11 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in Metro Detroit

A list of green, earth-loving activities to enjoy throughout April.
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Photograph courtesy of Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Earth Day is right around the corner (April 22), and metro Detroit is celebrating all month long. From shoreline cleanups and engaging workshops to eco-friendly festivals, here’s a few ways to volunteer and some spots to visit in honor of the holiday.

Earth Day Fest 2024 — Planet Over Plastics

A variety of environmental groups gather for an Earth Day celebration that features live music, food, and activities for kids alongside special guest speakers and informational tables on how you can make changes to support the planet. Participants include Crossroads, VegMichigan, The Huron River Watershed, Livingston Land Conservancy, and many others. April 20. Fees may apply. The Amp, Milpond Trail, Brighton; sierraclub.org.

Metroparks Earth Day Cleanup

Celebrate Earth Day with preservation events at various Metropark locations including shoreline cleanups at Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, and Stony Creek. Volunteers will get a chance to maintain the recreation and education areas, and get free admission to the park that day. A limited amount of volunteer patches will be available for Scouts and other volunteers. Dress for the weather. Register in advance. April 20. Free across various locations; metroparks.com.

Detroit River Coalition Clean Up

Join the Michigan DNR and the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) to clean up Milliken State Park, which is located across the street from OAC. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Trash bags and gloves will be provided. Volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather. April 20. No cost. Milliken State Park, 1900 Atwater St., Detroit; michigan.gov.  

Oakland County Earth Day Climate Rally & Fair

Kick off Earth Day with a climate march at 3 p.m. After the march is a rally that features keynote speeches about how to create a more sustainable world, and live music. Be sure to shop the Earth Fair, which is open starting at 4 p.m., for more than 50 vendor and informational booths. April 20. No cost. Royal Oak Farmers Market, 316 E. 11 Mile Road, Royal Oak; turnoaklandcountygreen.com.

Dequindre Cut Cleanup

Formerly a railroad line, the Dequindre Cut Greenway links the East Riverfront to Eastern Market and beyond. Join the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to remove litter from the Dequindre Cut and its surrounding streets. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate. Gloves, trash bags, and a limited number of pickers and rakes will be provided. April 20. No cost. Dequindre Cut Greenway, Detroit; detroitriverfront.org.

Detroit Zoo GreenFest

In celebration of Earth Day, the Detroit Zoo will host a two-day event to educate visitors about environmental conservation and sustainability. GreenFest will feature live music, a marketplace with sustainable goods, and green food trucks along with hands-on activities, education stations, and habitat chats. April 20-21. Free with zoo admission: $27/adults, $24/kids and seniors, $8/parking. Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak; detroitzoo.org.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Earth Day Festival 2024

Enjoy a day filled with educational displays and hands-on activities on topics like energy conservation, water awareness, sustainable agriculture, and more ways to better care for the planet. Plus, a wide variety of environmental exhibitors. This festival will be a zero-waste event, so guests are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and putting trash in proper receptacles. April 21. No cost.Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor; discoverscienceandnature.org.

Earth Day with DHS

Detroit Historical Society, Michigan State University’s Science Festival, and Dossin Great Lakes Museum team up on this special event for Earth Day. Find activities that focus on Belle Isle and its habitats and history, explore the new exhibition Microplastics: Here, There, Everywhere, participate in make-and-take crafts, and check out some sea lampreys. April 21. No cost for admission, parking fees apply. Dossin Great Lakes Museum, 100 The Strand, Detroit; detroithistorical.org.

Earth Day Tree Planting

Celebrate Earth Day with Arboretum Detroit, planting trees in Spruce Grove Park, across from Circle Forest, which is the home of a Spruce tree that survived the demolition of the house next to it. Dig holes, plant trees, shovel things into wheelbarrows, or spread wood chips to mulch the new trees. Participants are encouraged to sign up, wear close-toed shoes, and bring a water bottle. April 22. No cost. Spruce Grove-Arboretum Detroit, 3316 E. Palmer Street, Detroit; arbdetroit.org.

Explorers: Earth Day

Families with children ages 6-10 are invited to step into the fascinating world of nature and science with Explorers at the Ford House. Participants will enjoy a nature-themed scavenger hunt and make a special project to take home in honor of Earth Day. Children are encouraged to uncover the wonders of nature and science through the engaging activities and hands-on experiences at this event. Learn the secrets of gardening with native plants at the Native Plant Talk on April 27, as well. April 20. $7 per child. Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores; fordhouse.org.

Belle Isle Spring Cleanup

Participate in an island-wide cleanup effort at Belle Isle while also getting a chance to visit the aquarium. As groups pick up litter while exploring the park at their leisure, this event will help preserve, celebrate, and support the iconic island. April 27. Free. Belle Isle, Detroit; belleisleconservancy.org.

This post has been updated for 2024.