Earth Day 2014 Activities

Apr. 17, 2014
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Celebrate Earth Day by participating in one of the many celebrations around town.

Saturday, April 19

Fourth Annual Urban Grassroots Earth Day Cleanup and Celebration

Career Youth Development Inc. (CYD), Urban Grassroots, Alderwoman Milele Coggs, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and Ina Onilu Dance & Drum Ensemble are kicking off the first stage of neighborhood clean-up and beautification with a cleanup at Victory Over Violence Park, 2615 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Ina Onilu Drum and Dance Ensemble will perform live at the event. Volunteers are needed. For more information, contact Elizabeth Coggs, executive director of Career Youth Development Inc., at 414-264-6888.

Monday, April 21

Free Movie Screening to Celebrate Earth Week

The Waukesha County Recycling Office and Carroll University will be hosting a free public movie screening of Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?, a documentary for all ages covering the politics of bags, single-use disposables, waste, recycling and the health of our oceans. It will be held 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Dorothy Goff Frisch Recital Hall at Carroll University. To see a trailer of the film, visit For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 22

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors’ Green Thumb Network Spring Gathering

Come and join other neighbors interested in gardening Tuesday, April 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Burnham Park Field House (1755 S. 32nd St.) and find out about great resources to get the best out of your vegetable garden this year. Don't have a place to grow your vegetables? Reserve a raised bed at an LBWN Community Garden for free at the event. Children are welcome and refreshments will be provided. RSVP by contacting Jezamil at 414.383.9038 (ext. 2303) or For additional information, visit

Office of Environmental Sustainability and Rock the Green’s “Milwaukee's Earth Day Celebration”

Participate in the Office of Environmental Sustainability and Rock the Green’s third annual “Milwaukee’s Earth Day Celebration” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside of the CityCenter (735 N. Water St.). Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Robert Bauman, Matt Howard of the Office of Environmental Sustainability and Lindsay Stevens Gardner of Rock the Green will be there. The event will incorporate on-site near-zero waste efforts similar to those implemented at Rock the Green’s festival at Veterans Park, such as a bicycle pedal-powered stage (Vic & Gab will perform), waste reclamation stations and local, sustainable and organic food options. For additional information, visit

Earth Day Demonstration

A “Stand for the Earth” will occur at noon on the corner of Water Street and Kilbourn Avenue in downtown Milwaukee on Earth day. Organized by the Milwaukee chapter and co-sponsored by the Sierra Club John Muir Chapter, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and the Milwaukee Area Green Party, participants will carry banners and signs that call for a major effort to stop global warming and climate change. For more information, contact Julie Enslow at 414-964-9478.

11th Annual Green Vehicles Workshop and Showcase

MATC and Wisconsin Clean Cities have brought together Milwaukee area’s experts on green transportation to provide citizens with all the information on trends, technologies, fleet experiences and alternative fuel barriers they need to know. It’s also a great opportunity to network with local fleet managers, businesses and consumer. The $20 workshop is 8 a.m.-noon and the free showcase is noon-2 p.m. at the Milwaukee Area Technical College Downtown Campus, Room S120 (700 W. State St.). For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Erika Noble at 414-221-4487 or or visit

Friday, April 25

Earth Day Celebration at the Gordon Park Pavilion

The Great Waters Group of the Sierra Club welcomes everyone to their Earth Day Celebration at the Gordon Park Pavilion (2828 N. Humboldt Ave.). The event will kick off with keynote speaker Venice Williams of Alice’s Garden. Learn about Milwaukee’s Home Grown program, Transition Milwaukee and Fondy Food Market at the event, listen to Rosenblatt, Cross Lutheran’s gospel youth choir, and stick around for the closing ceremony by Rabbi Tiferet Gordon of Congregation Shir Hadash. Registration starts at 5 p.m.; program begins at 5:30pm. For more information, contact Conservation Chair Dianne Dagelen at 414-771-1505 or or visit

Saturday, April 26


Earth Day 5&5 Celebration

Good Harvest Market will hold its 10th Annual Earth Day Celebration 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. at 1850 Meadow Lane in Pewaukee. Featured events include a “plant a tree” scavenger hunt, a make your own bird feeder class, organic herb plantings, a rain barrel class, readings of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and free samples from local vendors. All attendees will receive 5% off all purchases at Good Harvest Market and 5% of the day’s total sales will be donated to the nonprofit land trust Waukesha County Land Conservancy. For a schedule of the activities, visit

Layton Boulevard West Neighbors’ Green Living Festival

Visit the Mitchell Park Domes (524 S. Layton Blvd.) between 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for demonstrations, talks and activities all centered on healthy strategies and sustainability. Learn about green, organic, fair-trade and sustainable policies, products and practices. For more information, visit


Urban Ecology Center Earth Day of Service

Urban Ecology Center’s “Earth Month” will culminate with simultaneous celebrations at all three of the Urban Ecology Center’s locations from 9:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Volunteer activities will be held in the park followed by a community lunch. For more information about Urban Ecology Center’s ongoing April activities or the celebration, visit

Launch the Great American Cleanup

Do some spring cleaning outdoors by participating in the nation’s largest organized annual cleanup and beautification event, the three-month Great American Cleanup. The 2014 Kickoff Site is Mitchell Park (524 S. Layton Boulevard, in Milwaukee). Registration begins at 8:30. For more information, go to Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful’s website at

Community Cleanup Day at Hawthorn Glen

Community Cleanup Day, sponsored by Milwaukee Recreation, Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and Milwaukee County Parks, is part of the nationwide Great American Cleanup and is held annually at Hawthorn Glen (1130 N. 60th St.). Join in volunteering from 9 a.m.-noon to help pick up litter throughout the 23-acre nature center. Volunteers who donate at least an hour of their time will receive one free admission to the Milwaukee County Zoo or one free admission to a Milwaukee County Parks Swimming Pool/Water Slide attraction. For more information, call 414-647-6050 or visit

Waukesha County Materials Recycling Facility Open House

Find out how recycling works and enjoy music, prizes and more from 9 a.m.-noon at the Waukesha County Materials Recycling Facility, 220 S. Prairie Ave. Kids can meet and greet the recycle mascot, Recycle Raccoon, and guided tours will run every 15 minutes. Admission is free. For more information, call 262-896-8300 or visit

Retzer Nature Center’s Earth Day Finale

Wrap up Earth Week at the Retzer Nature Center (S14 W28167 Madison St.) with a day-long celebration filled with hikes, children’s crafts and activities, food, special programs, campfire with s’mores and trip into the Brown’s Fen to see frogs, peepers, woodcocks, coyotes and constellations. Bring a flashlight for the evening. For more information, visit

National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day

April 26 is National Prescription Drug “Take-Back” Day and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wisconsinites are encouraged to take unwanted, expired or unused prescription drugs to collection sites statewide (drop off sites can be located here). The “Take-Back” is free and anonymous. For more information, visit

Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s 19th Annual Spring River Cleanup

Join other volunteers to help remove trash from rivers 9:00 a.m.-noon at one of Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s 50 sites throughout Greater Milwaukee. Bags, gloves and a free T-shirt are provided. For more information and to register, visit

Sunday, April 27

“In Celebration of Earth Day” at the Wehr Nature Center

From 1-4 p.m., the Wehr Nature Center (Whitnall Park, 9701 W. College Ave.) will be offering family- and earth-friendly activities, including an interactive presentation by Kohl’s Wild Theater, naturalist-led walks focused on signs of spring, papermaking, recycled crafts and activities in the early-childhood nature playspace. The authors of The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up, Stacy Tornio (an editor for Birds and Blooms) and Ken Keffer (a naturalist at Wehr), as well as author of 101 Things to Do in Milwaukee Parks, Barbara Ali, will be signing books. For more information, call the Wehr Nature Center at 414-425-8550 or visit

Ongoing Opportunities

Waukesha County’s Earth Week Celebration Events

Waukesha County will be offering free Earth Week programming throughout April 21-26. Visit for a complete listing of programs, dates and times.

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works’ “Project Clean & Green”

Project Clean & Green (PCG), which runs April 14-June 4, is a citywide beautification program that coordinates the pickup of excess household debris, sweepings of streets and allies, graffiti removal and other neighborhood beautification activities. The City of Milwaukee will be segmented into seven zones, residents can place their unwanted items on the curb or alley line on regular collection day and the DPW will take the items free of charge. The DPW will not pick up appliances, TVs and electronics such as computers, printers, scanners, tablets, etc., construction debris, paint, and more than two cubic yards of tree trimmings, grass or yard waste. For more information and specific disposal instructions, call 414-286-2489 or visit

Additional Opportunities

Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee

Here are some of the opportunities offered by the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee, a service of the Nonprofit Center. Visit for more volunteer opportunities. 

  • Help Lindsay Heights neighborhood residents clean out gardens and pick up litter on Saturday, April 26. Call Walnut Way Conservation Corp. at 414-264-2326.
  • Help plant trees in your local park to celebrate Arbor Day on Friday, April 25. Call Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful at 414-272-5462 ext. 103.
  • Help older adults with spring yard cleanup in a neighborhood near you. Call the Interfaith Good Neighbor Project at 414-220-8648. 
  • Remove invasive garlic mustard and buckthorn along Southbranch Creek in Brown Deer; weekdays and/or weekends during spring and summer months. Call 414-271-8000 ext. 2.
  • Pull garlic mustard weeds at a nearby Milwaukee County Park any Saturday morning in May and early June. Call The Park People at 414-273-7275 for the Weed-Out schedule.
  • Remove weeds, shovel soil and lay out raised beds and maintain compost bins for gardens in Milwaukee's Harambee neighborhood; weekdays and/or weekends. Call Victory Garden Initiative at 414-431-0888.

Know of an Earth Day event not listed here? Email the event info to


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