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RACINE, KENOSHA COUNTIES — Each year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 as a way to bring attention to the environment and also as a way for people to invest in the planet.

There is no better place to get involved in Earth Day activities than the state the holiday was founded in. That’s right, in 1970, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson – native Wisconsinite and the 35th governor of Wisconsin – founded Earth Day as a way to raise awareness about air and water pollution.

In Racine and Kenosha Counties, there are several events dedicated to Earth Day, happening on April 22. Check out what is happening locally and ways that you can get involved in advocating for the environment.

Local Events:

1. Neighborhood Clean-up and Gardening Project

On Earth Day at the Dr. Thelma Orr COP House, 1146 Villa Street, and at the RUGN Villa Street Garden, there will be a fun and free community event to attend from 9 a.m. to noon.

This event is sponsored by the Racine Police, Racine Neighborhood Watch, Voices of Black Mothers United, and Racine County.

The project aims to unite and make a difference on Earth Day. Attendees are asked to dress for the weather and bring work gloves. In addition, they ask people to bring a garbage bag or two to fill. Some gardening tools will be available in the shed.

Learn more on Facebook.

2. Drop off event: ‘Re-Use Your Shoes’ program

The City of Racine Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PRCS) will host a drop-off event on April 22. at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 1134 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

All brands of used athletic shoes are welcome. Dry and mud-free athletic shoes are requested.

“Re-Use Your Shoes” welcomes donations of used athletic shoes to their organization. By doing so, the shoes do not end up in a landfill. Instead, shoes can be used to create new sports surfaces such as playgrounds, courts and tracks.

Shoes not accepted are shoes containing metal, cleats, spikes, flip flops, sandals, heels, dress shoes and boots, shoes in plastic bags, or shoes tied together.

Athletic shoes can be dropped in barrels between 10 a.m. and noon.

3. Earth Day Sound Bath

Local business, Wings of Fire Healing, 524 Monument Square Unit 209, is hosting an Earth Day Sound Bath as a way for people to relax and appreciate the Earth.

The event will start at 10 a.m. and be led by Kristina Watanabe.

Tickets are available for purchase for this grounding experience. Learn more on our website.

4. Work Play Earth Day

In-depth coverage of this opportunity has been covered on the Racine County Eye. Read below for details about Work Play Earth Day.

Work Play Earth Day volunteering at Wisconsin State Parks on April 22

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officially announced the return of Work Play Earth Day volunteer opportunities are taking place this April at Wisconsin State Parks. Earth Day is observed on April 22. Wisconsinites have several opportunities to celebrate through acts of service at Wisconsin State Parks. In addition, there are plenty of outdoor…

Read this article

5. Hike at Richard Bong State Recreation Area

Two hikes will take place at Richard Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road, with a naturalist as the guide. The will be an Early Bird hike happening at 7 a.m. and another hike happening at 1 p.m. at the park.

Even if people cannot attend these group hikes, people are welcome to explore the park on Earth Day.

6. Weed Out Racine with the Root River Council

The Root River Council is inviting the public to join them at Colonial Park, 2300 High St., on Earth Day to remove invasive species.

The goal is to improve the conditions for trees that were planted in 2019.

They ask people to dress for the weather and bring their own gloves. Tools will be provided. Learn more about the event here.

7. Party for the Planet

The Racine Zoo is partying for the planet with a series of events.

First, the Racine Zoo, 2131 N Main St., will host Zoorific Saturday on Earth Day. Stop by for a day of giveaways, crafts and games.

Staff will be present at various tables throughout the complex to help educate and inspire visitors to become passionate about the environment. Zoorific Saturday activities are free with regular Zoo admission. 

In addition, on April 22-23, the Racine Zoo will collect shirts, blouses, suits, skirts, pants, shorts, dresses, jackets, coats, warm-ups, underwear, bras, slips, pajamas, paired socks, paired shoes, sheets, bedspreads, blankets, curtains, drapes, towels, and washcloths. This is in partnership with Milwaukee Textile Recycling.

Please put all items in plastic bags. Donations will be provided to low-income families or repurposed. Drop-off bins are located at the Zoo.

Learn about another event that the zoo will host later this month on their website.

8. Celebrate Earth Day at Gateway

In-depth coverage of this event has been covered on the Racine County Eye. Read below for details about the activities and events happening at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha and Elkhorn.

9. Earth Day at Pringle Nature Center

On Earth Day, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Pringle Nature Center, 9800 160th Ave., in Bristol, there are free events happening for people of all ages. No registration is required.

People are welcome to learn about how they can help the earth by recycling.

In addition, people are welcome to pick up a free tree sapling, visit the StoryWalk trail, attend Nature Story Time, or help the center protect native habitats at the first invasive species workday of the year.

The event is made possible by the Wilmot Union Green Thumbs Club, Kenosha Youth in Governance, and local volunteers.

10. Free Kids’ Event at RK News Hallmark

Children and their families can celebrate Earth Day at RK News Hallmark, 5914B 75th St., in Kenosha.

The event will kick off at 10 a.m. and feature a day of fun with story times and crafts led by Lisa Craft the creator of The Traveling Trunk.

Then at 11 a.m., those attending the event will begin creating floral sun catchers. More information about the event can be found online.

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