How to Celebrate Earth Day in Denver

April 12, 2023

Local opportunities to celebrate Earth Day and support green organizations and initiatives

Earth Day is an annual opportunity to celebrate the bounty of our planet and recognize that our everyday efforts can and do affect its health. Many people choose to celebrate this day by engaging in environmentally conscious activities, educating themselves about environmental issues, or simply appreciating the beauty of our planet.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 in the United States. It was created as a result of efforts by Senator Gaylord Nelson to raise awareness among American college students about environmental issues in the United States and eventually spread to the general American population and around the globe. Now, it is considered the largest secular observance in the world, recognized by over one billion people every year.

Every day, we can choose to raise awareness for environmental causes, cultivate green efforts in our communities, and support sustainable practices. Here are a few diverse local opportunities for celebrating Earth Day in and around Denver this year.

Visit Denver Botanic Gardens

On Earth Day, admission to Denver Botanic Gardens is free, and a visit to this attraction is a fantastic option for celebration and education. Alongside exquisite indoor and outdoor gardens, the facility boasts multiple cafes with locally sourced food, exotic and rare plants, and an art gallery with rotating exhibits. Most paths in the gardens are paved and accessible to those who use mobility devices. For a kid-friendly learning opportunity, register for the free Nature Tales Family Story Time event, where kids will learn about the wonders of the natural world through listening to nature-themed stories. Denver Botanic Gardens also hosts frequent classes in a wide variety of gardening and landscaping techniques, and on Earth Day, classes in Beginning Bonsai, New Gardening Boot Camp, and more are available.

Go to an Earth Day festival

One of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day in a family-friendly setting is by participating on one of the Earth Day festivals here in Denver. El Pueblo History Museum is hosting a free Earth Day Indigenous Music and Arts Festival that will feature local indigenous musical and dance groups, an opportunity to contribute to a collective art piece, environmental education booths, and kid-friendly activities such as chalk art. Another option for observing this day in Denver is the 9th Annual Longmont Earth Day Celebration, which will take place at Timberline PK-8 School and include agricultural education, upcycled arts and crafts projects, a treasure hunt, food trucks, baby goats, and much more.

Visit a Colorado national park

Every Earth Day, all national parks in the United States offer free entry. Colorado is home to four national parks: Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon National Parks all have accessible trails for individuals who use wheelchairs, and Great Sand Dunes National Park has a limited number of sand wheelchairs available to loan at the visitor center. Try planning a visit to one of these parks to celebrate the natural beauty of Earth and remember the importance of environmental protection for future generations.

Enjoy nature in one of Denver’s local parks

If a national park is too far, don’t worry. There are opportunities much closer to home for enjoying nature, thanks to Denver’s extensive city park system. Denver has over 200 traditional and historic parks within city limits for residents to enjoy and 85 miles of paved, accessible trails available. To learn more about these parks and to find a park near you, visit the city of Denver’s official Urban Parks webpage.

Host a garden with Jovial Concepts

Starting a garden can seem like an intimidating task, and many people don’t have the space or time to allow for maintenance. However, Jovial Concepts, an RMHS Mill Levy Community Initiative, offers multiple options for participating in the growth of sustainable and healthy food through gardening. Volunteers from their Jovial Gardens program can create a garden in your yard that helps you and your community thrive. Although this process must be started later in the year to adequately prepare for the growing season, you can start now by making an appointment to assess your yard for a future garden, volunteering your time to work in other gardens, or making a donation to host a garden in your community. Jovial Concepts welcomes volunteers of all abilities in their programs.

Volunteer with or donate to a local environmental nonprofit

There are many organizations here in Denver whose mission is to be good stewards of our planet, and you can help them by volunteering your time or funds on Earth Day. Denver Urban Gardens is a nonprofit that creates sustainable, food-producing neighborhood community gardens. They are hosting a number of volunteer activities on Earth Day including garden prep sessions and cleanups of community gardens. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado is another nonprofit offering volunteering projects throughout the year, including trail maintenance and restoration, garden planting, and inclusive events such as ASL Supported Family Camping and Trail Restoration.

Earth Day is a great time for people of all abilities to get involved and give back to our environment. We can all recognize the impact that we have on our planet and choose to make it a positive one. Participating in events, volunteering our time, and simply appreciating nature together are all important and achievable ways to improve the way we interact with our planet this Earth Day.