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 it’s our love of spring that may be why 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.
Celebrating 50 years in 2020, Earth Day Network’s first Earth Day was in 1970. 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.”
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.
EARTH DAY FAMILY EVENTS & CELEBRATIONS
These Earth Day celebrations are perfect for families with mixed ages. There is something for everyone and families can move at their own pace.
ONLINE: April 18, 2020: Earth Day Youth Birding Competition | Carpenter Nature Center, Hastings
Celebrate the many birds of Minnesota. 8am to 4pm. The online competition is FREE to all participants. Please email. RSVPs are required.
- Monday, April 20 – E-Learning Packet
Earth Week Craft (Download This PDF)
- Tuesday, April 21 – Storytime (Facebook Live at 11 am, Thank You, Earth April Pulley Sayre)
Crafts (Facebook Live at 3 pm, Blooming Flowers)
- Wednesday, April 22 – Animal Superpowers: Beetles and the Emerald Ash Borer (View anytime after 10 am)
- Thursday, April 23 – Your Anoka County Parks – Manomin Park (view anytime after 10 am)
A Quiet Walk in the Woods (Facebook Live at 1 pm)
- Friday, April 24 – Music in Nature (Facebook Live at 1 pm)
CURRENTLY ON: May 30, 2020: Art Start’s EcoArts Fest | Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington
A celebration of Nature through the Arts. Moved to the end of May in 2020. This isn’t really Earth Day anymore, but it also comes with less of a risk of freak snowstorms and April showers. FREE.
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 During Times of Social Distancing
EARTH DAY EVENTS FOR PRESCHOOL KIDS
Age-appropriate Earth Day events for the youngest family members.
May 11, 2020: Lowry Little Ones – Caring for the Earth | Lowry Nature Center, Victoria
For preschoolers age 2-5 and their parent – indoor activity stations, songs, stories, crafts and outdoor exploration. Registration required. 10-11:30am, $5/pp. Still on as of 4/17/20.
EARTH DAY PARK CLEAN-UP EVENTS
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!
April 15-May 15, 2020: Blaine Earth Day Cleanups
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.
April 19-April 25, 2020: Maplewood Residents are encouraged to go out “Plalking” (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.
April 25, 2020: Eden Prairie Park Clean Up Day
Still going, just observe social distancing and bring your own trash bags and gloves. Call 952-949-8463 by April 23rd for a park assignment.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board invited residents to participate in a Do-It-Yourself Minneapolis Earth Day Clean-Up anytime through the end of April.
No registration needed! Just follow these steps:
- Use a trash bag from home.
- Head to a nearby park or trail to pick up trash (while getting fresh air and exercise).
- Practice social distancing and other current COVID-19 guidelines. Learn more at MPRB Website.
- Share photos of your trash haul on MPRB’s @MPLSEarthDay Facebook page and get a prize!
Sat. May 9, 2020: Instead of the usual Hopkins Valley Park Trash Cleanup, residents are encouraged to take part in the Adopt a Drain campaign instead. Go to adopt-a-drain.org/, type in your address, and click on a storm drain near your home. Give it a name, and pledge to clean out the grate of sticks and trash for a year. Use a rake, gloves, and or a broom and dustpan to clear the debris from the top grate. Make sure to clear a drain on a side street, never the busy main streets. You can find more helpful tips at adopt-a-drain.org/#how-to-clear-a-drain.
- Adopting a Drain: It’s an easy and safe way to have a positive impact on our environment. You can do this anywhere, signing up through adopt-a-drain.org.
- Getting Outside and Enjoying Fresh Air: Bring a trash bag and gloves too! While keeping a safe distance, pick up debris around your neighborhood. Our wildlife thanks you in advance!
- Planting Natives: And getting a grant to do it through the state’s Lawns to Legumes program.
- Visiting earthday.org for more great ways to celebrate 50 years of Earth Day at home or while maintaining those all-important six feet between us outdoors.
CANCELLED TWIN CITIES EARTH DAY & ARBOR DAY FAMILY EVENTS
4/28/19: Park Clean Up Day | Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley | 9am-12pm | A variety of clean up tasks for volunteers, tools provided, limited number of gloves available (bring your own if possible), dress for the weather and long pants.
4/27/19: Battle Creek Cleanup | 9am, register online, space is limited
5/04/19: Holz Farm Park CleanUp Day – Register Online. Register for cleanup at other Eagan Parks any time at this same link.
5/04/19: Valley Park Trash Clean Up – Register Online. Clean up trash around Nine Mile Creek in Hopkins.
April 25, 2020: Arbor Day Tree Planting Celebration | Westwood Hills Nature Center
Join the City of St. Louis Park in celebrating Arbor Day and observing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day ft. music by Kidpower with Rachael beginning at 10 a.m. Refreshments will be provided. The event is free, but pre-registration is required. 9am-noon. POSTPONED INDEFINITELY.
April 19, 2020: Family Earth Day: Upcycled Windchime | Kiddywampus, Hopkins
DIY Upcycled windchime craft with found and discarded items like buttons, bottle caps, silver wear, keys, and more! Ages 4+. Drop in event. 12-1:30pm, FREE. CANCELLED.
April 19, 2020: Earth Day Celebration | Kroening Interpretive Center, Minneapolis
Naturalist led hike, self-guided nature exploration, art activities, face painting, and help clean up around the park while celebrating our Earth. FREE for all ages. CANCELLED.
April 24, 2020: Minneapolis Arbor Day Celebration | North Loop, Minneapolis
Enjoy a street festival, help plant 130 new trees on 3rd Street and a variety of tree-themed art and activities. 4-8pm, FREE. CANCELLED.
April 25, 2020: Arbor Day Celebration | McColl Pond, Savage
Educational activities and raptor program. 10am-12:30pm. CANCELLED.
May 4, 2020: Environmental Fun Fair | Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley
Kick off Arbor Month with a day of family-friendly environmental activities. 10am-2pm, FREE. CANCELLED.
May 6, 2020: Arbor Day Celebration and Park Cleanup | Broadway Park, Crystal
Family-friendly event includes a tree give-away, tree planting, information about trees and tree diseases and refreshments. 6-7pm, FREE. CANCELLED.
TBA: Party for the Planet | Como Zoo & Conservatory, St Paul
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. CANCELLED.
THESE ARE ALL CANCELLED, BUT YOU CAN STILL HIKE ON YOUR OWN – JUST FOLLOW SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HEALTH PROTOCOLS.
April 25, 2020: Earth Day Wildflower Walk | Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
Garden Naturalist will lead a wildflower tour. Walk the garden trails while learning about and looking for spring wildflowers. FREE. CANCELLED.
April 10, 2020: Preschool Story Time: Earth Day Celebration | Carpenter Nature Center, St. Croix Listen to stories, spend some time outdoors, make an art or craft project and meet live animals. Pre-Register by calling 651-437-4359. 10-11am, $5/pp. CANCELLED.
April 20, 2020: My Preschooler: Earth Day Celebration | Lowry Nature Center, Victoria Explore the farm and learn with your child through hands-on activities. Maximum of three children per adult. 9:30-11am, $6/pp. CANCELLED
April 27, 2020: Puppet Escapades – Climate Crusaders | Lowry Nature Center, Victoria
For preschoolers age 2-6 and their parent – watch a puppet show and explore activity stations. Registration required. 10-11am, $4/pp. CANCELLED
ALL OF THESE PROGRAMS ARE ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. HOWEVER, SOME PARK SYSTEMS ENCOURAGE FAMILIES TO WEAR GLOVES AND PICK UP TRASH ON THEIR OWN. THIS IS NOT A BAD WAY TO BE OUTSIDE AND STILL REMAIN APART FROM OTHER PARK VISITORS.
When the weather cooperates, these park clean up events can be a great way to get outside, greet the spring and clean up our neighborhoods.
April 11, 2020: Clean up the Park | Brooklyn Park, various sites
Families can choose a park or request an assignment. Clean up the Park Day is April 11, but can take place anytime between April and mid-May on the day of your choice. 1-3pm. FREE; Call 763-493-8333 to sign up.
April 18, 2020: Earth Day Clean Up | Fort Snelling State Park, Saint Paul
Learn more about your state park and trail system; grab you gloves, your pickers, and head out to the park. 10am-12pm. FREE, but a $7 vehicle permit is required. (Note: This was cancelled due to flooding last year. Check ahead before heading out)
April 18, 2020: Minneapolis Parks Earth Day Cleanup sites
No registration necessary. If you have further questions please contact Event Coordinator, Erica Chua at 612-230-6479. 9am-12pm.
April 25, 2020: St. Paul Citywide Cleanup – Cancelled.
Drop in to a clean up site between to help pick up the litter left behind after the snow melts. Check the link for a list of meeting locations to pick up bags and gloves. 9-11:30am.
May 2, 2020: Minnehaha Creek Cleanup | Creekside Park, St. Louis Park
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.
May 2, 2020: St. Anthony Village Earth Day Clean Up | 8-10am | Participating parks include Central, Emerald, Salo, Silver Point, and Trillium. Please bring gloves to this is a family friendly event. (This is separate from the City Clean Up Day on 5/4 when residents bring in items for disposal.) – Cancelled – To Be Re-Scheduled to Summer/Fall.