The theme for Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in Our Planet.” To celebrate Earth Day 2022, Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, UF, Santa Fe College, and other organizations have planned a wide variety of events for citizens to enjoy. Here is a list of some of the activities:
Earth Week Panel – Our Community, Our Planet: Rion Ballroom, Reitz Union, April 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Speaker panel features community organizations, agencies, and people in Gainesville and the greater Alachua County who are working to find local solutions to looming environmental problems. Attendees will leave with concrete ways they can contribute to the betterment of our planet by getting involved.
Museum in the Park with the Florida Museum of Natural History: Wednesday, April 13, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Prairie Creek Lodge (7204 S.E. CR 234, Gainesville). $14 for adult/child pair. $7 per additional person. Join museum educators Alberto Lopez and Amy Hester and UF entomologist Dr. Lisa Taylor as they lead participants on an adventure to learn more about the fascinating world of jumping spiders. Alachua Conservation Trust teams up with The Florida Museum of Natural History to explore trails and figure out the preferred jumping spider habitat. Participants will receive a personalized tour of the area, an up-close look at Museum specimens, and experts to help identify animals seen during the program. Best suited for families with children in grades K-6.
Party for the Planet – Spring into Action: April 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo (3000 N.W. 83rd Street, Gainesville). Admission $8/adults; $5 for children 4-12; free for children 3 and under. Participants explore the zoo and participate in fun activities such as games, crafts, training demonstrations, keeper talks, animal encounters, and more. They will also be joined by local conservation organizations in front of the zoo. They visit with animal ambassadors, chat with zookeepers, and learn about fun ways they can all enjoy and conserve nature.
Spring Plant Sale: Friday, April 22, through Sunday, April 24, at the Florida Museum of Natural History (3215 Hull Road, Gainesville), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors discover which pollinator species they can attract. They learn about the butterfly-friendly plants that work best in landscapes. More than 100 species of Florida and pollinator-friendly plants will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.
SeventhAnnual Tree Fest: Saturday, April 23, noon to 11 p.m. Free event at the Swamp Head Brewery (3650 S.W. 42nd Avenue) with family-friendly activities until 5 p.m. Conservationists and craft beer enthusiasts alike can support the local landscape at the seventh annual Tree Fest, presented by Solar Impact and Swamp Head Brewery to support Alachua Conservation Trust. During the event, every beer purchased directly funds the planting of four trees in Alachua County. Purchases of t-shirts and food from the EIM Thai food truck will also benefit the trees.
Cuscowilla Earth Day Celebration: Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to noon, at Camp Cuscowilla (210 S.E. 134thAvenue, Micanopy). Alachua County will be planting trees and planting a new butterfly garden. Attendees will receive a free sapling to plant at home, and there will be activities for children and tours. Tools and gloves will be provided. The event is free to the public.
Fourth Annual Eco Fest Earth Day: April 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 17306 N.W. 112th Blvd, Alachua 32615, behind ISKCON Alachua Hare Krishna Temple. Join Alachua’s Eco Teaching Farm in their fourth annual Eco Fest Earth Day event. This family-friendly event includes cheese making, cobb/natural building workshops, herb walks, paper making, incense and oil making demos, kids craft tent, food, music, ceramics, and more.
Exploring Nature with Mobile Photography: Sunday, April 24, at the Florida Museum of Natural History (3215 Hull Road, Gainesville), from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. This free, in-person workshop will show participants the tips and tricks to use their cell phones for nature photography. Participants learn how to find interesting subjects and capture great pictures of them. They will also learn how pictures can be used for conservation by scientists with the iNaturalist app in the City Nature Challenge. Space is limited to 25 people.
iNaturalist City Nature Challenge: from April 29, to May 2. Be part of the worldwide iNaturalist City Nature Challenge. Upload photos of plants/animals in Alachua County, and iNaturalist can help identify the photographed plants and animals.
Pick Your Park Ranger-Led Hikes: May 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at three locations. Participants can choose between Morningside Nature Center for a wildflower/plant walk, Hogtown Creek Headwaters for creek stories, and Sweetwater Wetlands Park for a tour of the park. The guided walks are open to the public. Attendees must be able to walk independently over varying terrain for an hour and should come prepared for outdoor conditions. Community members who are interested in attending and need special accommodations can contact Morningside Nature Center prior to the walk. (Due to scheduling of other events, this is set for May rather than the actual date of Earth Day).