Earth Day is this Thursday, April 22nd, and many environmental organizations celebrate all week long. This post contains the many events you have to choose from over the next week. But first, a little information about Earth Day.

Earth Day was initially created as a college teach-in day to increase public consciousness of the effects of air and water pollution. Further, the coolest part about Earth Day is that it all started with a Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson, in 1970. You can find more history about this worldwide event here.

The original Earth Day event achieved a rare political alignment as Republicans and Democrats alike worked together. Further, this alliance led to creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and several robust environmental protection laws. Therefore, without Earth Day, our ecosystem would be severely degraded. But there is more to be done. You can start locally by participating in these upcoming Earth Day activities.

Local Earth Day Events

Gateway Technical College EcoFest and Earth Day event

Join Gateway Technical College as they combine their Earth Day celebration with their annual EcoFest event, at Racine, Kenosha, and Elkhorn campuses. Each GTC campus will host drive-through activities from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Further, attendees will receive free giveaways and activity items as well as drop-off electronics to be recycled. There will also be an expo and presentations held online from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Find more information here.

Caledonia Conservancy Trail Clean-Up 

Meet the Caledonia Conservancy and 8th graders from St. Rita’s at McCalvy Tabor Woods, 5131 Tabor Road, at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 22. Adults are needed to help guide the 8th graders to spread woodchips on the trails. Further, wear long pants, gloves, and sturdy shoes. Depending on the weather, you may want to dress in layers. The Conservancy will provide tarps, wheelbarrows, and rakes. If you’d like to participate, contact Sandy DeWalt at sdewalt@wi.rr.com or call her at 262-909-4440.

Weed Out! Racine events

Garlic Mustard Pull
Celebrate Earth Day pulling invasive garlic mustard along the Root River Pathway in Colonial Park. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 22. Upon arrival, park at the far end of Lincoln Park, near the Steelhead Facility, then walk across the bridge into Colonial. Look for the Weed Out! Racine signs. Weed Out! Racine will provide bags and small shovels. Also, bring your work gloves if you’d like. Also, dress for the weather with long trousers and sturdy shoes with socks. Come when you can, leave when you must. 

Tree Planting in Colonial Park
In celebration of Earth Day, Weed Out! Racine will be planting small trees in Colonial Park. Tree planting will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 24. Participants will plant sugar maples, hickories, and several species of oak. Specialized skills are not required, but agility and attention to detail are essential. Further, meet in the parking lot at the west end of West High Street. Be prepared to mask up for instructions and equipment gathering. You can work individually or in groups of two or three. Again, dress for the weather, with sturdy shoes with socks and long trousers. Also, if you’re not available on Saturday, you can arrange a time the following week.

Any questions about either event, contact Melissa at melissa.warner3@a2q.com or 262 639-0918.

Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network Earth Day event

Root-Pike WIN invites you to ‘Plant the Pike!’. Join the Thompson & Associates Wetland Services team as they plant native trees and shrubs along the pike that will exist for years to come. Be sure to wear weather-suitable clothing, including work gloves and boots. Bring along your water bottle, a shovel, or trowel if you can (there is a limited supply available). Please mask and social distance per COVID guidelines.

  • Saturday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST 
    • Meet at 7580 Durand Ave in Mount Pleasant, WI
  • Thursday, April 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST
    • Meet at 7610 Braun Rd in Mount Pleasant, WI

For questions or the chance of inclement weather, please call Alice 414-750-7401 or Aaron 224-600-0523 at Thompson & Associates Wetland Services for instructions. Send an email to laura@rootpikewin.org if you plan to attend.

Racine Zoo events

Bird-watching with the International Crane Foundation
First is an event for the avid bird watcher. Join the International Crane Foundation and the Racine Zoo on April 17 to count cranes throughout Racine and Kenosha counties. Call the Zoo’s education center to sign-up for an observation location.

Party for the Planet with the Racine Zoo
Then, join the Racine Zoo to party for the planet this Earth Day! The celebration will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 24. The day will begin with free drive-through party packs to the first 200 cars from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. in front of the Racine Zoo. Then, enjoy crafts, games, and family fun from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. within the Racine Zoo. Learn more about the event here!

Annual Beach Clean-Up with Alliance for the Great Lakes
Finally, at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 25, join the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Racine Zoo for their annual beach clean-up on Zoo beach. 

Racine Zoo’s Annual Upcycle Drive
Also, from April 22 through April 27, the Zoo will be running an annual upcycle drive! To help create a better planet. Drop off any of the following items at the Zoo during regular business hours. Drop-off used clothes, shoes, accessories, handbags, bedding, linens, and even cell phones and tablets to be donated and recycled.

Email education@racinezoo.org or call 262.636.9189 for more information or to sign up for any of these events!

Stay connected with your community after Earth Day

Check out our events page and posts about upcoming spring and summer events. Did we miss any Earth Day events? Contact Katie Knoff at kknoff@racinecountyeye.com.


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