Spend a Day Doing Good for the Planet

April is designated Earth Month, a time when we traditionally focus on cultivating environmental consciousness. Earth Day originated in the 1970s after several massive oil spills off of the California coast. Since then the movement has sparked awareness, and been the impetus for legislative changes such as the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, as well as the development of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Earth Day is a now a global movement with yearly regional, and local events that allow every person to take a small part in making the earth a more sustainable place to live. Tacoma, with its world class collection of parks, has several events throughout the month that bring together the community to cultivate their parks.

As Earth Day falls on a Monday this year, the 22nd of April, the majority of Earth Day activities in Tacoma are happening on Saturday the 20th. We all recycle and try to avoid using plastic water bottles, but Earth Month is an opportunity for everyone to get out and do something particularly helpful for the environment.

On April 13th the annual Tacoma Earth Day Run will be held in Wapato Park. Each participant in the 5k will receive a sapling tree to plant at their homes, or in the park.

The Green Tacoma Partnership will be hosting their annual Parks Appreciation Day in local parks all over Tacoma including Point Defiance, McKinley, and Wapato. Volunteers will gather to clean parks by collecting garbage, trimming trees, and planting native plants. To find a park near you, or sign up to volunteer visit http://cedar.greencitypartnerships.org/gtp/event/map/

If you prefer the beach to the forest, every third Saturday, including April 20th, there is a beach cleanup on the Point Defiance Beach Marina. Help keep the beach clean by picking up garbage along the water.

For those with children, Metro Park’s Tacoma Nature Center will be holding an Earth Day Extravaganza during which kids will learn about the earth, and how they can take care of it.

The above organizations hold sustainability events throughout the rest of the spring and summer as well. Cleanup days are held by Green Tacoma Partnership monthly, or even weekly in order to maintain the beautiful parks we enjoy, so if you are looking to help the environment, not just for a month or day, but all throughout the year, visit their website to find a restoration group near you.


Illustration by Danielle Burch.