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Celebrating Earth Day in Madison

Learn about our environment or get your hands a little dirty this weekend.

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Pheasant Branch Conservancy is one place that you could celebrate Earth Day at. | Photo by 608today

Earth Day got its start right here in Wisconsin in 1970. The founder was Gov. Gaylord Nelson (go ahead and hike around the nearby state park named for him), a conservationist who was spurred to have a national environmental “teach-in” event after an oil spill in Santa Barbara and after a river caught fire.

Now, Earth Day is celebrated by 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. You don’t have to go far, however, to celebrate. There are a multitude of events in the area.

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There are plenty of places around Madison to enjoy nature, including Olbrich Botanical Gardens. | Photo by 608today

UW-Madison Earth Fest | Friday, April 19-Friday, April 26
The new campus-wide celebration is free, open to the public, and family-friendly. Sponsored by the UW-Madison Office of Sustainability and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, some events include:

  • Kickoff Celebration| Friday, April 19 | 1-6:30 p.m. |Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St. | An engaging lineup of lecturers and performers, the keynote speaker for the kickoff is environmental justice scholar Tony Reames.
  • ASM Earth Day March, Saturday, April 20, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Library Mall, 715 State St. | March to the Capitol building.
  • Spring Fest, Sunday, April 21, 1-5 p.m., Eagle Heights Community Garden, 3016 Lake Mendota Dr. | Visit “The People’s Farm” and enjoy crafts, live music, and food.

Check out the full schedule for a complete list of Earth Fest events.

Earth Day Challenge | Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
If you want to join your friends and neighbors to clean up our local parks, the city of Madison’s Earth Day Challenge provides you that opportunity (along with gloves, garbage bags, and rakes). For those wanting to get their hands a little dirty, the event runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at a variety of locations.

350 Wisconsin: Art Collective Earth Day | Saturday, April 20
A group of “unusual visitors,” will appear at the Dane County Farmers’ Market, on the North Hamilton plaza of Capitol Square at 10 a.m., as part of a flash mob. The visitors will urge people to consider the effects of climate change.

EV Car and Sustainability Show | Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Middleton Community Church, 645 Schewe Rd., Middleton
This free event is perfect for families. There’s free popcorn, zoo animals, a bounce house, face painting, the Madison Children’s Museum Roadshow, and booths by local environmentally conscious organizations.

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With the Ice Age Trail and a multitude of parks in the area, it’s easy to commune with nature. | Photo by 608today

For those wanting to step away from the hubbub and have some quiet time to commune with nature, we suggest using our hiking guide to celebrate your place on this Earth right here in Dane County.

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