COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is encouraging Ohioans to get outside this weekend to celebrate Earth Day with free events around the state.
Coordinated by the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft, the outdoor fun will include hikes, cleanups, tree plantings and much more from April 22-24.
ODNR says the events are family-friendly and provide the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and “give back to nature.” They also suggest wearing sturdy shoes, weather-appropriate clothing and to bring a water bottle.
To learn more about Earth Day activities, click here, and for details about a specific event, contact one of the parks listed below directly.
Alum Creek State Park:
- Earth Day Nature Hike – April 22, 1-4 p.m. Meet at the park office for a guided, 5-mile hike on the Rocks to Roots Trail. Trail difficulty is moderate. Boots are recommended due to muddy and wet conditions.
- Earth Day Beach Cleanup – April 23, 1 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day weekend with a beach cleanup. Meet at the beach. Gloves and trash bags will be provided.
- Earth Day Plant a Seed – April 24, 2 p.m. This youth event gives young visitors an opportunity to celebrate Earth Day weekend to plant seeds in a small pot they can take home.
Burr Oak State Park:
- Earth Day Thankfulness Hike – April 22, 6 p.m. Join an evening hike to appreciate the gifts of nature. Meet at the boat ramp parking lot near the lodge.
Caesar Creek State Park:
- Earth Day and Volunteer Day in the Park – April 23, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join park staff for various volunteer service projects in the park. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Deer Creek State Park:
- Poetry in the Park – April 22, 2 p.m. Meet the park’s naturalist at the nature center to celebrate both Earth Day and National Poetry Month. Join the naturalist-led hike on Hawkview Meadow Trail to gain inspiration before creating your own nature poem. The trail is an easy, three-quarter-mile hike.
- Easter Campout – April 23, 11 a.m. to April 24, 4 p.m. Friends of Deer Creek State Park will hold its annual Easter Campout. Enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt and much more. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
Dillon State Park:
- Earth Day and Arbor Day Celebration – April 30. Join Dillon State Park for an all-day celebration including litter clean-up, eco-friendly do-it-yourself planting, and a tree talk hike.
East Fork State Park:
- Earth Day Hike – April 22, 4:30 p.m. Grow your appreciation for Mother Earth by joining the naturalist on a 5-mile loop section of the Backpack Trail. Meet at East Fork South Trailhead off Elklick Road. Expect uneven terrain and a moderate pace.
- Earth Day and Service Day – April 23. The East Fork naturalist is asking volunteers for several service projects which will create healthy habitats for Ohio’s native wildlife.
- Trail Blitz – 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Meet at the Whippoorwill trailhead across from the campground check-in. Work will be focused on invasive species removal.
- Litter Pick-Up – 1-3 p.m. Volunteers will be divided up into teams to spruce up the north shore boat ramps and campground beach. Meet at the guest parking lot across from the campground check-in.
Geneva State Park:
- Earth Day Tree Planting Hike – April 23, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Celebrate nature with a mix of tree planting and hiking. The event begins at the east side of the marina with a tree planting. From there, participants may hike, drive, or bike to other tree planting locations along the park’s paved trail in various areas. The distance is 1.5 miles one way. Participants may assist with all tree plantings or choose which ones along the way.
Great Seal State Park:
- Earth Day Wildflower Stroll – April 22, 4 p.m. The whole family will enjoy discovering the sights and sounds of spring on this 1.5-mile hike. After the hike, join a naturalist presentation and craft.
Hocking Hills State Park:
- Earth Day – 1-2 p.m. Create a “seed bomb” to plant wildflowers for the pollinators and birds in your own back yard. Meet at the pollinator garden located next to the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center.
Maumee Bay State Park:
- Earth Day Green Thumbs – April 22, 12 p.m. Join a naturalist to assist with weeding and planting native species in honor of Earth Day. Meet at Trautman Nature Center.
- Earth Day Beach Cleanup – April 22, 5 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day by helping to remove litter from the beach. Meet in the Lake Erie swim beach parking lot.
Lake Hope State Park:
- Off-Trail Trek – April 22, 10 a.m. Join this hardy, rugged 2-mile hike into an area of the park rarely seen by visitors. Appropriate footwear is encouraged for this hike which is rated difficult. Meet at Oak Point past the cabins.
- Heron Hike – April 23, 10 a.m. Take an easy ½ mile walk to watch herons at the local rookery along the Moonville Rail Trail. Meet at the OH-278 and Little Sandy Trailhead.
- Wetland Wade – April 24, 10 a.m. Explore the wetland creatures and learn about the importance of their roles in the ecosystem. Meet at Hope Furnace. Rainboots are recommended.
Punderson State Park:
- Earth Day Hike – April 22, 2-4 p.m. Celebrate Earth Day by joining naturalists on a fun, two-hour, moderate hike around the park. Meet at the nature center next to the campground office.
Pymatuning State Park:
- Earth Day Every Day Clean Up – April 23, 10 a.m. Meet at the park nature center for more details.
- Lake Overlook Hike – April 22, 10 a.m. Meet at the nature center for a short trek to the trailhead. The naturalist-led hike will take visitors through a mature woodland showing the first signs of spring.
Salt Fork State Park:
- Earth Day Activity – April 22, 5 p.m. Meet at the Salt Fork Lodge and Conference Center activity room to celebrate Earth Day.
- Annual Wildflower Hike – April 23, 1 p.m. Meet at the Kennedy Stonehouse Nature Trail parking lot for the 2-mile Annual Wildflower Hike. This moderate trail will take hikers to the historic Kennedy Stonehouse.
- Hosak’s Cave Hike – April 24, 1 p.m. Meet at the Hosak’s Cave parking lot for an easy, quarter-mile hike to this unique geological landmark.
Stonelick State Park:
- Earth Day Litter Pick-up – April 23, 9 a.m. – noon. Meet at the park’s fishing pier to help spruce up the area.