Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to engage your little ecologists in environmental protection efforts, right here in our very own home by the Bay and inspire conservation at a young age. Whether you clean up the shore or enjoy an eco-friendly festival, make it fun and make it last! Check out our round-up below for plenty of earth-loving activities to choose from. 

photo: Surfrider Foundation SF Chapter 

San Francisco

Ocean Beach Earth Day Cleanup
Join Surfrider SF for its annual Earth Day Beach cleanup at Ocean Beach plus an afterparty to celebrate this awesome planet! Gloves and buckets will be provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own. 

Good to know: Rain cancels clean-ups. Check their Facebook Page for the latest information.

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When: Saturday,  April 21
Time: 10 a.m.–noon
Location: Ocean Beach Stairwell 17, Noriega Avenue and Sloat Blvd.
Online: sf.surfrider.org

Historic Landscaping at Ocean Beach
Head out to Ocean Beach for a morning of native plant planting, painting and historic site improvement. Help upkeep these popular destinations for all visitors to enjoy.

Good to know: Volunteers ages 10 and up are welcome with a chaperone.

When: Saturday, April 21
Time: 9 a.m.–noon
Location: San Francisco, Ocean Beach
Online: parksconservancy.org

photo: Aquarium of the Bay

Aquatic Park Cleanup
Join the Aquarium of the Bay and SF Maritime National Historic Park for a community cleanup. Bonus: Volunteers who bring their own reusable water bottle/coffee mug, reusable gloves and/or bucket will also be eligible to enter a raffle to win a a pack of tickets to Aquarium of the Bay!

Good to know: Volunteers will need to bring this signed waiver and are also encouraged to bring their own gloves and bucket if possible.

When: Saturday, April 21st
Time: 10 a.m.1 p.m.
Location: Aquatic Park
Online: Register here

Earth Day San Francisco 2018
Join Earth Day SF in celebrating this year’s theme “Stand for the Redwoods/Stand for the Future.” Activities will include a kids’ zone, music performances on the main stage, a sustainable fashion show, electrical vehicle showcase, organic and vegan Chef Zone, hands-on eco workshops, wine and beer gardens for the adults and much more! 

Good to know: Entrance is free of charge but donations are encouraged.

When: Saturday, April 21
Time: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Location: Civic Center Plaza
Online: earthdaysf.org

photo: Charity Vargas

Earth Week at the Presidio
The Presidio Trust brings family-friendly activities to The Presidio to celebrate Earth Week. Start by joining Presidio archeologists and kick off the 2018 season of live archeology digs with “Back into the Earth Day.” Help remove the sand covering last year’s discoveries on El Presidio de San Francisco, the Spanish-colonial archeological site buried just below the ground in front of the Presidio Officers’ Club. Then on April 28, join in for the Presidio Nature Challenge to discover and record how many wild plants and animals make The Presidio their home. This is a competition among over 60 cities and all ages are welcome. 

Good to know: Registration appreciated but not required. Significant rain may cancel event.

When: April 21 (Back in the Earth Day) and April 28 (Presidio Nature Challenge)
Location: The Presidio
Online: presidio.gov

Alcatraz Cruises Earth Day by the Bay
Come on out and celebrate Earth Day with Alcatraz Cruises. Learn about their sustainability efforts through interactive exhibits and enjoy music, entertainment, arts and crafts, face painting, prizes and more.

Good to know: Event is free and open to the public.

When: Saturday,  April 21
Time: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Location: Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing
Online: alcatrazcruises.com/earth-day

photo: Chelsea Feldman Photography

East Bay

Earth Day Shoreline Cleanup at Emeryville
The city of Emeryville is teaming up with East Bay Regional Parks District to sponsor two clean-ups. Give back to the community by participating in these environmental program events and help maintain Emeryville’s shores. For Shorebird Park, meet in the Chevys’ Parking lot. For Emeryville Crescent, meet at Powell St., just east of the fire station building, for a brief safety talk by staff before work begins.

Good to know: Bring reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, collection bags or buckets, garden gloves and digging claws, if you have them. Dress in layers, wear sunscreen, sturdy shoes and a hat.

When: Sunday, April 22
Time: 9 a.m.–noon
Location: Shorebird Park and Emeryville Crescent, Emeryville, CA
Online: emeryville.ca.us

24th Annual Oakland Earth Day
Earth Day is Oakland’s largest community volunteer event. Groups and individuals of all ages and abilities are invited to join cleanup and restoration projects at creeks, parks and neighborhood sites throughout the city. All tools are provided, so join your neighbors and clean and green Oakland!

Good to know: Pre-registration for individuals and small groups is not required. For groups of 10 or more, contact the site coordinator you are interested in. 

When: Saturday, April 21
Time: times vary 
Location: Choose from a variety of sites
Online: oaklandearthday.org

March for Science
March and celebrate public discovery, understanding and distribution of scientific knowledge as crucial to the freedom, success, health and safety of life on this planet. 

Good to know: When marching with kids, be prepared! Comfy shoes, sunscreen, snacks, water, extra layers, and bright clothing are encouraged.

When: Saturday, April 14
Time: 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 
Location: Oakland, CA
Online: marchforsciencesf.com

Oakland Zoo Earth Day Celebration
Join the Oakland Zoo and over fifty conservation, green and educational organizations in a zoo-wide, family-friendly festival, celebrating our planet. Enjoy interactive stations, live music, face painting and animal presentations. 

Good to know: Bring your old cellphones to be recycled and get a free train ride ticket. Event included with Zoo admission.

When: Saturday, April 14
Time: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Location: Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland, CA
Online: oaklandzoo.org

photo: Dave R. via flickr

Peninsula/South Bay

Coastal Wildflower Day
This fun-packed day features games and activities for the whole family, native plants for your garden, hula dancing, nature walks, food trucks and more.

Good to know: Enter their coloring contest. Check back on their website to download a copy and get an early start.

When: Saturday, April 14
Time: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Location: Half Moon Bay State Beach, Francis Beach, 95 Kelly Ave, Half Moon Bay
Online: coastsidestateparks.org

Earth Day of Action and EcoFest
This annual citywide day of action has grown to become popular, family-friendly and only one of a few events in the Bay Area dedicated to inspiring, uniting, educating and building community to remove litter and restore native landscape along the San Mateo County coast. This year’s theme is “Sea Stars.” Volunteer at organized sites from Mussel Rock to Tunitas Creek, on beaches, along highways and streets from Highway 35 to the coastline. After cleanups be sure to join the EcoFest celebration and enjoy music, refreshments, EcoBooths and family-friendly activities.

Good to know: Register here. Entry to EcoFest is free.

When: Saturday, April 21
Location/Time: 9-11 a.m. cleanups, gardening and habitat restoration at organized sites from Mussel Rock to Tunitas Creek, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Eco Fest at Linda Mar State Beach (south parking lot).
Online: pacificabeachcoalition.org

Earth Day with the Youth Science Institute
This is the first year of this event where you can learn about pollinators, sustainable gardening and how you can help offset your carbon footrprint by planting native seeds. See live animals and learn from community organizations.

Good to know: Food truck Waffle Amore will be on-site.

When: Sunday, April 22
Time: 1-4 p.m
Location: Alum Rock Park, 16260 Penitencia Creek Road, San Jose
Cost: free, $6/parking
Online: ysi-ca.org

photo: Marco Sanchez

Marin

Restore and Create: Earth Day Celebration at Stinson Beach
Round up the troops and head out to Stinson Beach to give the coast some TLC. Participate in beach cleanup or creek restoration. Enjoy arts activities for all ages and join over a dozen collaborating artists engaging the public in sculpture-making with natural materials, making music, dancing, sand globe making and more. Bring your own lunch!

Good to know: complete and bring this required Volunteer Agreement Form to participate

When: Sunday, April 22
Time: 10 am–3 pm
Location: South end of Stinson Beach, 25 Marine Way, Stinson Beach, CA 
Online: earthdaystinsonbeach.org

Earth Day at Hal Brown Park 
Join Marin Residents as they clean up litter from the Corte Madera Creek watershed and restore habitat at Hal Brown Park at Creekside. All skill levels and ages are welcome, no previous experience is necessary. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Dress in layers as you can get dirty, wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Snacks will be provided. In the event of heavy rain and/or high winds call (415) 763-2977 to check on event status.

Good to know: RSVP’s are appreciated but not required. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Kirk Schroeder at (415) 763-2977

When: Saturday, April 21st
Time: 9 a.m.–noon
Location: Meet across from Marin General Hospital at Hal Brown Park at Creekside (at the pedestrian bridge near the bike path)
Online: marincountyparks.org

WildCare’s Family Nature Day Honoring Elizabeth Terwilliger 
Celebrate Earth Day and learn about our local wildlife “Mrs. T-style.” Go on a naturalist-led hike (bilingual Spanish hike also offered) catch and release frogs, meet wildcare’s educational, Ambassador Animals, do a “Nature Scavenger Hunt Challenge,” and more. Bring a picnic to enjoy lake shore!  

Good to know: This event is free to the public. No RSVP required. $5 parking fee at Stafford Lake.

When: Saturday, April 21
Time: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Location: Stafford Lake Park, Novato, CA

Online: discoverwildcare.org/wildcare-family-nature-day

What is your go-to Earth Day activity? Share with us below!

—Nella DuBon-Koch and Sommer Naffz