Whatever your political leanings might be, it’s hard to escape headlines on climate change and increasing concerns about the fate of our environment. On April 22, more than 190 countries will mark the 47th observance of Earth Day, and Atlanta will be one of the cities hosting a wide range of events to mark the occasion. The events are designed to bring awareness to sustainable and green efforts as well as encourage residents to get involved. For our 10th anniversary Green Issue, we’ve rounded up a list of the upcoming events you won’t want to miss. Be sure to visit AtlantaINtownPaper.com to find even more events as they are announced in the coming weeks leading up to Earth Day.

EarthShare of Georgia
The nonprofit that helps raises funds for state environmental organizations is hosting three big events for Earth Day 2016. For more information, visit earthsharega.org.

  • The 2017 Earth Day Corporate Green Day Challenge: This year’s challenge is set for April 1 from 9 a.m. to noon at various sites around the city. Employees from local businesses will improve parks, plant gardens, remove litter from stream banks and build forest trails, among other projects. The winning team will receive the Corporate Green Day Challenge Award recognizing leadership, employee participation, project accomplishment and sustainability.
  • Water Symposium & Career Expo: This day-long event created by EarthShare will be held April 13 and will include the annual Leadership Breakfast, tours of The Water Hub reclamation facility at Emory University, a career expo, a luncheon featuring Trash Free Seas director Nicholas Mallos as keynote speaker and a panel talk. The event is hosted by Emory Sustainability Initiatives, the Emory University Career Center and Sustainable Water.

Trees Atlanta Native Wildflower and Vine Sale
The 5th Annual Native Wildflower and Vine Sale will be held April 1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Freedom Farmers’ Market at The Carter Center. Over 100 varieties of native perennials, grasses, shrubs, and tree-friendly vines will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit Trees Atlanta’s youth education programs. All major credit cards, as well as checks, and cash will be accepted. For more information, visit TreesAtlanta.org.

Sweep the Hooch
Chattahoochee Riverkeeper will conduct its 7th annual Sweep the Hooch on April 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cleanup will include multiple sites with more than 500 volunteers expected. Since 2011, the event has removed 41 tons of river refuse. To register, visit sweepthehooch.org. 

Wylde Center

Earth Day, Birthday at The Wylde Center
This year’s Earth Day event at the Wylde Center will also be a special celebration of the Wylde Center’s 20th birthday. “Earth Day, Birthday” will be held Sunday, April 23, at the Oakhurst Garden, 435 Oakview Road in Decatur. A festive parade will begin at 12:30 p.m., with Earth Day activities scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Attendees will enjoy cake, children’s activities, games, a T-shirt design contest, live music, food vendors and much more. Admission is free. For more information, visit wyldecenter.org. 

Earth Day on English Avenue
A two-day service event being hosted by Friends of English Avenue and the Captain Planet Foundation will take place April 21-22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lindsay Street Baptist Church, 550 Lindsay Street NW. The event aims to bring more than 1,000 volunteers to the English Avenue community for two days of cleanup and beautification projects, and is part of Friends of English Avenue’s 10th anniversary celebration. The Captain Planet Foundation will also host a 5K run and 1K kids fun run (best Captain Planet costume wins a prize) on April 22 (Earth Day) as part of the festivities. Event proceeds will be used to develop a year-round teen workers program focused on continued English Avenue community cleanup efforts and for Captain Planet Foundation programs. For more information, visit captainplanetfoundation.org/earthday.

Georgia Tech’s Earth Day Celebration
The 20th annual event is set for April 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tech Walk. The event is free, open to the public and features more than 70 exhibitors. There will also be eco-friendly giveaways, recycling opportunities, a clothing swap, an office supply exchange, live music, and more. For more information visit earthday.gatech.edu.

Chattahoochee Nature Center
The Chattahoochee Nature will host the Back To Your Roots Farm Fair on April 2 from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a mobile dairy demonstration, baby farm animals, musical performances, arts and crafts, food trucks and much more. Through May 31, visitors can also search for a dozen new, whimsical fairy houses along Homestead Trail and Kingfisher Pond Trail. On April 22 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. there will be a night hike through the forest and a campfire to relax by after the event to mark Earth Day. Also on April 22, Earth Day Canoeing: Shooting Stars on the River returns at 5 p.m. for a 2.5 mile paddle down the Chattahoochee with guides followed by a chance to watch for shooting stars during the peak of the Lyrid Meteor Shower. Feel free to bring a picnic dinner. For more information, tickets and schedules, visit chattnaturecenter.org.

Earth Day on English Avenue

Atlanta Bird Fest
The Atlanta Audubon Society will host the second annual Atlanta Bird Fest from April 15 to May 14. The event will feature five consecutive weekends of activities and events, including exclusive birding field trips, workshops, presentations, and more. Proceeds from all events go toward supporting Atlanta Audubon Society’s work to protect Georgia’s birds and their habitats through education, conversation, and advocacy. For a complete listing of events and to register, visit atlantaaudubon.org.

The Nature Conservancy’s Earth Day Celebration
The Nature Conservancy in Georgia will host the 23rd annual Earth Day Celebration from 7 to 11 p.m. on April 21 at The Promenade at Piedmont Park. This annual event has raised more than $4 million over the past 22 years to protect Georgia’s forests, waters and coast. This year’s theme is “Moonlight Through the Pines.” Guests will enjoy cuisine by Dennis Dean catering, live music from the Bradley Cole Smith band, and the opportunity to learn more about conservation and meet community environmental leaders. Tickets ($150) and more information are at nature.org/GAearthday.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.