Since the United States officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement in February under the Biden-Harris administration, there's actually a reason to celebrate this Earth Day, which falls on Thursday, April 22, but brings events as early as this weekend (many of which require pre-registration). After you bake a cake in the likeness of our planet, read on below for native plant sales, park cleanups, online talks on climate justice, and other ways to care for and learn about the local and global environment.
Events are online unless otherwise noted
PLANT SALES & FREE TREES
Bellevue Tree Giveaway
According to the local nonprofit 300 Trees, Bellevue needs to plant 75,000 trees in the next 30 years to reach its goal of 40% tree canopy coverage. To jump-start that plan, they're giving away 50 native trees to Eastside residents on Earth Day.
Bellevue College (Thurs April 22)
Giving Tree Event - Pitch in for Parks
Stop by Chambers Creek Regional Park to receive a free tree and packet of pollinator seeds provided by Pitch In For Parks and the Tacoma Tree Foundation—and take advantage of the public trails and terrific views of the Puget Sound while you're there.
Chambers Creek Regional Park, University Place (Sat April 17)
2021 King County Master Gardener Online Plant Sale
Shop veggie starts, tomato varieties, perennials, natives, and more from specialty growers and certified Master Gardeners—who also have a host of useful tips on growing veggies and herbs—and schedule a pickup between April 30-May 2.
Various pickup locations (April 21-27)
Plant & Garden Share
Donate your bounty of bedding plants and vegetable starts—or trade your goods for something on offer from another local green thumb—every second Saturday of the month at this Beacon Hill Garden Club event.
The Station, Beacon Hill (ongoing)
Pop-Up Plant Vendor Weekends
Get a spring flower twofer by taking in the blooms at the lovely Southend garden and shopping for your own rare plants, perennials, succulents, and more from local nurseries every Saturday and Sunday.
Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, Federal Way (ongoing)
Sno-Valley Senior Center Annual Plant Sale
Boasting itself as the largest plant sale on the Eastside, this annual event brings "thousands" of annuals, perennials, shrubs, edible plants, and garden art pieces to Carnation.
Sno-Valley Senior Center, Carnation (April 29-May 1)
Spring Native Plant Sale
Over 100 species of native shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers—plus a small selection of trees—await you at this annual plant sale benefiting the Washington Native Plant Society's Central Puget Sound Chapter. Orders will be available for pickup on May 8-9.
21 Acres, Woodinville (orders accepted through April 26)
TNC Native Plant Sale
Shop online for coveted native specimens like blue-eyed grass, foamflower, evergreen huckleberry, maidenhair fern, red-flowering currant, and much more. Orders are for pickup only.
Tacoma Nature Center (through April 25)
Bellevue Green & Cleanup Walk
Show up in your mask and gloves to clear litter from downtown Bellevue. Bags and grabber tools will be provided. Your dog mustn't come along.
Bellevue Downtown Park (Sun April 18)
Earth Day at the Arboretum
Volunteer to help beautify the Washington Park Arboretum by removing invasive species, weeding, and mulching planting beds. Space is limited to 15 people altogether, with five people per group.
Washington Park Arboretum, Madison Park (Sat April 24)
Earth Week at the Park
The park in question is Lake Sammamish State Park, and activities include volunteering to weed, mulch, and plant on the grounds; entering giveaways for water-saving prizes provided by the Cascade Water Alliance (kitchen faucet aerator, anyone?); scooping up free seeds, gloves, and blossom kits while supplies last; and going on self-guided hikes.
Lake Sammamish State Park, Issaquah (April 20-May 2)
Green Snoqualmie Earth Day Volunteer Event
Help clear this local park of overgrown blackberry bramble to make room for native pollinator plants. Each group is limited to 10 people, so register soon! Gloves and tools will be provided.
Jeanne Hansen Community Park, Snoqualmie (Sat April 17)
King County Earth Day Guide
King County won't hold its annual greenhouse restoration event this year, but be sure to check out their Earth Day page for helpful info on gardening (did you know they had a hotline for your most urgent planting questions?), local farmers, and recycling how-to's, plus downloadable crossword puzzles that teach you about native birds and plants.
Tacoma Parks Appreciation Day
Register to trim tree limbs, groom grounds, comb beaches, and maintain restoration areas in small groups at South Sound natural areas like Charlotte's Blueberry Park, Point Defiance, McKinley Park, and Titlow Park.
Various locations (Sat April 24)
READINGS & TALKS
Black Earth Day: A Panel On Black Urban Farming & The Environmental Movement
Learn how the Black urban farming movement fits into the broader umbrella of environmental justice in this panel discussion with the Black Farmers Collective.
(Thurs April 22)
Creating a Pollinator Paradise
Turn to the Beacon Food Forest for advice on how to turn your garden into a veritable utopia for pollinators, which are essential to the health of our ecosystems, food crops, and landscapes.
(Sat April 24)
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Drawing from her book Braiding Sweetgrass, Botanist and Citizen Potawatomi Nation member Robin Wall Kimmerer will dive into what we can learn from plants and animals.
(Wed April 21)
Virtual Happy Hour: Working Together for a Greener Washington
Hear from Craig Nobley of Lighthouse Roasters, Krista Nelson of Hot Cakes, Rick McLaughlin of Big Time Brewery, and Tom Uniack of Washington Wild about the ins and outs of running an environmentally conscious business.
(Wed April 21)
Build Your Own Floral Bouquet
Arrange a floral bouquet with the pros at the Volunteer Park Conservatory, using a kit complete with fresh spring blooms and a vase (which you can pick up the day before the online class).
(Sun April 18)
Build Your Own Terrarium Pop-Up
Book a spot to assemble a tiny plant oasis using a glass vessel, rocks and soil, a succulent, and cute adornments like (fake) mushrooms and ladybugs. A portion of proceeds will be donated to local Seattle urban farming program Nurturing Roots.
The Works, Capitol Hill (April 17 & 22)
Meaningful Movies: 2040
Step right up for online screenings and discussions of Damon Gameau's 2040, a hopeful (!) documentary about climate change solutions presented by Meaningful Movies. The final screening will feature special guest Dow Constantine.
This annual festival put on by the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art will move its lineup of environmentally focused dance, music, films, book talks, and more to their social media pages. We're particularly excited for a program of short films by local polymath Clyde Petersen, including Torrey Pines and When Home was a Blue Sky, as well as an eco-printing art workshop with Catherine Alice Michaelis.
(April 18-May 1)
SPORTS & OUTDOORS
Earth Day Run
Every person who reaches the finish line of this 5K or half marathon will have a tree planted in their name at a post-race planting party, plus receive a native tree to take home. Runners can also look forward to organic snacks.
Magnuson Park, Sand Point (Sat April 17)
National Park Week
National Parks in Washington, Oregon, and around the country will host activities you can do from your couch—along with some themed in-person events and free admission to National Parks on April 17—for a whole week.
KIDS & FAMILY
Earth Day Crafts To Go
Eastside families with kids between the ages of four and 10 can grab free craft-making kits (compiled from recycled materials for Earth Day) for contactless pickup.
Bellevue Arts Museum (Sat April 17)
Earth Day Scavenger Hunt
Households of six or fewer can hike along this upland trail system to hunt for clues and discover facts about the natural world.
Shadow Lake Nature Preserve, Renton (Sat April 24)
Family Concert: Earth
This kid-friendly Seattle Symphony concert will explore the relationship between people and land. If you wish, you can stick around for Earth Day activities and crafts afterward.
(Sat April 24)
Elliott's Oyster House
From Earth Day through the end of May, the waterfront seafood destination will serve a Sauvignon Blanc from Proud Pour, a vegan and sustainable wine producer that supports environmental restoration.
Pickup, delivery, outdoor seating, or limited indoor seating
The gourmet cupcake bakery is baking up "Mother Earth" cupcakes frosted to resemble the globe and encircled in blue and green sprinkles.
Pickup or delivery