Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 annually since 1970 with the aim of creating awareness for a greener planet. The holiday is celebrated nationally each year with organized clean-ups and other Earth-friendly activities. Locally, Northeast Florida has had some long-standing Earth Day celebrations of its own, such as the Earth Day and Ecology Fair at The Jacksonville Landing, now in its 26th year, and Washington Oaks Gardens State Park Earth Day festival, marking its 27th annual event this year.
Here are just a few of the ways First Coast residents can celebrate Earth Day 2016.
Bartram Bash and Earth Day Celebration at Alpine Groves Park
St. Johns County Parks and Recreation will host the 12th Annual Bartram Bash and Earth Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23 at Alpine Groves Park, 2060 SR 13 in St. Johns. This family-friendly environmentally themed event is also a birthday celebration for William Bartram, the first American-born naturalist. In addition to guest speakers, food trucks and more than 20 environmentally themed booths, the event will feature performances by This Frontier Needs Heroes, Marcellus Hall and Flagship Romance. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs.
Coastal Conscience Beach Clean-up for Earth Day
Coastal Conscience, a new environmental advocacy group, will host a beach clean-up for Earth Day from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday April 23 at Helen Cooper Floyd Park, 3600 Florida A1A, Jacksonville. Bags and gloves will be provided. Volunteers may wish to bring bug spray, sunscreen and water. For more information, call (904) 229-1143, email email@example.com or visit www.mycoastalconscience.wordpress.com.
Adults can celebrate Earth Day by learning groovy 70s macramé techniques on Friday April 22 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the conference room at the Beaches Branch Library, 600 Third St., Neptune Beach. All materials will be provided. For more information, call (904) 241-1141.
Planet Friendly Craft
All ages are invited for a fun and easy planet-friendly craft to celebrate Earth Day (while supplies last) Saturday April 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the children’s room at the Beaches Branch Library, 600 Third St., Neptune Beach. For more information, call (904) 241-1141.
Clean Water Casino Night
An Earth Day celebration and casino night benefitting the St. Johns Riverkeeper will be held April 22 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the River City Brewing Company, 835 Museum Circle, Jacksonville. The event will include heavy hors d’oeuvres, casino tables and a cash bar. Tickets are $100 per couple and include entry, food and $40 in house money to bet on prize packs donated by local vendors. Single tickets and multiple ticket packages are also available. Tickets are limited. Visit https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/StJohnsRiverkeeper/casinonight.html for more information or to purchase tickets.
Earth Day Marsh Hike at Fort Mose Historic State Park
Join master naturalist and State Park volunteer Arliss Ryan for a free Earth Day Hike Saturday April 23 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Fort Mose Historic State Park, 15 Fort Mose Trail, St. Augustine. Hikers will travel through the maritime hammock and tidal salt marsh to the island where remnants of the second Fort Mose were found. This walk will be muddy and wet; closed-toe shoes are required and waterproof boots are recommended. Reservations are required. Call Vicki Tiseth at (904) 823-2232 to register. For more information, visit www.floridastateparks.org/park-events/fort-mose.
27th annual Washington Oaks Gardens State Park Earth Day festival
The Friends of Washington Oaks will sponsor the 27th annual Earth Day festival on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, 6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast. The festival will include live music, environmental exhibits and vendors, education walks, a children’s section, food, chance drawings and more. Regular park entry fees apply: $5 per vehicle for up to eight people; $4 for single occupants. For more information, call (904) 446-6780 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/park-events/washington-oaks.
2016 Earth Day and Ecology Fair at The Jacksonville Landing
The 26th annual Earth Day and Ecology Fair will be held Saturday April 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Jacksonville Landing, 2 W. Independent Drive, Jacksonville. The free, rain or shine event includes more than 70 booths of educational and interactive displays, children’s craft and activities, live music and entertainment, face painting, prizes, bounce houses, demonstrations from the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens and more. For more information, call (904) 353-1188 ext. 1038 or visit www.earthdayjax.com.
Native Sun Earth Day events:
Native Sun Natural Foods Market will host a series of Earth Day activities including an edible plant sale, e-waste recycling collection and an edible yard lecture. The plant sale and e-waste collection will take place at all three Native Sun locations: Native Sun Jacksonville Beach, 1585 Third St. N., Jacksonville Beach; Native Sun Southside, 11030 Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville; and Native Sun Mandarin, 10000 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville. The edible yard lecture will take place at the Mandarin Native Sun location only. For more information, visit www.nativesunjax.com/events.