids n 2021. The puppet theater is in the midst of changes, so we will watch their 2022 offerings and share when we know more.
EARTH DAY EVENTS FOR PRESCHOOL KIDS
Age-appropriate Earth Day events for the youngest family members.
Several Three Rivers Parks offer programs for preschoolers age 2-5 and their parent to discover nature throughout the year, but with special Earth Day themes during April. Registration is required for these events and they usually cost $4-$5/pp (parent & child).
2022 TBA | Carpenter Nature Center, St. Croix
Listen to stories, spend some time outdoors, make an art or craft project a meet live animals. Pre-Register by calling 651-437-4359. 10-11am, $5/pp. (April 23, 2021)
Participate in free online activities from Tinkergarten or join an in-person class!
Westwood Hills has not offered its Earth Day/Arbor Day events in the last couple years, but we hope to see them back in 2022. Join the City of St. Louis Park in celebrating Arbor Day and observing Earth Day featuring live music and refreshments. FREE.
Kiddywampus has been known to offer eco-friendly or upcycled crafts for kids ages 4+. Drop in event. FREE.
The Minneapolis Arbor Day celebration moves parks annually and hasn’t been held for a couple years, but we hope to see something in 2022. Enjoy a street festival, help plant 130 new trees on 3rd Street and a variety of tree-themed art and activities. 4-8pm, FREE.
Arbor Day Celebration | McColl Pond, Savage
The City of Savage traditionally offers an Arbor Day celebration at McColl Pond. The past couple years, the celebration has been replaced with a tree sale, but we hope to see it back in 2022. Educational activities and raptor program.
Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield
Wood Lake Nature Center has offered events in past years. More recently, they have offered DIY activity suggestions. Maybe in 2022, we’ll have a chance to plant trees and pull buckthorn at Wood Lake.
Party for the Planet | Como Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul
This had been a Earth Day weekend annual event through 2019. While we’ve had a couple years off, we are watching for the Party for the Planet or similar event in 2022. Tons of free activities usually take place throughout the weekend, focusing on creative ways to conserve energy. Watch for an announcement a week or two in advance. 10am-4pm, FREE.
Hikes, clean ups and activities are often offered at various State Parks. Check the online calendar leading up to Earth Day. $7/vehicle permits required.
Garden Naturalists lead tours during EBWG’s open season. Some years, flooding or inclement weather has kept the garden from being open on time for Earth Day. Walk the garden trails while learning about and looking for spring wildflowers. FREE.
PARK CLEAN-UP EVENTS WE ARE WATCHING FOR
Even if your own park system has cancelled its park clean up event, you can grab your own gear and head out to clean up your own neighborhood or maybe just your backyard!
Stop into your selected cleanup site to check in with your site hosts and pick up bags and gloves. Then head out and clean up your park or neighborhood of choice. Registration required.
Earth Day cleanup in your local park or neighborhood. Supplies handed out at participating sites.
Offers several clean up events on their list of April Volunteer Opportunities in the Twin Cities. They also have a collection of anytime Family Earth Stewardship activities here.
The city of Blaine facilitates community members who want to organize a neighborhood cleanup. You select the date, time, and project. The city provides the supplies.
Bloomington – Parker’s Picnic Grounds
Join Parks staff for a garlic mustard pull, removing these invasive plants. Bring your own work gloves and face mask. Garbage bags and instructions will be provided. Meet in the parking lot. Register to Volunteer.
Brooklyn Park – Community Activity Center
Participate in the Community Clean Up.
Crystal – Iron Horse Park
Arbor Day Celebration and Park Cleanup. Help plant trees and clean up the park. 6-7:30pm, FREE.
Eagan – Holz Farm Park Clean Up Day
Do some light cleaning of the farmhouse, mulch/weed the gardens and/or general grounds cleanup. Register Online for event. Or Volunteer for ongoing spring cleanup opportunities at Eagan parks.
Residents are encouraged to wear work gloves and bring along trash bags to clean up parks and trails. More details to come in spring 2021.
Hopkins Valley Park Trash Cleanup.
Residents were encouraged to go out “Plalking” in 2020 (picking up litter while walking). Remember to wear gloves and take your trash bag with you or place it in a designated container. Please avoid playgrounds and observe social distancing.
St. Louis Park Creekside Park
Minnehaha Creek Cleanup | Volunteers will be divided into crews and cleanup begins promptly at 9 a.m., so make sure to arrive a little early. No registration is required. Gloves, waders, cleanup tools and disposal bags will be provided. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable work clothes. 9-11am.
Residents are challenged to pick up trash individually or with your household. Take a photo of what you collect and share online. Maybe even win a prize!
Tamarack Nature Center, White Bear Township
Earth Day Cleanup. Clean up the grounds and trails of Tamarack Nature Center.
Tamarack Nature Preserve, Woodbury
Annual Clean-Up Event. Volunteers are encouraged to explore and get a little dirty cleaning-up this hidden gem. Bring a bottle of water, garbage bags and work gloves. Signs will be posted near trail access points showing where collected trash can be left
Wargo Nature Center, Lino Lakes
Earth Day Service Project. Please call 763-324-3350 for details and to sign up. 10am-noon.
Woodbury Thrives Clean-Up | Ojibway Park, Woodbury
Bags, hand sanitizer, coffee and healthy snacks provided. Masks recommended. Register online, space is limited. 9am-11am. Questions: email email@example.com.