Going green for Earth Day is a great excuse to get dirty! All around the Bay, families can roll up their collective sleeves to pull weeds and spruce up area trails. You might even learn a thing or two. Like the fact that this year marks the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day and every year a billion people participate in events around the globe all in the name of keeping our planet healthy. Here are a few ways you can pitch in this year.

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Photo credit: Chris Martin via Flickr

Angel Island
Hop a ferry to Angel Island and spend the day cleaning up the dock, pulling weeds and even swinging an ax. The 640-acre island in the Bay boasts fabulous views and roads and trails that need some love.

When: Sat., Apr. 18, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (check-in 8:30 a.m.)

Where: Angel Island State Park. The ferry leaves at 9 a.m. from Tiburon Ferry dock, 9 Main Street. Return trips run every hour until 4:20 p.m.

Ages: All

Online: calparks.org
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Photo credit:  California State Parks Foundation

Stinson Beach
The devastating tsunami that rocked Japan in March 2011 sent tons of refuse into our oceans and it’s still washing up on our beaches. Help scour Ocean and Stinson Beaches for trash and debris. Meet by the entrance to the beach on the northern end of the middle parking lot at Stinson Beach.

When: Sat., April 18, 10 a.m. – noon

Where: Stinson Beach, Marin, Ca

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Ages: All

Onlinehttp://www.earthdaystinsonbeach.org/

CandleStick Point
Just one of 27 parks that are due for some spring cleaning, CandleStick Point State Rec Area will need folks to put picnic tables together, remove graffiti, pull weeds and participate in general cleanup.

When: Sat., Apr. 18, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (check-in 8:30 a.m.)

Where: Candlestick Point State Recreation Area; 1150 Carroll Ave., San Francisco, Ca

Ages: All

Online: calparks.org

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Photo credit:  California State Parks Foundation

East Bay
Restore habitats and spruce up the rivers and shoreline this Earth Day in the East Bay. Grab your refillable water bottle (less plastic), work gloves and a trash bag. Check out the

When: April 18, 8:30 am to noon

Where: 3 locations 
Martin Luther King Jr., Regional Park – Damon Marsh Trail, Oakport Drive
Lake Chabot Regional Park
McLaughlin Eastshore Regional Park – Pt. Isabel

Ages: All

Online: ebparks.org

The Baylands, Palo Alto
The Baylands are a mega habitat. Home to tons of plant species, weeding out unwanted residents helps keep this precious resource healthy. Grab a sun hat and rain coat and prepare to get dirty and muddy. Register here. But do it quickly as there are limited spots available.

When: Sat., Apr. 25, 9 a.m.–noon

Where: Palo Alto Baylands

Ages: All

Online: savesfbay.org
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 Photo Credit: Don McCullough via creativecommons flickr

South Bay
Earth Day doesn’t have to end in April.  Keep the green going with National River Clean Up Day on Saturday, May 16. Join volunteers along Santa Clara County waterways and pick up trash and debris that clog these beautiful rivers, lakes and streams. Sunscreen is a must!

When: Sat., May 16, 9 a.m.–noon

Where: various locations

Ages: all

Online: http://www.cleanacreek.org/

How are you planning on helping out this Earth Day? Tell us in the comments below! 

—Molly Blake