By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 19, 2024 at 5:31 PM

Earth Day started in 1970, and Wisconsin has strong ties to Earth Day’s origin thanks to former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator Gaylord Nelson who helped launch the first Earth Day. Environmentalists John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Lorrie Otto also have Wisconsin connections.

Let's keep the Wisconsin Earth Day tradition alive by participating in one of these events so we can keep this big blue marble around for a while.

Saturday, April 20

Rock the Green Earth Day Celebration
Harley Davidson Museum Plaza, 400 W. Canal St.
Noon to 3 p.m.

This free event includes a Collective Honoring of the Waters, live music, drum circle, baby goat yoga (!), Earth Day speakers and more. Go here for the full line-up. 

Sherman Phoenix Community Cleanup
Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave.
10 a.m. to noon

Meet up at Sherman Phoenix and help the merchants beautify the neighborhood. Then, treat yourself to something tasty in the Marketplace.

Earth Day Community Donation Drive
American Family Field
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Practice sustainability by donating our no-longer-needed items to be sold secondhand at Goodwill stores. The Brewers, in partnership with Goodwill Industries and Aurora Healthcare, are hosting a community donation drive at American Family Field. Donate new or gently used home items and clothing, including home decor, kitchenware, accessories and more. 

Lakeshore State Park Earth Day hike 
Saturday, April 20

Walk through Lakeshore State Park with a naturalist to learn about the history of the park, its wildlife and the benefits of prairie restoration. All ages and abilities welcome. Meet at the northern entrance of the park, just in front of Discovery World.

Pete's Pops Clean-Up Day
3809 W. Vliet St.
10 a.m. to noon

Help Pete’s clean up the near West Side neighborhood (for the 5th year in a row) and get a free popsicle. Cleaning supplies are included.

Sunday, April 21

Cactus Club Earth Day Park Cleanup
Cactus Club, 2496 S. Wentworth Ave.

Gather at Cactus Club before heading to Cupertino Park. All participants receive one free kombucha and/or beer.

Walker's Point Association Spring Clean Up/Limpieza de Primavera
Zócalo Food Truck Park, 636 S. 6th St.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Be a part of this family-friendly neighborhood clean up. Supplies will be provided plus local giveaways and prizes for all who attend.

Monday, April 22

Native American community demonstration against single-use plastic bags
City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
Noon to 1 p.m.

Members of the local Native American community will hold an educational demonstration against single-use plastic bags. In just two weeks, community children collected enough single-use plastic bags to wrap around City Hall and will demonstrate this by creating a plastic chain. The event will feature a native pipe ceremony, water ceremony and an educational speech on the impacts of single-use plastics on the environment and watershed. There will also be a cultural healing ceremony with drumming and jingle-dress dancing.

Earth Day Build-A-Bag Workshop at Lakefront Brewery
Lakefront Brewery,  1872 N. Commerce St.
5 p.m.

Lakefront Brewery strives to reduce the amount of items going into landfills, like the malt bags that contain their grains. So for Earth Day, recycle one of these bags into a sustainable tote bag. The cost is $10 and includes a beer, materials and instruction. More here.

Week-long celebrations

Earth Week at the Urban Ecology Center
Saturday, April 20-Saturday, April 27
Urban Ecology Centers, various locations

The UEC is hosting an extensive lineup of environmentally conscious activities from Saturday, April 20 to Saturday, April 27 at its three branches: Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Place; Menomonee Valley, 3700 W. Pierce St.; and Washington Park, temporarily located at Washington Park Pool House, 4023 W. Galena St.

Events include a spring clothing swap, morning bird walks, trail maintenance, a bike-to-the-beach cleanup, worm bin making and more. Go here for all the details.

Retzer Nature Center Earth Week Celebration
S14 W28167 Madison St., Waukesha

Friends of Retzer Nature Center's Earth Week Celebration offers a full week of Earth-friendly activities in Waukesha County. The fun kicks off with a volunteer cleanup workday at parks throughout the county on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Most events take place at the Retzer Nature Center and its Horwitz-DeRemer Planetarium. Go here for all the Earth Day happenings in The 'Sha.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.