Saving Our Earth
The many ways Milwaukeeans can pitch in
As I was walking the dog, I noticed aluminum cans lying in the street. I shook my head in disgust; those cans would end up in the river or the lake. “Someone should do something about it,” I thought, but I had a realization: “If I’m not part of the solution, I am part of the problem.” I decided to pick up those cans as my small part of the solution.
Earth Day celebrates those tiny solutions each of us can contribute to our incredible, magnificent planet. Want to join your tiny solution with your neighbors’? See below for a list of Earth Day and Arbor Day events that offer a chance to get active in your community. Don’t forget to check your community for events in your area.
If you can’t make it to Earth Day or Arbor Day events, here are some ways to celebrate at any time:
1. Learn more about climate change.
2. Advocate for the Earth and the people who live here.
3. Plant a tree.
4. Support your local farmers, buy a CSA, visit a farmers market and know where your food comes from.
5. Support fair trade and ecofriendly businesses.
6. Help environmental organizations raise funds.
7. Share your stories and commitment on social media.
8. Walk or bicycle to school or work, or the store, if you can.
9. Help clean up your neighborhood. If you see some trash, pick it up. Organize a neighborhood cleanup day. Make a party of it. You’ll meet your neighbors, have some fun and help out your community.
Clean Water: The New Gold?
UW-Waukesha, 1500 N. University Drive
April 20, 4:30-9 p.m.
The UWW Ecology Club sponsors an evening of panel discussions on water policy with representatives from Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Central Sands Water Action Committee, Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Initiative and other organizations. Alongside the discussions, an environmental fair includes booths from dozens of non-profit organizations and businesses concerned with the ecology of Southeastern Wisconsin.
Recycle More Wisconsin
April 20 & April 21
The organization encourages people to recycle more and to recycle properly. Already in progress, their Earth Day campaign is using social media to get the word out about recycling. Visit their website, recyclemorewiscsonin.org, or their Facebook page, facebook.com/recyclemorewisconsin, to find out about recycling opportunities and how to recycle properly. Recycle More Wisconsin is organizing several events. On Thursday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. take a tour of the Milwaukee Recycling Facility (MRF). Registration, closed-toe shoes and an hour of your time are required to tour MRF. It’s free, so visit kgmb.org to sign up. On Friday, April 21, 9 a.m.-noon at Dunn County Transfer & Recycling Station (E3900 WI-23, Menomonee), Recycle More Wisconsin hosts the Dunn County Highway 12 Clean Up.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper 22nd Annual Spring River Cleanup
April 22, 9 a.m.–noon
Volunteer with Milwaukee Riverkeeper to clean a river near you. Choose form more than 50 locations throughout the Milwaukee River Basin. Garbage bags and gloves will be provided. Bring a water bottle. Visit milwaukeeriverkeeper.org/annual-spring-river-cleanup to register or call 414-287-0207. Then, join your fellow volunteers to celebrate the cleanup with Rock the Green in Estabrook Park from noon-2 p.m. There’ll even be a pedal-powered stage.
Friends of the Hank Aaron State Trail (FOHAST) Earth Day Clean-Up
Sign-in at Miller Park across from Palermo’s Pizza
April 22, 9 a.m.–noon
Volunteering at this event helps the Hank Aaron State Trail and surrounding waterways stay clean and beautiful for users like you. You’ll clean up the trail, the riverbanks and the river itself. For more information about volunteering, contact:
Jill Maertz—FOHAST Events/Outreach Coordinator
To volunteer, email or call: firstname.lastname@example.org; 414-840-1710
Melissa Cook—Trail Manager WDNR
Earth Day of Service
Urban Ecology Center at Menomonee Valley, Riverside Park and Washington Park
April 22 9 a.m.-noon
Join the Urban Ecology Center at one of their three locations for their Earth Day of Service. Bring your friends and spend a morning cleaning a park, followed by a community lunch. At Riverside Park, family hikes and “mini” service projects are also available at 9:30 and 11 a.m.
Stick around and help feed the animals. Visit with the snakes, frogs, fish and turtles and help them get their lunch from 1-1:30 p.m. at Menomonee Valley and Riverside Park, and 1-2 p.m. at Washington Park. Visit urbanecologycenter.org for details about Earth Day and a comprehensive schedule of their events and services.
Re: Craft & Relic Spring Show
Milwaukee County Sports Complex, 6000 W. Ryan Road
April 22 & 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
You’ve heard of reduce, reuse and recycle. Now, introduce yourself to reuse and upcycle. Local artists create art for home and body by taking the old and tired and making it fresh and new. You’ll be stunned by the how the artists take what we might call junk and make beautiful art. Visit recraftandrelic.com for more details.
March for Science
Red Arrow Park, 2-5 p.m.
Join the nonprofit, community effort to support science. We know that climate change and science go hand-in-hand, so stand up with scientists everywhere to advocate for it.
Click here for details: facebook.com/events/404002266600901.
Clear Lake Earth Day Celebration
Clear Lake Community Center, 560 Fifth St. NW, Clear Lake
April 22. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
The celebration honors Wisconsin’s Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day. The event will feature speakers on topics such as green cleaning, energy, recycling and more. There’ll be activities for the kids, cooking demos, food, and the event kicks off with a pancake breakfast for a free-will donation. It’s free, so if you’re in Clear Lake, don’t miss it.
Sheridan Park, Picnic Area #1
April 22, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cache In Trash Out (CITO) is the effort of the worldwide geocaching community to protect the environment by improving parks and other local, natural areas. Going with this theme, this year’s project is to clean up Sheridan Park. They’ll provide the trash bags, water and snacks. You provide your own gloves (if necessary) and the people power. Visit wi-geocaching.com for more details.
Menomonee Falls River Cleanup Event
Rotary Park Shelter, Fond du Lac Avenue north of Lilly Road
April 22, 9 a.m.-noon (Registration at 8:15 a.m.)
Help clean up the rivers and parks of Menomonee Falls in honor of Earth Day. Bags and gloves will be supplied. Bring boots. There will be a light lunch and T-shirt giveaway at noon. Fifty different segments of the Menomonee River designated to be cleaned up.
Gateway Technical College
Kenosha Campus, 3520 30th Ave., Kenosha
Elkhorn Campus, 400 County Road H, Elkhorn
April 22, 8:45 a.m.-2 p.m.
Kenosha Campus: Pike Creek Clean-Up starts at 8:45 a.m. Other activities to follow; visit: gtc.edu/celebrate-earth-day#kenosha for details.
Elkorn Campus: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit gtc.edu/celebrate-earth-day#elkhorn for details.
Each campus event is different and coordinated with the local community and the students/faculty of Gateway.
Milwaukee County Zoo
April 22, May 19-21
Visit milwaukeezoo.org for details on several upcoming events focused on the Earth and its inhabitants, including World Penguin Day (April 22), Endangered Species Day—S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals from Extinction) (May 19) and Party for the Planet (May 20 and 21).
Cudahy Arbor Day-Earth Day Free Event
Cudahy Family Library, 3500 Library Ave., Cudahy
April 29, 9 a.m.
Join your neighbors and friends for a citywide clean up, then fill up with a free chilidog lunch at noon. Follow it up with the tree planting at the Cudahy Family Library. You’ll find more details here: cudahy-wi.gov.
Milwaukee People’s Climate Rally
Escuela Verde, 3628 W Pierce St.
April 29, 2 p.m.
Wisconsin folksinger and environmental activist David HB Drake will perform songs from his What a Wonderful World CD and taking requests for classic folk songs.
Drake performed for Senator Gaylord Nelson at the very first Earth Day event in 1970 and served aboard the “Clearwater” with Pete Seeger cleaning up the Hudson River in 1990. He serves as a musician, historian and educator aboard Wisconsin’s flagship, the schooner Denis Sullivan, at Discovery World. He performs on guitar, concertina and handmade dulcimer, banjo and Native American flute.
Information on the rally is available at: actionnetwork.org/events/milwaukee-peoples-climate-rally-call-to-action and on Drake at: davidhbdrake.com /414-702-6053.
City of Franklin 18th Annual Arbor Day Celebration
Franklin Public Library, 9151 W. Loomis Road
May 6, 10 a.m.-noon
The City of Franklin and the Franklin Environmental Commission will give away tree samplings while they last. Limit one per child or one per family. Get your tree and get planting. Click here for more details: franklinwi.gov.