Green Activities to Celebrate Earth Day
By Emily Krempholtz
Earth Day is coming up on April 22, and as we emerge from the forced cocoon of the pandemic, there’s more to be thankful for than ever. Make sure you take a moment to be grateful this Earth Day, and if you’ve got the time, there are plenty of ways to celebrate.
Celebrating Earth Day in Colorado
Go for a Hike
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting outside and exploring some of the breathtaking beauty of Colorado’s great outdoors? As spring launches into full swing, and hiking trails start to thaw, you’ll find more and more accessibility as each day passes, so take full advantage and get yourself outside. Colorado is home to thousands of miles of trails, 42 national parks, and 23 million acres of public land. While not all of them are fully reachable at this time of year, we guarantee some time outdoors will be just the thing you need to take in the fresh air and appreciate our beautiful Earth.
Earth Day Celebration at Garden of the Gods
Every year, Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs offers an Earth Day celebration. This free event, held at the visitor and nature center, will be held on Saturday, April 17, and features live demonstrations, a living history exhibit, solar system and geology hikes, and free grab bags so you can take home a sapling of your very own to plant a tree! Can’t make it on the 17th? The following weekend, on April 24 Garden of the Gods will host their semiannual Motorless Morning, an environmentally friendly event from 5am until noon that allows you to explore Garden of the Gods without the cars to distract you from their natural beauty.
Educate Yourself With the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Climate change is happening all around us, whether we like it or not, and this year, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is hosting a free webinar you can attend from the comfort of your own home to learn about it. With the help of Denver meteorologist Mike Nelson, and an incredible lineup of filmmakers and artists, you’ll learn about climate change and how to harness the arts to teach others around you about best environmental practices. Register for this free event here.
Plant a Garden
The average final frost date in the front range is around mid-to-late May, and up at higher elevations, it’s even later, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to get a head start on your garden for the season! Take a solitary moment to yourself, or get the whole family to help you plant cold-weather veggies like lettuce, beets, or peas; or start seeds for tomatoes, squash and other warm-season veggies in a sunny window in your home.
Appreciate Colorado, a “Green” State
Earth Day is only a few days after 4/20, right? Support a local dispensary, or book a dispensary tour from a company like Loopr, for a fun Earth Day experience.
Wild Earth Day at the Wild Animal Sanctuary
Located in Keenesburg, the Wild Animal Sanctuary is home to more than five hundred rescued animals, and is the largest carnivore sanctuary in the world! They focus on rescuing large predator species like bears and big cats who are ill, have been mistreated, or need new homes. Some of their residents include the animals from the hit Netflix docuseries, The Tiger King. This year, the Wild Animal Sanctuary is offering free admission to anyone who donates a bush or tree, which will later be planted in the animals’ habitats. More information about the event, and which plants they would prefer, can be found here.
Free Entry at National Parks
Every Earth Day, all the national parks in the US offer free entry. Yeah, that’s right—we said free. Did you know Colorado is home to four of them? This Earth day, explore some of the beauty and wonder of Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, or Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Earth Day is also part of National Parks Week, an annual event across the entire NPS system. Each park features different events and ways to celebrate—including virtual events if you don’t have time to get to the park itself!—with different happenings each day, so check out the schedule and see what’s going on!
Party for the Planet at the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center
On April 17, the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center will host their annual Party for the Planet from 4pm until 6pm, which will include activities like face painting, games, a raffle, and wolf tours where you’ll get to meet some of the residents of the center and learn more about wolves and conservation efforts in their favor. More information can be found here.
Enjoying nature is one thing, but showing your appreciation for the world around you is another fantastic way to celebrate Earth Day. Bring a bag on your hike or picnic and pick up litter when you see it around the trail or at the park. If you’re looking for something a little more structured, look around your local news and groups for a sanctioned Earth Day cleanup, which are held all over the state with the aim of taking care of our communities.
Whatever you do this Earth Day, make sure you take a moment to celebrate. And remember, even if the events are only held once a year, in Colorado especially, where we have such incredible nature, there’s no reason Earth Day can’t be every day.
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