What can you do and where? – Great Lakes Now

In-person events are back as people slowly reintroduce themselves to dining in, large gatherings and a return to the office.

But even as indoors it becomes less taboo, let’s not forget the great outdoors, which served us well over the past two years. And what better time to show your gratitude to the parks than Earth Day.

The annual event, with this year’s theme of “Invest in our Planet,” is on Friday, April 22. But if Friday doesn’t work too well for you, there’s still plenty else to do this month.

Great Lakes Now compiled a list of events from around the Great Lakes region. The list is far from a comprehensive one, so be sure to check out your local watershed councils and environmental organizations for more events!

Earth Day events 2022 by state and province

Regionwide:

Join your local Rotary Club in their efforts to organize a regionwide group cleanup of all five lakes from Saturday, April 16 to Saturday, April 23.

One of the larger US-based Earth Day organizations has a handy interactive map showing affiliated Earth Day events internationally.

Earth Day Canada also has a calendar of Earth Day events people can participate in.

Illinois:

Join the Chicago Park District and Friends of the Parks on Saturday, April 23 for a citywide parks and preserves clean up. Registration is not required, and a list of sites will be posted online.

Celebrate all Earth Day weekend at the zoo with educational activities, games and crafts. Special events run from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24.

Indiana:

Join the celebration on Saturday, April 30, for an exhibition, vendors and a rain barrel-decorating contest for K-12 area schools.

If April’s too busy of a month for you, Earth Day Indiana has it covered by holding their festival on Saturday, June 4.

Michigan:

Pick up a litter while exploring the park on Saturday, April 23, as part of the Belle Isle Conservancy’s ongoing #KeepBelleIsleBeauitful campaign.

Join the coalition for an Art+Earth exhibition at the Belle Isle Aquarium from April 22 to 24. You can also join one of the seven cleanups planned for Saturday, April 23 with Belle Isle Conservancy, Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Outdoor Adventure Center, Friends of the Rouge, Friends of the Detroit River and Ecorse Creek Committee.

On April 21, the Sault Tribe Health Education and the Advocacy Resource Center teams will come together to share Anishinaabe land teachings, share about tribal sovereignty and share the origin story of the three sisters. There will also be Indigenous-inspired Earth Day activities.

Minnesota:

Celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22 with songs, stories and collective actions of care.

New York:

Join Genesee County’s parks and rec department in a night hike through the forest on Friday, April 22. Afterwards, join them at the cleanup at the DeWitt Recreation Area on Saturday, April 23.

Learn about pollinators, decorate a hive for rescue bees, donate to the nature book drive and more on Saturday, April 23.

Ohio:

Leading up to the celebration filled with local music, food and drinks on Saturday, April 23, Earth Day Columbus has a range of cleanups, tree plantings, community gardening and community science opportunities running throughout the month of April.

Show up on Sunday, April 24, for an eco-fair, marketplace, free tree and more.

Ontario:

The coalition’s Ontario cleanup was on April 9, but join the Essex Region Conservation Authority for a tree planting on Sunday, April 24.

Pennsylvania:

Join the Governor’s Residence for a virtual Earth Day event including learning activities and a virtual exhibit hall.

Wisconsin:

Head on over to one of more than 80 locations in the Milwaukee River basin on Saturday, April 23. Milwaukee Riverkeeper will provide the gloves, trash bags and free shirts to boot, attendees just need to register and show up ready to work. After the cleanup, join their Rock the Green Earth Day celebration.

The event returns after a two-year hiatus with tree planting, removing invasive plants, litter cleanup and more on Saturday, April 23. Check out the WDNR website for a full range of Earth Day events and activities.


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Featured image: Lake Superior from Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Mich. (Photo Credit: Zosette Guir/Detroit Public Television)

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