Celebrate Earth Day in Kansas

Earth Day is on April 22, and while we think everyone should care about the earth everyday, it’s special to get together to support the planet. Here are a few places across Kansas where you can celebrate Earth Day from family-friendly activities to recycling.

HutchinsonDillon Nature Center

Tall Tales and Terrific Trees – April 23 from 1 to 2pm – Families with children ages 3-10 years old: Join us and Amy Johnson from the Hutchinson Public library as she reads tree-rific tree tales on the hills in the Playscape. Then children will make a leaf craft and families can explore the trails in search of trees and seeds. Free!

Lawrence – South Park

The 17th Annual Earth Day Parade & Celebration on Saturday, April 22. Parade at 11am and Celebration in South Park from 11:30am to 4pm with exhibits, food, and kid’s activities.

Manhattan Sunset Zoo

Party for the Planet on Saturday, April 22 from noon to 4:30pm. $5 for adults, $3 children (2 and under free). Family friendly games and events including a zoo-wide scavenger hunt with prizes.

Overland Park InterUrban Art House

Clothing & Textile Recycling Event on Saturday, April 22 from 9am to 2pm, you can drop off clothing and textiles to be reused or repurposed. If it’s fabric, you can bring it here and it will be donated and kept out of the landfill.

Pittsburg – Southeast Kansas Recycling Center

Free paper shredding on April 22. Get 25 pounds of documents shredded for free. They also take plastic bags, glass, plastic, e-waste, metal, and more.

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge – Visitor’s Center

On Saturday, April 22 from 9am to 1pm, there will be guided nature walks, presentations on pollinators, tours of the butterfly garden, and a lunch provided by Friends of Quivira. Free!


4/23/16 = Free state parks day!

Pick a park, any state park in Kansas on Saturday, April 23, 2016 and entrance is free! It’s tied in with Earth day celebrations, and really, since it’s free, there’s no reason not to get out there and check out some of what Kansas has to offer.

Plus, some of the parks are holding special activities from snacks to guided nature hikes to 5k run/walks. Get more information from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s our list of top 10 trails, many of which are in the state parks. And if you need more info on just what’s out there, we know of a good book!

Top 10 trails

4/25/15 – Free entrance to Kansas State Parks!

Image from Kansas Tourism

That’s right, this Saturday 4/25/15, it’s free entrance to the grand state parks of Kansas!

The state parks have some of the best trails in the state – some of our favorites include Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail at Wilson State Park, Agave Ridge Nature Trail at Cedar Bluff State Park, Elk River Hiking Trail at Elk City State Park, and Hike, Bike, and Bridle Trail at Lake Scott State Park.

Plus, a lot of the visitor’s centers will be having activities and open houses from family-friendly exhibits and activities to guided hikes to 5K runs to fishing tournaments. Check out the events list here – there’s a great range of stuff for outdoor lovers of all ages.kick1

If you happen to go to Cedar Bluff State Park, Lovewell State Park, El Dorado State Park, Elk City State Park, or Perry State Park, give a big thanks to the volunteers out there helping keep the parks clean for the Earth Day Park Clean Up.

The weather forecast looks partly cloudy and warm for Saturday, so get out there and explore!

How to Celebrate Earth Day 2015 in Kansas

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, it went global in 1990and the now annual event is one of the world’s largest civic events. On April 22, people around the world come together to raise awareness, show support for environmental issues, and to help make our planet cleaner and healthier.

From tree planting to clean ups to family fun, here are some ways you can get out and celebrate the 2015 Earth Day in Kansas (and one in Missouri).

April 18 at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan

Richard Renner & his Recycle Cycle will be there (you may have seen him at the Kansas State Fair) roaming the zoo. Plus there will be kid-friendly activities inside the Nature Exploration Center and story time with staff from the Manhattan Public Library, animal encounter tours led by the zoo’s animal ambassadors, and a zoo-wide scavenger hunt with prizes.

If you go:
Zoo open from 9:30am to 5pm; Earth Day activities from Noon to 4:30pm.
$5 adults, $3 children ages 3-12, 2 & under and FOSZ members free.
2333 Oak Street, Manhattan, KS

April 18 at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park

This turn of the century style family farm has plenty of animals along with flower and vegetable gardens, a fishing pond, and a one-room schoolhouse.

And for Earth Day, they’ll be hosting educational and entertaining programs about recycling, gardening, composting, and Kansas wildlife. There will be crafts, activities and events for the whole family.

If you go:
10am to 2pm
13800 Switzer Road, Overland Park
Free Mon.-Thurs.; $2/person Fri.-Sun. & Holidays/under 2 free

April 18 at Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson

Snap up some good deals on perennial plants from 7:30 to 11:30am. Bird Watching 101 for families is from 8:30 to 9:30am, and you can learn about what birds to look out for on the trails around the nature center.

From 1-2 pm, The Hutchinson Public Library is hosting a “Wiggly Worms for Bookworms” – a story hour and project for kids 3-10.

If you go:
To register for the bird watching and the story telling (both free, but with limited availability), call 620-663-7411.
3002 E. 30th Avenue, Hutchinson, KS

April 22 at Powell Gardens in Kansas City

Free admission to Powell Gardens and free seedlings, while supplies last, to the early arrivals. They’ll also have a rain barrel raffle, guided tours, storytelling for the kiddos, and a display on up cycling.

If you go:
9am to 5pm
1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO

April 22 at Overland Park Arboretum in Overland Park

While not technically for Earth Day, it is held on Earth Day. You can become empowered to be a citizen scientist observer. The National Phenology Network will be holding a workshop to give attendees information on plant life cycles using the Arboretum’s trails and plants.

If you go:
Register online, $7 FOTA members, $10 non-members
8909 W 179th Street, Overland Park, KS

April 23 at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita

Party for the Planet – free admission all day and an environmental fair with hands-on activities and exhibits geared for 3rd to 5th graders.

If you go:
Environmental fair is from 9am to 2pm and zoo open from 8:30am to 5pm.
5555 W Zoo Blvd., Wichita, KS

April 25 in Gardner

Gardner Parks and Recreation is hosting an Arbor and Earth Day event with a group cleanup of the Gardner Greenway Corridor – a paved trail that connects Winwood Park and Brookside Park. Then there’s a free barbecue lunch in the park. You can get in on the drawing for trees, t-shirts, and prizes and watch a tree planting demonstration.

RSVP by April 20 – call 913-856-0936.

If you go:
11am to 1pm at Gardener Greenway Corridor