Earth Day Events

The theme for Earth Day 2024 is "Planet vs. Plastics." To celebrate this year, Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, University of Florida, Santa Fe College,and other organizations have planned a wide variety of events for the community to enjoy.

Here are the upcoming events:

Alachua County Events

Community Reuse & Recycle Day – April 6, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Santa Fe College NW Campus, across from the gym. The Alachua County Solid Waste & Resource Recovery Department invites residents to participate in two "Community Reuse & Recycle Days" on April 6 and May 11. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the free spring clean out, donation, and hazardous waste recycling events. Non-profit organizations will be on-site to receive the following items: wearable clothing, non-perishable food and school/office/art supplies. You can also dispose of household hazardous waste such as paint, chemicals and old electronics.

3rd Annual Cuscowilla Earth Day Celebration – April 20, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Cuscowilla Nature and Retreat Center (210 SE 134th Ave., Micanopy. This is a free event. Join the Friends of Cuscowilla for a morning of planting and fun activities for the entire family, including birding walks, archery, disc golf, historical reenactments, arts and crafts, catch-and-release fishing, disc golf, music, tours and food trucks.

Sustainability Festival – April 20, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Alachua County Farmer's Market (5920 NW 13th St., Gainesville). Help us celebrate Earth Day and food sustainability. Participants learn how to grow various Florida heritage crops and prepare delicious, nutritionally dense meals. They can also pick up new multicultural recipes and sample food from local chefs. The community is invited to enjoy this family-friendly event with music, children's activities and various local vendors.

2024 City Nature Challenge Alachua County – April 26 and 29. Join Alachua County and hundreds of other cities worldwide for this friendly competition to see who can make the most observations of plants and animals in their community. Download the free iNaturalist app today and help Alachua County capture the most wildlife photos in our area during the challenge dates. Alachua County hosts activities at Barr Hammock from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Poe Springs Park on April 27.

Santa Fe Springs Celebration – April 27, from noon to 6 p.m. at Poe Springs Park (29722 NW 182nd Ave., High Springs). In collaboration with the Florida Springs Council with support from the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Visit Gainesville, Alachua County invites you to celebrate the springs at this free event. Enjoy an afternoon of music, a beer tent sponsored by First Magnitude Brewing, educational presentations, craft vendors, films, field trips, food trucks and more. This event also features the work of local Plein Air Painters.

Earth Day Tree Planting Event – April 27, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (7115 SW 8th Ave., Gainesville). In partnership with UF, the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department is hosting a tree-planting event to coincide with National Arbor Day and Earth Day. We anticipate planting 30 trees along the bike path adjacent to Tower Road. Volunteers will learn proper tree-planting techniques. Trees and tools will be provided. Please wear sturdy, close-toed shoes and work clothes, and bring plenty of water and sun protection.

Alachua County Library District Events

Elementary STEAM – Earth Month – Thursdays, April 11 and 25, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Headquarters Library (401 E. University Ave., Gainesville).

ArtSpace Visual Journaling – Earth Day – Thursday, April 11, at 4 p.m. and Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m. at the Waldo Branch Library (15150 NE US HWY 301, Waldo).

Indoor Nature Therapy – Connecting Plants & People – Friday, April 12, at 4:15 p.m., at the Library Partnership Branch (912 NE 16th Ave., Gainesville).

Explore Nature Print Painting – Saturday, April 13, at 2 p.m., at the Archer Branch Library (13266 FL-45, Archer).

STEAM Saturday – Make a Wild Bee Hotel – Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m., at the Archer Branch Library (13266 FL-45, Archer).

Santa Fe College Event

Party for the Planet – April 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo (3000 NW 83 St. Building Z, Gainesville). The admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children 4-12, and free for children 3 and under. This family-friendly event will allow you and your kids to explore the zoo and participate in games, crafts, training demonstrations, keeper talks, animal encounters and more. Visitors learn to build like a beach mouse, save a sea turtle, make a backyard habitat, and spring into action to save species. You can explore the kids' sensory play space, join a special presentation, listen to live music, or grab some grub from a food truck. 

University of Florida Events

Sustainability-in-Action Showcase – The Office of Sustainability and Thompson Earth Systems Institute at UF will host the Sustainability-in-Action Showcase to kick off UF Earth Month on Tuesday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the UF Reitz Union breezeway/tabling area. 

UF Food Waste Prevention Week – April 1 to April 7. Various locations and volunteer opportunities are available.

Can You Dig It? Geology Festival – April 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Florida Museum of Natural History (3215 Hull Road, Gainesville.

Great American Cleanup – April 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Massey Park Recreation Center (1001 NW 34th St. Gainesville).

Florida Museum of Natural History Spring Plant Sale – April 19- 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the UF Cultural Plaza in front of the Florida Museum (3215 Hull Road, Gainesville). 

Growing Together Spring Festival – April 19, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at various UF locations.

Earth Day Celebration and Farmers Market – April 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Food Hall at Gator Corner.

Miscellaneous Events

Shaped by Water Juried Art Exhibit – April 18 through May 5, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cade Museum (811 S. Main St., Gainesville). A museum fee applies to see the exhibit, but there will be free admission for all during the event.

The Water State Festival – April 20, at Depot Park (874 SE 4th St., Gainesville). The art show and festival benefit local environmental non-profits and showcases works of art by local artists. This exhibition explores our intrinsic ties to water in its various states and celebrates the elements surrounding us in the Florida landscape. 

Angry Manatee's Earth Day Soiree – April 19, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at The Wooly (20 N. Main St., Gainesville). Online tickets are $15, and $20 at the door. Indulge your senses with springs-inspired photography and a never-before-seen projection mapping art display known as "The Rainbow Room." There will also be a silent auction for nature lovers, a plant sale, a book signing, music and cocktails. This event benefits the Florida Springs Council.

15th Annual Cinema Verde International Environmental Film and Arts Festival – April 20-22, Cypress & Grove Brewing Company (1001 NW 4th St., Gainesville). VIP Festival Passes cost $60 to access all the films and director talks. There are also two-day, one-day, and two-hour passes available for those who can’t attend everything, as well as virtual screening options. 

Walk for Water – Join Aveda Florida for a 'Walk for Water' event on April 21. Participants should meet promptly at 10 a.m. at Boulware Springs City Park (3300 SE 15th St., Gainesville). This free event is dedicated to raising awareness for the global water crisis. Bring your friends, family and furry companions to walk and help make a difference in the world. The walk is 3.7 miles (the average distance women in communities without clean water walk daily to a water source). Let's walk together for clean water.

Grow Your Family for Earth Day - Adopt A Dog! – April 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Curia on the Drag (2029 NW 6th St. Gainesville). This event is dedicated to the love and joy that canine companions bring. There will be dogs for adoption from the Puppy Hill Farm animal rescue, vendors and local businesses. 

10th Annual Tree Fest – Saturday, April 27, from noon to 11 p.m. at the Swamp Head Brewery (3650 SW 42nd Ave., Gainesville). It is a free event. Tree Fest celebrates the environment by raising money to plant trees with the Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT) in an event that features food trucks and family-friendly activities until 5 p.m. It includes live music and Swamp Head beer. Four trees will be planted for every beer purchased during Tree Fest. Every T-shirt purchased will result in 20 trees being planted. The trees are 1-year-old longleaf pines that will be planted by the ACT at the Little Orange Creek Preserve in Hawthorne, Florida.

For more information, contact Erika Capin with the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department at 352-264-6808.

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