To Mother Earth, with love: Earth Day in Tucson

Earth Day is on Saturday, and here are some events happening in town – and other ideas – with which to celebrate our big blue world.

Earth Day Celebration

  • When: Saturday, Apr. 20 at 9 a.m. – noon
  • Where: Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

The Tucson Botanical Gardens will be hosting a free event to celebrate Earth Day. There will be face painting and children’s activities from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. There will also be a nature photography workshop for youths at the Education Classroom for the duration of the day. For those who would like a more zen experience, there will be two singing bowl meditations at the Grove by the Zen Garden – one from 9:30-10 a.m. and one from 11-11:30 a.m. At 10 a.m., there will be a ceremony commemorating the American Society for Horticultural Science Landmark Designation for the gardens. At 11:30 a.m., Director of Horticulture Adam Farrell-Wortman will give a talk about the Tucson Botanical Garden’s “commitment to sustainability.” There will also be tours at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 12 p.m. of the Washed Ashore exhibit, which can be booked online. The exhibit features works made from recycled debris found in the ocean such as single-use plastic.

Earth Day at the Children’s Museum

  • When: Saturday, Apr. 20 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Where: Children’s Museum Tucson, S. 6th Ave.

The Children’s Museum Tucson’s Earth Day event will offer hands-on activities and demonstrations about topics such as composting, gardening, wildlife and more. There will be pay-what-you-wish admission all day.

Visit a farmer’s market

  • When: Sunday, Apr. 21 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Where: Heirloom Farmers Markets – Rillito Park, 4502 N. 1st Ave.

Aside from shopping local and supporting Tucson producers and vendors, the Heirloom FM will be providing learning opportunities about topics such as composting, growing food and protecting the desert landscape. There will be live music from Mr. Nature’s Music Garden at 10 a.m.

Music on the Trails

  • When: Saturday, Apr. 20 from 4-6 p.m.
  • Where: Oracle State Park, 3820 E. Wildlife Dr.

From 4-6 p.m., there will be live musicians along the 1.3-mile Nature Trail at Oracle State Park. The musicians pn the trail will be Ric Volante and Vicki Smith, who are an Americana duet, Jamie Miller on electronic drums playing improvised ambient music, and more listed on the website. Volante and Smith will then be playing at the Kannally Ranch House from 6-8 p.m. People may bring food, drinks and chairs to enjoy while listening to the live music. The event is free but there is a park entry fee of $7, which can be purchased at the ranch house. Arizona State Parks annual pass holders can just use their pass.

Visit Saguaro National Park

  • When: Saturday, Apr. 20 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Where: Saguaro National Park East and West

To celebrate Earth Day, the national park is waiving admission fees for the day. There are picnic areas along the trails and so much wilderness to see.

Party for the Planet

  • When: Sunday, Apr. 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Ct.

Reid Park Zoo’s Party for the Planet is a family-friendly celebration. There will be activities included with the price of admission such as a DIY seed ball activity, animal presentations and more. Tickets for non-member adults are $10.50, for non-member seniors they’re $8.50 and $6.50 for children from ages 2-14.

Other ideas…

  • Do some self-led clean-up in your community. Gather your friends, family – even neighbors – to do some trash pick up around the neighborhood.
  • Do some DIY crafts with upcycled materials – anything can be art. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Visit a community farm. Las Milpitas Community Farm, 2405 S. Cottonwood Ln., is a great place to visit.
  • Go to a museum. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd., and the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd., are both open on Earth Day.
  • Plant a small – or large – garden at home. The Pima County Public Library has seed libraries where people with library cards can go and get some seeds for free. Each seed packet has information on when to best plant them and further details. Visit the website to find the locations that carry the seed libraries.