On April 22, people around the world will celebrate Earth Day and dedicate their attention to environmental issues. In festivals and beautification projects, people will celebrate the environment and do hands-on work to protect the planet.
You can do your part, too! Around Tennessee, festivals and natural treasures provide fun opportunities to be a volunteer.
Nashville Earth Day Festival, April 22, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Centennial Park
Start the day at Mayor Barry’s Citywide Spring Clean. Join people across the city as they tackle community cleanup and beautification projects.
Then, head over to the festival, where you can listen to live music and wander through family-friendly exhibits and activities. Sign up for volunteer shifts on the event websites.
Earth Day Celebrations, April 1, 9 and 21–22, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy
The festivities begin April 1 with the Down to Earth Festival, featuring live entertainment, locally and sustainably sourced foods and tons of eco-friendly, high-adventure activities.
It’s followed by a 5K on April 9 and a camp out for the whole family on April 21. Volunteer positions are filling up fast, but some shifts are still open. Visit the website, click on the event you prefer then register to volunteer.
Knoxville’s EarthFest, April 15, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum
The 18th annual EarthFest celebration will include a scavenger hunt, a clean fuel showcase, arts and crafts, live entertainment and a goodwill pop-up shop. Volunteer opportunities are listed on the site, where you can register for a shift of your choice.
Clean & Green, April 29, 8 a.m.–noon, downtown
The weekend after, Chattanooga will hold its annual downtown cleanup event. Cleaning teams will pick up litter and take on repair and beautification projects in Chattanooga’s downtown area. Sign up online to volunteer.
Land Trust for Tennessee
This organization has more than 350 projects going on around the state, so there’s bound to be something happening near you. They’ll also have volunteer opportunities like farm workdays, plantings on protected land and informational workshops happening this spring.
National and State Parks
The Volunteer State is home to many parks, like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Old Natchez Trace and David Crockett State Parks. Pick a site near you, and ask about opportunities to work as an Earth Day volunteer. They’re sure to have events or projects where you can help protect these natural and historic treasures for future generations.
If organized volunteer projects aren’t your thing, then pick a trail, take a hike and pick up trash while enjoying the great outdoors. Our state is full of hiking and biking trails, waterways and other attractions that can always benefit from some extra TLC on Earth Day or any day.
No matter where you live in Tennessee, you have many opportunities to get outdoors, join the community and volunteer some time in observance of Earth Day.