In celebration of the weeks around Earth Day and the spring season, enjoy a range of free and low-cost family events! Earth Day Bouquet offers your family a variety of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, get involved in your local and natural community, and become motivated to make a difference in the health and sustainability of the environment.
Check our events schedule and mark your calendar for a Bouquet of things to do, explore and learn about this Earth Day season.
2023 Events at Nature Net Sites
- April 15 & 22 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party
Volunteer for restoration activities and learn about prairies and savannas. Tools and training provided. Groups welcome with advance notice. Meet at Grady Tract parking lot, southeast corner of Seminole Hwy. and W. Beltline Frontage Rd. Event capacity is limited, please arrive by 9 a.m. More information: (608) 265-5214 or email@example.com.
- April 15 & 22 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Wisconsin Landscapes: An Art and Science Fusion Workshop
Learn how water, plants, and animals are interconnected in Wisconsin landscapes. We will discuss reciprocal relationships in nature on a gently paced stroll through the gardens, then make a visual art piece. Material for the art piece will be provided. Meet at the Visitor Center. Presented by the Marie Christine Kohler Fellows and the Arboretum. Free, registration required by April 12 for the 15th event and April 19 for the 22nd event.
- April 16 1:00 – 3:30p.m. Science Expeditions
This program is a fun, fascinating way for all to explore the natural world. Nature walk: 1-2 p.m., Exploration Stations: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for the weather and insects. Adults must attend. Walks cancelled for unsafe weather or trail conditions. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center. Presented in conjunction with UW-Madison Science Expeditions.
- April 16 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Nature Hike
Learn about the land, plants, animals, fungi, phenology, and ecology. Geared for adults, these longer walks may cover some sloping terrain. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects. Walks canceled for unsafe weather or trail conditions. Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.
- April 22 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Garden Tour: Magnolias
Tour the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens’ extensive collection of more than 80 magnolia trees. Join Julia Czaplewski, horticultural specialist, for a flower-filled stroll. Free, no registration required. Meet at the visitor center.
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
- April 22 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Local to Global – What Our Community is Dong to Heal the Planet
This Earth Day join us at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and learn what groups in the Madison area are doing locally and globally to heal the planet. There will be guest speakers from the local perspective including: The Ho-Chunk Nation, Mundo Esperanza, Sustain Dane, and the Nelson Institute. And globally from the Madison Cusco Sister City Alliance, Strides of Africa, and The Madison Freiburg Sister City.
This is a free family event. However, signing up is required because availability is limited. A box lunch option from Bloom Bake Shop will be available soon when making your RSVP. Connect with others and learn about ways you can start to heal our planet locally and worldwide!
- April 22 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. Bird & Nature Outing
Join a naturalist for an easy, family-friendly walk from Aldo Leopold Nature Center into the beautiful Enda Taylor Conservation Park and enjoy a bit of nature education along the way.
Cave of the Mounds
- April 19 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Astronomy Night
Celebrate Earth Day at Cave of the Mounds’ inaugural Astronomy Night! Weather permitting, this after-hours event will take place on April 19th, 2023 from 7 PM – 9 PM. Admission is $5.
Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark is located on the south slope of the East Blue Mound. The Blue Mounds include the highest point in Southern Wisconsin. Just a short 20-minute drive west of Madison, Cave of the Mounds is a great place to look up at the stars at high elevation away from light pollution. Bring your telescope and a warm outfit. Hot beverages and a fireplace will be available in the Visitor Center.
P.S. Earth Day is every day at Cave of the Mounds! The Cave and grounds open 9-5 year ’round for Cave Tours and above-ground fun.
City of Madison Parks
- April 22 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Earth Day Challenge 2023
Celebrate Earth Day with your neighbors and friends by volunteering to clean up your local park! Join this community-wide volunteer effort to help make a difference. Earth Day Challenge Projects are held throughout the city. Volunteers may assist with trash pickup, raking, weeding, and removing sticks. We will supply gloves, garbage bags and rakes. Rakes at each park will be based on the number of volunteers participating.
- April 23 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Bird & Nature Festival 2023
Join Friends of Starkweather during Earth Week for a walk and canoe creek cleanup. Bring your own canoe or kayak, vest and paddles if you have them. Or just grab a garbage bag and pick up litter on your own along Starkweather Creek to help beautify this incredible natural area in the middle of the east side of Madison! A limited number of canoes or kayaks will be available to borrow.
Lussier Family Heritage Center
- April 22 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Woodland Spring Wildflowers Walk: A Community Science Event and Volunteer Project
Join expert naturalists on a lakeshore woodland walk to identify and report woodland wildflowers using the iNaturalist App. Learn about beautiful woodland spring wildflowers on Earth Day, experience the thrill of seeing new flowers after a long winter, and learn how to use the iNaturalist app to identify and catalog wildflowers. It’s easy! These efforts help support woodland conservation. We’ll meet at shelter 3 of William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park, 4330 Libby Road, Madison. Event capacity is limited. Please email Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
Welty Environmental Center
- April 22 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Earth Day Wildflower Hike
Let’s get outside to celebrate Earth Day and hike to see the earliest spring wildflowers.
Meet at 1201 Big Hill Court in the parking lot next to the Welty Environmental Center at Big Hill Park, Beloit. Trails in this park are wide, but some are steep; hiking difficulty is moderate. From the parking lot we’ll walk all the way downhill to the river before returning to the lot. Be prepared for a long walk up and down in the park. Then we will finish by driving to the nearby Rock River Prairie State Natural Area on Walters Road to look at the earliest spring prairie wildflowers.
Dave Bendlin is a retired biology and environmental studies teacher from Milton. In his new career as a volunteer naturalist, he leads nature hikes for the Rock County Conservationists, the Janesville, Beloit and county parks and helps with environmental education programs for schools and nature centers throughout Rock county. He especially enjoys helping people develop an interest in benefiting wildlife through gardening and landscaping with native plants. $10/members, $13/non-members
- April 23 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Birds and Binoculars
Henry Vilas Zoo
- April 22 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Party for the Planet
FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
- 10am – 2pm Tree Climbing Join Dane County arborists and see how high you can climb! Staging area will be between our North American porcupine exhibit and the Main Tent in the center of the Zoo.
- All Day Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt Start at the main entrance (the gate near the Randall Ave. and Drake St. intersection) and find all the animals who want to teach you some wild facts!
- All Day Spring Enrichment We will be giving spring enrichment to our animals all day. Make sure you explore the Zoo to see our animals interacting with various spring-themed enrichment!
- While supplies last Tree Sapling Giveaway We will be giving away a selection of hackberry, hazelnut saplings as well as Native Seed Bombs for you to take home and plant.
Join These National Programs
- Project BudBurst – Record your spring nature observations.
- Earth Day 2023– Campaign to promote climate action.
- National Environmental Education Foundation on Earth Month – Find activity kits and educator guides for outdoor and environmental education experiences.
- Green and Healthy Schools – Get your school to reduce environmental impact and costs and improve environmental and sustainability literacy.
Tuesday April 18 – Wednesday April 19 Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Earth Day 2023: Species on the Move
Across the globe, climate change has put people, animals, and plants in a constant state of movement. What do these shifts mean for our world? How are we taking action?
Join UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies for Earth Day 2023: Species on the Move, a two-day community learning event with both in-person and virtual opportunities to learn and connect. This event will kick off on Tuesday, April 18, with an afternoon of in-person learning and networking at the Discovery Building. Browse partner exhibit tables and posters by UW students, and enjoy three lectures presented by national experts. You won’t want to miss this chance to reconnect in person with fellow environmentally conscious learners!
Then on Wednesday, April 19, zoom in for a morning of virtual breakouts and plenary sessions. You can register for either the in-person or virtual option, or maximize your experience by attending both. You can register for both or one of the events here.
Let Us Know How You Celebrate!
Post comments and photos of your Earth Day Bouquet experiences on Nature Net’s Facebook page.