Trees are blooming, people are sneezing — spring is in the air and April is here! As we thaw out from the winter months, its easy to see why April is the perfect time to celebrate Earth. In April, color explodes on trees, plants shoot up from the ground and new life is all around as we get to appreciate just how magical Mother Nature is.
If you’re looking to hug some trees in celebration, there’s no better place than your local park. Not only can you find actual trees there, you can also find a variety of ways to celebrate Earth Month and positively contribute to our environment.
1. Go on a nature walk.
This can be as simple as finding the nearest trail and exploring what’s around you. However, many local parks offer designated nature trails that include signage and information about the local flora and fauna. Check out your local park and recreation department’s webpage to see what’s near you. If you bring kids with you, bring some activities along that will help them learn and explore!
2. Take part in the #Trashtag challenge.
About a month ago, the #Trashtag challenge started trending online and we’ve been in love ever since! Head out to your favorite local park with some friends, trash bags and gloves and see what a difference you can make. Don’t forget those before and after pics! While most parks welcome cleanup efforts, do be mindful of any signs, closures and warnings from park staff. If you’re unsure, call your local parks department.
3. Participate in pollinator protection.
Pollinators are essential to our ecosystem and the world’s food supply, but their populations are declining at an alarming rate. Many parks have joined in to help pollinators and reverse this trend by planting pollinator gardens, hosting BioBlitzes and even starting up beekeeping! Check around to see what your local parks offer.
We are celebrating Pollinator’s Week! @ChicagoParks is proud to be part of the national “Parks for Pollinators” campaign to help raise awareness about the impact that these insects have in our daily lives. Learn more: https://t.co/XQ4cA58iMz pic.twitter.com/jeCx0FD88u— Chicago ParkDistrict (@ChicagoParks) June 22, 2018
4. Find opportunities to volunteer.
Local parks and recreation departments are almost always looking for volunteers. From clean up days to summer camps, you just might be the perfect person to lend a hand! Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and give back to your community.
Are you free this Saturday morning? You can get much-needed time in nature while giving back to the community. Lend a hand in restoring Kendall Indian Hammocks Park from 8:30 a.m. - noon, Feb. 9. Register for Natural Areas Community Cleanups at https://t.co/Ci9DE2IPUT pic.twitter.com/FiLBcGvc8l— Miami-Dade Parks (@MiamiDadeParks) February 5, 2019
5. Visit a local farmers market.
Many park and recreation departments host farmers markets in order to connect their communities with local produce. By shopping local, you get nutritious, in-season food that didn’t have to travel far to get on your table.
The FINAL Dorey Park Farmers Market of the year is THIS Saturday, Oct. 27. Stock up on locally made goodies to get you through the winter. 🐻— Henrico Rec & Parks (@henricorecNpark) October 24, 2018
Vendor, performance, and kids activity info can be found at https://t.co/cXQ8Yc0iQO. #Henrico #RVAdine pic.twitter.com/LG9Vkisa5y
6. Exchange your car for a walk in the park.
Get creative with finding new ways to walk more and drive less. You could walk instead of drive to a park or skip the trip to the mall and walk to the park instead! According to NRPA’s Americans' Engagement with Parks Report, three in four Americans live within a 10-minute walk of a local park or other recreational facility (and we’re working on making that four in four!).
Joined students from Cary Elementary School for the 10-minute Walk to Park campaign, a movement to support having a park within a 10 minute walk from every neighborhood #10minwalk #WalktoParkDay pic.twitter.com/jz05uqqtbG— Levar M. Stoney (@LevarStoney) October 10, 2018
7. Leave it better than you found it.
This is the motto that greets us every morning at NRPA! Whether it’s picking up some trash you found while riding your bike or helping someone carry their picnic supplies, leave your local parks better than you found them!
Share how you celebrate Earth at your local parks by using #NRPAEarthMonth on Twitter and Instagram!