Plan on some fun learning and outdoor teamwork this coming Earth Day 2023. Bring your gardening gloves and mud boots to join a group for park clean ups. Embark on a bike ride to the Olympia Farmer’s Market. Make artwork from recycled materials at the WET Science Center, or gather to hear about environmental projects in a lecture hall at the Evergreen State College. There are many fun Earth Day activities in Olympia and throughout Thurston County.

Earth Day Volunteer Events

Multiple park clean-up events through a PARC Foundation partnership with the Lions Club and several cities’ parks are spurring a little friendly competition among public schools in the name of land stewardship. The “Earth Day 2023 Volunteer Event and Student Challenge” offers up a $500 prize to the school with the most student participants. Check out these park clean-up days and register to participate at the PARC Foundation Earth Day event page where you will find a link to each park activity for important participant information and forms.

Squaxin Park in Olympia
Earth Day volunteers can register to participate in park clean up at Squaxin Park in Olympia. Photo credit: Rebecca Sanchez

City of Olympia
Squaxin Park
2600 East Bay Drive Northeast, Olympia
10 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Gloves, tools and light refreshments will be on hand. Volunteers should wear boots or sturdy shoes that can get muddy.

City of Lacey
Wonderwood Park
5304 32nd Avenue SE, Lacey
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Frye Cove Park
4000 61st Ave NW, Olympia
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

City of Tumwater
Tumwater Historical Park
802 Deschutes Way SW, Tumwater
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Tumwater volunteers are set to go rain or shine and will be removing debris and invasive plants at the historical park.

Tenino City Park Earth Day participants sign in, receive their work assignment and t-shirt to assist the Friends of Tenino Parks for a variety of clean-up activities. Photo credit: Deb Reichelderfer

Tenino City Park
Park Avenue E, Tenino
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Tenino City Park Earth Day volunteers will assist another volunteer group, Friends of Tenino Parks, for a variety of clean-up activities. Participants should sign up at the Quarry House in the park to receive their work assignment and t-shirt. After a group photo, the Tenino Lion’s Club will provide free lunch for participants. Help the earth and help a school. Sign up to join a park clean-up work party.

Bicycle Commuter Challenge

Bike riders from surrounding neighborhoods will rendezvous at Heritage Park Fountain to start off Intercity Transit’s 36th annual Bicycle Community Challenge (BCC) on Earth Day. BCC winter and spring events encourage residents to not only celebrate bicycle riding but to also give biking a try as their mode of transportation. After leaving on individual neighborhood rides that start at 10 a.m., participants will gather at Heritage Fountain Park where there will be Dancing Goats Coffee, San Francisco Street Bakery treats, stickers and a 1$ token for the Olympia Farmer’s Market. After a group photo, all participants will ride to the Olympia Farmer’s Market to enjoy shopping, food and music. Visit the Intercity Transit BCC webpage for important information about participating and to sign up.

Large group photo of bike riders at Heritage Park
Bike riders will rendezvous at Heritage Park Fountain to start off the 36th annual Intercity Transit Bicycle Community Challenge on Earth Day. The group is shown here in their 2022 group photo. Photo credit: Duncan Green

Rachel Carson Forum

The Rachel Carson Forum at the Evergreen State College is named for environmentalist, biologist and author Rachel Carson. An afternoon of activities begins with a beach clean-up at Bushoowah-Ahlee Point. Participants should meet at the F parking lot for the hike down to the water at 11 a.m. Bringing shoes that can get muddy and some work gloves is recommended. After a lunch break and poster session in the schedule, the Purce Hall lecture session will begin at 2 p.m. The Master of Environmental Studies Association (MESA) 31st annual theme for 2023 is “Issues on the Rise,” which will inform the public about current or new projects connected to climate, stewardship and socio-economical sustainability. Admission is free, and the forum is scheduled to run until 5 p.m.

WET Science Center in Olympia Explores Recycling and Making Art

Each Saturday, the Water Education and Technology (WET) Science Center has open classroom time with crafts and activities for visitors. On Earth Day, the center is having a “Rise Above Plastics” themed day. Activities and crafts will focus on recycling, such as creating art from recycled materials and learning to distinguish the difference between recyclable materials and trash. It’s free to visit and open during regular Saturday hours.

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