How Austin Does Earth Day: Calendar of Earth Day Events

By Amanda D. Quraishi

Earth Day is officially observed on April 22, but we celebrate it all month in Austin. With so many opportunities to celebrate, there’s no excuse not to. Remember, this is what “Don’t Mess with Texas” is all about.

APRIL 18: Earth Day: Gateway to the Green Economy
The Austin Farmers’ Market presents a series of events for the entire family, starting with the Austin Farmer’s Market and eARTh Day Expo. Visitors can expect to find lots of local produce and nature-inspired art. There is a special area set up for Kids; and a free Solar Jam concert featuring local musicians who have each donated a 30-minute set. Sponsors, exhibitors, performers and volunteers are all needed.

Date: Saturday, April 18, 9:00am – 3:00pm
Location: Republic Square Park (4th and Guadalupe)
www.austinearthday.com

APRIL 17-19: Green Apple Festival

The Green Apple Festival is a nationwide celebration of Earth Day founded in 2006 by executive producer Peter Shapiro. Cities across the U.S. including New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Denver participate by coordinating a series of volunteer opportunities which meet the unique needs of the communities in which they are held. This year, Austin’s Green Apple Festival volunteer opportunities include the Shoal Creek Cleanup, Green Gardening with Keep Austin Beautiful, and the YMCA Healthy Kids Day. Visit the Volunteer link to learn about and sign up for all of the events being held this year.

Date: April 17-19
Location: All over Austin!
www.greenapplefestival.com

April 17-18: LCRA / McKinney Roughs Nature Park Earth Day Festival

The LCRA and McKinney Roughs Nature Park are teaming up for a series of fun events over the weekend before Earth Day.  The fun begins on Friday, April 17 with Stargazing at the Roughs.  The next day the Earth Day Festival features crafts, activity booths, nature and animal presentations, vendors, food and music.  Later that day the Earth Day Kayak Trip allows kids and adults to enjoy the Colorado River wildlife and scenery.

Date: April 17-18
Location: McKinney Roughs Nature Park, Hwy 71 13.2 miles east of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on the westbound side.
Contact: (512) 303-5073  / outdoorprograms@lcra.org
Volunteers: outdoorprograms@lcra.org
www.lcra.org/newsstory/2009/earthday.html

APRIL 22: Keep Austin Beautiful: Lady Bird Lake Cleanup (VOLUNTEERS NEEDED)
KAB will lead a team of volunteers to clean up the beloved Lady Bird Lake and Trail.  This area is a favorite destination for thousands of Austinites each week and we all have a stake in keeping it beautiful.

Date: April 22
Location: North shore of Lady Bird Lake underneath I35
Contact: Andrea Dravigne, 610-7768 or dravignea@nwf.org
Volunteers: http://forms.keepaustinbeautiful.org.s27.dotnetsql.com/Forms/VolunteerApplication.aspx
www.keepaustinbeautiful.org

APRIL 22: ACES: Earth Day Luncheon
The Austin Coalition for Environmental Sustainability will hold a luncheon, silent auction and musical reception along with other fun events at Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.
Date: April 22, noon
Location: Ruby Rupner Auditorium / Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
Contact: Susan Hurm, shurm@hotmail.com
Volunteers: Susan Hurm, shurm@hotmail.com
http://co.net/aces/

APRIL 22: Free Reusable Bags from HEB

In celebration of Earth Day, H-E-B is striving to remove 1.5 million plastic bags from the environment.  Next Wednesday, April 22 from 3pm to 7 pm, customers can bring in 5 plastic bags and receive one reusable bag for free. H-E-B hopes to give out 300,000 reusable bags in a four-hour period. No purchase is necessary, but there is a limit of one free reusable bag per customer, and the free bags will only be available between 3 P.M. – 7 P.M. while supplies last.

Date: April 22, 3:00 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: All HEB stores

APRIL 25-26: Eastside Café: Recycling Challenge! (VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!)
The Eastside Café is calling for volunteers to join teams of non-profit organizations for the Art City Austin Recycling Challenge.  Volunteers will man recycling stations and the winning team will receive $1000 for the non-profit organization.  As an incentive, the volunteers will receive free admission to the festival (regular ticket price is $8/$15 for two-day pass), a t-shirt, and an invitation to the volunteer appreciation party.  Art City Austin is a fantastic art festival with over 20,000 visitors expected this year.

Date: April 25-26
Location: Along Cesar Chavez Street from Colorado Street to Lamar
Contact: (512-476-5858 / eastside@io.com
Volunteers: www.eastsidecafeaustin.com/recyclingchallenge/volunteer.html
www.eastsidecafeaustin.com/recyclingchallenge/index.htm

 
Amanda Quraishi is a freelance writer, professional blogger and activist.  She’s spent nine years working in the trenches of the Austin non-profit community in roles ranging from volunteer to executive director.  This year she was honored by the National Women’s History Project as one of the Women Helping to Save the Planet because of her work on her sustainable style blog Fashion, Evolved (www.evolvedfashion.com).  You can learn more about Amanda’s freelance writing on her online Ezine: www.theqreation.com.

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